Happy International Thanksgiving!

Monrovia Travel Blog

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Hera and Siska get ready to enjoy their feast

Today is the ships Thanksgiving day.  Its a neutral day, meaning its no one's actual holiday, not that all countries celebrate a thanksgiving.  Liberia's Thanksgiving was on Nov 1.  Anyhoo, the galley (aka kitchen) prepared a wonderful feast for us, complete with turkey, ham, mashed potatos, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie, apple pie and blackberry pie.  Oh so yummy.  The dining room was decorated very nicely.  Everybody dressed up.  You had to get there early otherwise you would run the risk of running out of the good stuff. 

After supper, instead of our typical community meeting, we had a special Thanksgiving worship.  The International Lounge, which is our big meeting room was decorated with two tables: one with baskets of fresh fruits and veggies and cut flowers, which made the room smell like a cozy farmer's market; the other was our communion table, covered with fresh loaves of bread and small glasses of wine.

The gang from sterilizing, plus Tonya sitting down for their Thanksgiving meal
  We alternated from singing and dancing to quite prayer and remeberance.  In between songs they had someone from each of the 36 different nations represented on board come up and say a short prayer of thanksgiving in their native tongue.  It made the day quite interesting, cause we don't always know where everybody comes from and how many different countries there really are.  We ended the night with communion to remind us what we should be truly thankful for.  It was a great night.

This week has been really slow.  We only have 2 Maxfac/ent surgeons and 2 eye docs, so we aren't doing as many cases.  We often finish by 1 and then have to do 'special' projects like, counting how many clip appliers we have or putting together anesthesia carts or getting things ready to sail.

Me and my pal Dorothy
  The Africa Mercy (the ship i'm on) has only been inservice as a hospital ship since June, so many things aren't ready for sailing.  The Anastasis, the original Mercy Ship, was in service from 1978-2007.  It came here to Liberia in March of this year and was here when the new ship, Africa Mercy arrived.  So this summer they spent moving the entire operation from one ship to the next.  Then the Anastasis was sailed away to a scrapyard.  Its a very touchy subject for some people, there are some children who had spent their entire lives aboard the Anastasis.  Anyhoo, so things are not organized yet and we can't have anything loose cause it would fly around as the ship sailed and break.  Since things have been really slow, people have been getting days off during the week.
Our thankful harvest
  I have tomorrow off and I plan on sleeping in and then going to the market.

Oh, tonight after to worship, we had an unbraiding party in my cabin.  Tish, one of my friends, had her hair braided with me last weekend.  She didn't get extensions like me, so her braids were really small.  She didn't like them and they were starting to fall out, so we agreed to help her.  Five of us spent about an hour working on unbraiding the tiniest braids you've ever seen.  When we were done, she looked like a cave woman with her hair strangly, but I envy her.  She got to go and scrub her head.  I wish I could.  My scalp is itchy.  The other morning I woke up with something in my bed, it was a braid that had been on one of the short baby hairs and had slide off!  It was still braided. 

So thats it for now, I only have 10 more days left.  Time flies. 

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Hera and Siska get ready to enjoy …
Hera and Siska get ready to enjoy…
The gang from sterilizing, plus To…
The gang from sterilizing, plus T…
Me and my pal Dorothy
Me and my pal Dorothy
Our thankful harvest
Our thankful harvest
African singers
African singers
The praise band
The praise band
Monrovia
photo by: Bluenose