27 October 2013

My job is crazy.  One day I’ll find myself in high-stakes meetings with the office of the President of Congo and the next I’m playing a mailman, delivering letters to local hospitals. I’ve been sourcing and pricing pigs’ aortas and trotters (feet) for a basic surgical skills course and played translator in an operating room watching a delivery by caesarean. (It was a bit dicey for a bit but she perked up and found her lungs.) I’m managing a team of Congolese workers going in four different directions all at once and tracking statistics and writing reports for all our education programs.  Every day is different, which is something I absolutely love, and is stretching me beyond what I thought possible. And somehow it feels like, in the last week or week and a half or so, that I’ve crossed an invisible line; I suddenly feel like I know what I’m doing more than 50% of the time.  Even if it’s still actually only about 51% of the time that I know the answer when someone asks me something or feel confident in my ability to speak on behalf of the hospital, it’s a big jump from even 49%.  I’m so grateful for that.

The little one who scared us a bit with a difficult birth but perked up and found her lungs -
less than an hour old in this photo.

Community life is crazy.  I love this place.  Last weekend was our fall carnival (even though it's technically spring here in the southern hemisphere...) where I ran the cup stacking game, had my face painted, ate some amazing goodies, and laughed at the guys during the pie eating contest. 

The cup stacking game. Simple and fun. Perfect for me. :)

Lovely job, Catherine!

Pie eating contest.

I love and look forward to working in the café every Sunday morning with my fabulously wonderful friend Dianna. It’s such a joy to bless the crew in this way, and I get to meet and interact with people I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to interact with.  And I just really like making coffee drinks. 

Dianna and I this morning, announcing "come and get it!"
 I’ve started leading a new small group with the purpose of “talking in depth about things that matter.” We’re discussing the book The Utter Relief of Holiness by John Eldredge which is a really lovely conversation starter about what holiness is and looks like and I’ve been so deeply blessed by the conversations and friendships and love shared by the women I’m honored to meet with every week. 

I’ve joined the ship Toastmasters club, which is a place to learn how to become a better speaker and leader.  It’s an amazingly talented group of people that I love hearing speak and share and watching them be stretched.  I gave my first speech last week, the Ice Breaker, which was just about me; “Called” was the title and opened with I’m honored to be called a Toastmaster, and tonight I’m going to talk a bit about other things I’ve been called.”  It went really well and I’m looking forward to my next speech in a few weeks! 

I’ve started running again after taking a few weeks (months?) off.  I used to love getting up early a few days a week and running with friends but since the summer break I’ve really had a hard time getting out there; it’s a multitude of reasons including the stress of my job keeping me awake at night and if I do happen to get up early enough I tend to need that time for some solitude with God to prepare me for the day.  So a few weeks ago I decided to just try running a few evenings a week; gold star, it works for me!  I am sleeping better, feeling better, and look forward to crawling into bed after an evening run and shower.  I also look forward every week to playing Ultimate Frisbee on Friday evenings and then running back in to the port with Dianna. The field is pretty dusty and we get nice and sweaty so by the time we get back to the ship it kinda looks like we were rolling in the mud. 

So that’s my life in this season and I feel like I’m finally finding my stride, settling into the marathon pace after sprinting and stumbling and wondering how to survive for the last few months.   I’m so very grateful for the encouragement, prayers, financial support, surprises, love, and grace all my family and friends and coworkers and shipmates have offered during this last tough season. I couldn’t do this without all of you. 


Much love, Krissy

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