Thank you everybody for all your prayers for my health! After lying in bed for what seemed like forever, I finally got back to work this past Tuesday. It took me a few days to really feel myself again, but by Thursday I was feeling back to normal. We had some pretty adorable kids in the ward this week, so I got to do a lot of playing and baby-holding in between dressing changes and administering medications. When preparing for Mercy Ships, I didn't realize I'd be getting more than just a taste of pediatrics. The kids and adults are all together in the wards, rather than separated, so I don't know until I show up for my shift if I'll be caring for babies, kids, teenagers, or adults. Usually it's a mix. I was kind of scared of the idea of taking care of kids - I haven't done that since college. But it's not as scary as I thought it would be, and there's usually someone on shift who has some pediatric experience, to use as a resource.
Since I worked several days, then was sick for a week, then worked several more days, I hadn't really had a chance to get off of the ship in about 2 weeks. I walked on the dock a little and went out on deck for some fresh air, but I didn't really leave the ship for the first half of this month. I was starting to go a little stir-crazy, but had a chance to get away this weekend and even spend the night off the ship. A group of us planned an overnight trip to John Obey beach, about an hour and a half away. It was lovely to get away for a day, get lots of sun, walk up and down the beach, swim in the ocean, and just relax and listen to the waves breaking. By the time we came back to the Africa Mercy this afternoon we were sunburned, hungry, tired, and covered in a layer of salt, sunscreen, sweat, and dust...so we were ready to be back! After dinner and a shower we joined several people in the International Lounge for an impromptu time of worship, which was a great way to end the weekend. I get to enjoy another day off tomorrow, and am planning a walk into town to visit the craft market and eat lunch with a friend at The Crown Bakery, which I've heard good things about. After that I'll head back to the ward for night shift the rest of the week!
Here are a few pictures of our mini-vacation at the beach:
storm rolling in over the mountains
lovely long walks on the beach
posing in a fishing boat we found
snacks and books