One week from today I will be well on my way! I can’t believe that after so many months of talking about this and training and getting ready that it is finally almost time to go. I couldn’t be more willing or excited.
In case you’re just finding this blog, or if you are just confused as to what I’m doing and why, here are some FAQs that will hopefully clear things right up:
1) Where are you going? Conakry, Guinea in West Africa.
2) With who? I am volunteering for Mercy Ships, a non-profit hospital. The hospital itself is located on a ship, the MV Africa Mercy; it is the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world.
3) Where will you live? I am going to live on board the Africa Mercy in a cozy cabin with some strangers whom I have not yet met. Yep.
4) How are you getting there? The ship is currently between field services and is in dry dock in the Canary Islands for minor repairs and to re-stock. I am meeting the ship and the rest of the marketing team in Tenerife on August 2nd and a week later we will ‘set sail’ for Conakry. Sailing from Tenerife to Conakry will mean that we are at sea for about 7 days. How cool is that? No, I don’t get sea sick. I hope.
5) What happens when the ship arrives? Once in Guinea we will prepare for Screening Day, on this day thousands of Africans needing medical aid line up to be seen by MS doctors. Those whose cases are operable will be given a card with a date on it, on that day they are to return for their free surgery.
6) What are you going to do? I am going to be a Writer in the marketing department. My job is to follow patients from beginning to end of their medical journeys and tell their stories. This responsibility is both exhilarating and scary! How amazing it is to give voices to West Africans who otherwise would have no access to medical care. All of this is made possible by donors who contribute and keep the Africa Mercy running. Speaking of donors…if you are interested in donating see the Support tab above.
7) For how long? Six months to a year!
So…there you have it!
Off to pack…here is a little preview of how it’s going: