Monday, August 22, 2016

Cape Town Transition

Well, I’ve been back on the ship about 3 weeks and in the country of Benin for 4 days now! I have much to share but first I thought I’d give a little update about what’s happened in the past few months between leaving Madagascar and arriving here.

A few months before departing Madagascar, myself and a group of 5 other nurse friends decided it would be fun to plan a trip together as a transition between ship and home life. We also figured we would be ready for some relaxation after 10 months of hard work! We flew straight from Madagascar to Cape Town, South Africa and enjoyed about 10 days of exploring the city.

On our first day, we headed a few hours north to Aquilla Game Reserve where we spent 1 night in a gorgeous stone bungalow, ate delicious South African meals and enjoyed 2 safari tours of the reserve to see giraffes, antelopes, elephants, buffalo, hippopotamus, cheetahs, lions and more! This was the biggest splurge of our trip but it was so refreshing to be pampered for 24 hours and experience the nature of South Africa up close.

Back in Cape Town, we rented an Air BnB house to have room for us all to stay together. It was lovely and spacious and basically felt like a mansion after 10 months on a ship in Madagascar, haha! From our location we had bird’s eye views of Table Mountain above and the city below. Over the next week or so, we hit up pretty much all the major tourist sights Cape Town has to offer: Red Bus Tour of the city, Robben Island, Cape Point, Boulders Beach and Penguins, Winery Tour, V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, plus lots of great food, shopping and exploring.

One of the days, we took a long detour a few hours away from the city to go Bungy Jumping!

Bloukrans Bridge is the tallest commercial bridge bungy jump in the world so, of course, we had to do it! The views were amazing and it was definitely a once-in –a-lifetime experience…but I don’t know if I’d be up for a repeat any time soon ;)

Cape Town is a beautiful city with SO much to offer and I’d highly recommend it as a vacation destination! (Good thing I liked it, because just about 6 weeks later I was back in the city again, this time when the ship stopped for a visit on the way to Benin - see future posts for more on that!) It was also relatively inexpensive, which made it a perfect transition for volunteers with no money coming from very low cost Madagascar. Those 2 weeks with friends will be remembered and cherished for many years to come, but by the end I was ready to head home and excited for the summer of ‘catch up‘ ahead!!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Madagascar II Recap

During my time at home in June and July, I shared this video put together by our Communications Team during some group presentations. I thought I would post it here so you can see all that happened during the Madagascar 2 Field Service 2015-2016!

1453 patients received free surgeries in Madagascar! It's so incredible to think of that number and how many lives were changed through Mercy Ships. But these individuals are more than a number.

It reminds me of a quote I once heard that says "Every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters to God". We often use numbers to quantify the work that we do, but it goes deeper than that. These are people with stories and lives that will go onto completely different paths than they would have without the medical care that Mercy Ships provides. And it would not be possible without your help. Thank you!!!