Friday, August 28, 2015

Antananarivo

As I mentioned in my last blog post the ship has been delayed; what should have been a reunion with friends and a return to ship life became an extended stay in Antananarivo.  As they say in Mercy Ships, the only constant is change!  The ship is now sailing through the southwest Indian ocean and is scheduled to arrive in Tamatave on Sunday, several weeks late but right on time.

My time in Antananarivo has been very fruitful.  I have been able to meet with various government and medical leaders and put some details in place for our massive medical training program happening here this field service. It is so massive that we have brought on another crew member to join my team who will live here in Tana; so I’ve had some good time to walk through processes, procedures, and meet some of the important connections she will need for the coming year.

This transition back to Madagascar time has been the roughest of all my international travel; for some reason it took me well over a week to adjust!  It is beyond frustrating when you find yourself wide awake and ravenous at night, while during the day you can hardly keep your eyes open with no appetite at all.   In the past it’s only been a few days and I’ve been fine, so I am not sure if I can chalk this one up to getting older, or what.  I often try to have a day layover in Europe in the middle of the journey, which helps me to not only adjust to time but also get my head from one world into another; I didn’t have that this time, so maybe I will need to make that more of a priority next time!

Anyway, besides jet lag, it’s been wonderful to be back. It is amazing how comfortable I find myself speaking French to the market stall lady arguing over twenty cents for some oranges or the taxi driver in the ancient vehicle that starts up by winding two wires together and touching it with the third one.  The weather in Tana is absolutely delightful; dry, cool at night, beautifully sunny blue skies all day and not swelteringly hot. 

I have so much more to share but will leave it at that for now.  AFM family, may the seas be kind to you, I will see you soon!
Today's workspace; Antananarivo, from the balcony of my guest house.



--k

Monday, August 17, 2015

There and back again.

Well hello, virtual friends, family, new followers, acquaintances, and blog stalkers - glad to see Blogger hasn't shut me down for inactivity!  

I've been away from the ship for the longest time since joining, and it has been quite a ride.  Since leaving the ship on May 10th, I've taken nineteen flights, been in eight different countries, had ten speaking engagements, ate at least half a dozen cinnamon/caramel rolls, and hugged, adventured, and laughed with  dozens of friends and family in four different states.  I was on TV and I was in a wedding and I went kayaking with seals and saw a Broadway show. I started my Masters degree, and have managed not to fail out in the first few weeks.  

I've started at least a dozen blog posts and haven't finished a single one. We'll see in the next few minutes if this one actually gets 'published' status. :-) 

I'm currently in the Minneapolis airport, having started my journey back to the ship in my hometown of Duluth.  Well, I have to take that back - plans were that I would journey back to the ship.  However, as they often do, plans have changed - and I am in fact journeying back to Madagascar while the ship is not actually there yet - it is... still in Durban, South Africa.  They have been quite delayed with some problems discovered while the ship was in scheduled maintenance over the (northern hemisphere) summer break.  I'm not entirely sure what the problem was but it was something to do with the propeller, which is rather important (or so I am told).  The good news is the ship is floating again and will be heading to Madagascar in the coming days, so I will just start my work on the ground until they arrive.  

So anyway, all of that to say, I plan to get up and writing again, so thanks for joining me here.  A special welcome to anyone 'new' who I met in various speaking engagements this summer - very much appreciate your visit to my little virtual soapbox. :-)  If you are looking for information on donating, click on the big green DONATE button to the right.  Feel free to email me at krissyonmercy dot gmail dot com if you have questions, or just comment on this blog post. 

Okay that's enough for now.  Except for a few (of many many many) photos, because everyone likes photos. 
Road trip to Coffee City. Where there is no coffee to be found. But a memorable trip, anyway. 

My friends are freaking gorgeous. Blue stripes for the win. 

My niece is pretty stinkin' cute too. 

Me and the newest nephew at the wedding I was privileged to be a part of. 

Bridget was a bit more excited about dancing than Avery was.