Off the Record No. 1

I can never repay you, I don’t have the means to repay you. If I could, I would carry each Mercy Ships crew member and day worker on my back to thank you.”

– a Mercy Ships patient,
December 2012.

For several months now, I’ve been jotting down the beautiful, insightful, witty things people say to me (or my colleagues) so I don’t forget. I’ve got a nice collection mounting over here in the form of iPhone sticky notes. What shall I do with my pocket full of proverbs and colorful dialogue scripts? I think I’ll share them.

Because this theme needs a name, today is post 1 of what I will call the ‘Off the Record’ series. I don’t know why I want to call it ‘Off the Record’ perhaps in part because it has a certain ironic value. Or perhaps it’s because ‘Off the Record’ sounds kinda catchy. Like it could be the name of an NPR program or the title of Barbara Walters’ autobiography. The quotes you’ll find here are not things shared with me in confidence, but just daily tidbits I treasure, things people say.


I am eager for you to discover the joy/confusion/hilarity of my day-to-day conversations, so I can illustrate for you: 

a)     How beautifully familiar some things are here

b)    How extraordinarily foreign all other things are here

c)     The art of being completely lost in translation (at this I am especially gifted)

d)    What it feels like to be in my shoes, to hear the things I hear and taste a flavor of Africa.

and most of all, because:

e)     People say lovely things. You will be better off knowing them, you really will.

Alors, OTR posts will carry on sporadically (& anonymously) until people here stop making noteworthy comments, which will be day after never. 

This will be fun.


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