Monday, May 15, 2017
This photo was snapped at the Congo screening day in 2013. It was the last time that Mercy Ships did a massive one-day screening; I understand why they don't now, of course (infection control, safety, logistics, etc) but there was something incredibly special about how the day was meticulously planned and every single person who wanted to be a part of it had the opportunity to do so. HR and sales people helped take medical histories; teachers and students played with kids and passed out water to the thousands of patients waiting in line.
I wrote about it here: Well done, and it will always remain a special memory of my time with Mercy Ships. I was new in my job but spoke French well enough to be useful (or dangerous, wink) and ran around doing whatever those who had been around much longer than I had been told me to do.
But this moment, the moment this photo was snapped, will always remain high on the list of #howisthismylife moments. Donovan, our ship managing director at the time, called me over mid morning, tossed me the keys to his personal car and said "can you go pick up Don and Deyon?"
Gulp, no pressure. Those cars are bigger than the usual landrovers we use, and I hadn't ever driven one before. Donovan hardly knew me, if I scratched his car would it get me sent home? At the very least it would be mortifying and I didn't know if I would outlive the embarrassment. And even worse, imagine if I did it with Don and Deyon in the car? They're the Mercy Ships President and founders, by the way. Kind of a big deal and I was admittedly starstruck. I didn't know them and they had no reason whatsoever to trust me driving them around and neither did Donovan trusting me with his car.
And while all those thoughts and fears raced through my head in a millisecond, I calmly said 'sure' and did what I was asked to do. No scratches, no drama, but I will always remember it; they had no reason to trust me but they did. There's something powerful about being trusted not for what you have proven you can do... but for who you are.
Thanks Donovan and Don and Deyon for trusting me that day, and all the days and years since then, with little things and big things and everything in between. I've loved being on your team.