Rewards.

I’ve officially hit the halfway mark on the ship!  Wow.  And I’m sure the next half will speed past me!

I just finished a set of 5 evening shifts…I actually didn’t think it’d be as busy as it was, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I feel in a bit of a haze truthfully.  I was taking care of a young lady for the first three shifts who isn’t doing well really.  I truthfully feel she’s on the last of her days/months.  I don’t know how often patients like this find themselves on the ship…I’m assuming not often, but I’ve had the chance to care for her a bit.  I give ‘palliative’ nurses a huge shout out, cause it’s both demanding and rewarding work…

And for the last couple shifts, I’ve been able to work with the VVF-ers.  Honestly.  It’s been a blessing the last couple days.  History taking went well last week…SO great to hear their stories….these women are wonderful and strong and make so many other ladies look like severe wimps (myself included)  I had a particular moment with one of my patients yesterday that I’m positive I’ll remember for the rest of my life…I’ll have to share it in person though…I just won’t do it justice here…

Anyhow, here’s more photos…Some that I took at the Hope Center (it’s basically a hotel for pre and post op patients…lots of VVF ladies waiting for their surgeries there)  I also included a few from the ship photographer…his work is amazing…

Here’s some from the Hope Center…

And the patterns and fabrics below?  A common sight in Togo…just sayin’…

And a few VVF ladies awaiting surgery below…my little white face poking up amidst them all…

The boy below is named Ali…I had him a few times as a patient..he’s been discharged now though…he’s a little sweet and a little spicy…Love it!

And here’s a couple from the ship photographer!  And really the only two photos I have of myself on the ship right now..

The boy below is Komla…he’s still on the ship…and he’s pretty hilarious…

And the only two pictures I have of myself on the ship…a little camera shy I suppose…

There you go!  4 weeks left…woohoo!

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VVF ladies are almost here!

Time is flying, as per usual.

And I’m very excited for this weekend.  Wanted to write something before I head out.  I’m going to Ghana to visit a coworker of mine.  I actually can’t believe that things worked out.  Her and her husband are from Ghana and opened a clinic there after working in Canada for ‘however many’ years.  So I’m crossing the border into Ghana tomorrow morning with a group from the ship and then will be leaving the group in Accra and heading to visit with my coworker for the night!  I’m excited.

For the most part, it’s nice living on the ship and I actually feel weird saying it, but it’s almost TOO comfortable.  I told a friend recently, but I think I may have had some defined expectations about what life on the ship would be like, and those expectations DID NOT include warm showers, buffet meals, air conditioning and Starbucks coffee. I was actually prepared to feel quite “gross” actually (like showers every three days and straight up beans and rice AT LEAST once a day), but that’s not the case.  And for the most part, I’m thankful for ship life, but I just feel like I’m missing out on so many good “cultural” experiences by living with North American comforts on the ship.  It’s been a weird adjustment and really just unexpected…

That said, I’ve been trying to wander a bit off ship…in the markets and such.  And I am SO VERY excited for Monday because we start screening the VVF ladies!!!  I cannot describe the excitement in my gut…these women have been on a waitlist since 2010 and although there are apparently 78 women coming, only 50 will be accepted for surgery.  I’ll be taking health histories, and will be communicating through a translator, so I hope that I can get the most accurate stories that I can from these women.  Many of the women come from very remote areas, and speak quite a few different languages, so accuracy in communication and translating would be a big prayer request for Monday…

Anyhow, here’s some photos…as per promise…

Around Lome…In the markets and such…

And here’s a few on the dock by the ship…..lots of people gather just beside the ship for follow-up appointments…

And I’ll end with the kid below…cause he’s cute…was dancing (go figure) all around the dock and stuff…