25 January 2017

It's been a whirlwind of a January; I've hopped across the United States and then across the globe, started my final class as an MPH student, ate dozens of sweet things, shook hundreds of hands, and thought to myself how is this my life a thousand times.

I got to spend a week in Seattle visiting dear friends and supporters.  I love that place, I love the people there, and it's always a treat to sit and sip really good coffee with really good friends and share in doing life together, yet far apart.  Somehow it works, and I am grateful.

I had the incredible privilege of representing Mercy Ships at our first-ever Founder's weekend; an amazing opportunity to share about the people, country, work, and organization I love so very much.  I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity; I met some fascinating people and enjoyed staying at probably the nicest place I will ever stay in my life.

A marble birthday cake.  My 3yo niece was in charge of candles. 

I got to celebrate another year of life.  36 has been good so far!  To make it extra special, I celebrated with family in Minnesota on a quick overnight after finishing up with the Founders event in southern California.  I haven't been able to celebrate my birthday with family in a very long time, so it was a special blessing!

The little bakery with the best rated croissants in all of Paris and it's suburbs.  It's not just me that says that, it's like a real thing. 
 I celebrated my actual birthday in Paris... with my Mom! We did a food tour and ate croissants, cheese, wine, and chocolate; a perfect combination for a great day!  We spent three nights in Paris, it was Mom's first time there so I got to show her the highlights of the city I have come to know quite well.

It was so cold in Paris I have no idea how they kept these looking so beautiful...

Ganvie stilt village in Benin
Then mom came with me to Benin and is with me on the ship this week, experiencing all Benin and Mercy Ships is!  Today we went out to Ganvie, an entire city built on stilts in the middle of a lake!  I didn't take great pictures, but maybe Mom did...

Mom heads out of here on Friday, so I've packed her week full of activities; a hospital tour, trips to the Hope center and children's home, a visit to my Benin family, a day trip to the Ouidah slave route, and of course a trip to the fabric market.  It's been really great to have her here, to show her a glimpse into my life, why I love this place and these people...

It's great to be back, and I'm looking forward with anticipation and gratitude already for my final four months aboard the Africa Mercy.

Love to all - Krissy

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