Some things are better face to face, or at least one to one. Like explaining big life changes. So I've delayed this post until I could speak with those who are important to me. And frankly, I wanted details ironed out as well. Those that know me best had it figured as soon as they read my last post.
I'm heading back to the ship!
There's a part of me that doesn't want to. I've just gotten settled and furnished an apartment. It's overwhelming to think of selling and/or packing it all up. I have a good job, a car, and most of all: my family and some of my closest friends are all nearby.
On the flip side, I'm excited. I've spent the last 3 weeks living in Thompson on a travel nursing assignment. I've lived out of two suitcases (and a few bags of groceries/toiletries). And it's freeing to have almost nothing. How easy it is to step back into "normal" life and believe I need stuff. It's time to walk away from "stuff" again.
Time to return to the chaos of never having a space completely to myself, surrounded by people and yet still having times of loneliness. Time to return to pressure-cooker friendships that are stronger in a week than a year of knowing someone in the "real world." Time to return to never truly leaving work, and having a boss that you can also call a friend. Time for living in community in all of it's complexities.
And time for Africa. A diverse continent full of amazing people, and full of potential. A place that will change you far before you have a chance to change it. Because I'm the one who still needs to be changed, who has things to learn.
1. I need to sell my stuff. Living room furniture, Queen sized bed and dressers, all kinds of kitchen stuff, and many many books. If you know of someone who needs to buys these things, drop me a line. Living in an apartment, I don't know if I can do anything like a garage sale, but I might look at Kijiji? Any suggestions?
2. Whatever I don't sell, I need to find storage for. My parents don't have a ton of spare room, so once again, suggestions and offers are welcome!
3. I need to raise money. See the "support me" tab above. If you don't care about a tax receipt, talk to me about alternative ways to help me out. (i.e.: sending things to the ship via container) If you're feeling really generous, I still need to buy my plane tickets. Those can be a write-off, it's a little complicated, but talk to me/email and I'll explain how we can do that.
4. I need to be on the ship on the 10th of August, where I will join them a few days before the sail from the Canary Islands to Benin (about 10 days). The ship will spend 10 months on the coast of Benin, doing free surgeries and training local doctors.
5. On the ship, I will be working as a paediatric ward nurse. I will also be working on admin-type details a couple of days a week, helping to take some of the load off of our hospital manager. Things like working on the schedule and other still-to-be-defined tasks. *The hospital on the ship does not open until a few weeks after the ship arrives in Benin. First we need to unpack the hospital, clean it, and have a screening day where we work crazy hours to assess thousands of hopeful patients, and give surgery dates to the ones that can be helped by the ship's surgeons. Then sometime in September the first patients will be brought onto the ship and have their surgeries.
6. Which reminds me, I'll likely spend a few weeks working in the Admissions tent when the hospital first opens. Making me a bit of a jack-of-all-trades.
There are new challenges, new experiences, new friends around the corner. It's a little scary, but there's no point in sticking my head in the sand when God beckons me towards adventure, now is there?