Arrival in Conakry

Have you ever sailed into a port on a ship and been greeted in your destination by a dock full of happy people waving at you? We pulled into Conakry in the early Wednesday morning and found just that.

And we cheerfully waved back.

And the Captain saw that we were all secure and lowered the gangway.

And everyone watched as the Guinean flag was taken down to the dock.

And the band played the Guinean national anthem :-)

And the speeches began.

There were 308 people on board during the sail, at least 100 more doctors and nurses will arrive in the next few weeks. For those 308 of us though, we had a wonderful sail. It was such a different working environment; to have open-ocean out your conference room window is certainly unique.

I woke up Thursday morning and discovered a new ship. Paintings are hung on walls again, operating rooms have fancy equipment out, chairs are no longer seran-wrapped together, all of the wards have hospital beds and suddenly everyone is wearing scrubs. It is like Extreme Ship Makeover around here.


I was invited by my friend (and MS Academy teacher) Remy to be a “guest speaker” today for her 4th graders and tell them about writing  and what it’s like to be a Writer onboard. Remy’s students are adorable. It was such a treat. My voice recorder was quickly, and unanimously, determined by the class to be the coolest part of my job.

After a little reading lesson on the history of popcorn, I decided the students should take a pop quiz. Delighted by the theme that was coming together for my lesson – popcorn storypop quizthen I’ll pass out popcorn – what I didn’t realize is that 4th graders aren’t accustomed to pop quizzes yet. In fact, they are a few happy years away from the threat of pop quizzes. This means that when you announce “pop quiz!” they are quite alarmed and on their faces you can see them thinking “but we’re only 9?!”

By their reaction, I might as well have said ok kids, settle down and take out your pencils because it’s time for the SAT.

Fortunately, once they saw the questions on the quiz, they stopped sweating. I won them back by feeding them and promising that it was just an exercise, and that the pop quiz won’t be for a real grade, and I’m sorry, and I really am a nice teacher I promise.

I guess it’s time I take off my teaching cap and
go back to playing with my cool voice recorder.

Have a great Friday everyone, and may your day be full of surprises! ;)


4 responses

  1. Catherine – I love the photos and your posts! It is great to hear about your experiences on the ship. Looking forward to more news and information. Take care!


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