Remember Me?

Well hello.

It’s 1 AM on a Sunday and I’m writing this on a flight from Miami to Madrid. The gentlemen to my right is snoring so loudly that I can barely put a thought together. Snoring in Spanish sounds the same as in English, by the way, so we can put that debate to rest.

Ok they’ve turned off the lights….and my bright computer screen is getting the stink eye from the rest of my row. Like I’m the one keeping everyone awake.

But none of this matters because what I came to write here is this: it’s time to go back to Africa.


The above post is the most recent in a word document full of incomplete posts that I’ve never posted. Why? Because I am a lazy goose.

In my defense, when that plane landed in Madrid I de-boarded with my laptop full of lame blogging attempts and was politely informed that I’d missed my connecting flight.  And that all my bags had been lost in Miami. And that I would now be stranded for 24 hours. Thankfully, I happen to have a friend who lives in Madrid. 

A cab ride later, Keally was helping me pick out a toothbrush (red and orange – these decisions are hard when you are weary). And soon enough, we were sitting somewhere pretty on big white couches enjoying ceviche and sangria while Keally gracefully handled anything that had to do with being in Spanish. Then we went home and Snapchatted all of our friends from college like this roundez-vous was totally planned and discussed how old Robert Redford looks when he stands next to Demi Moore in An Indecent Proposal.

The moral of this story is never book a tight connection through a city if you don’t have an expat friend there with a cute apartment and an excellent DVR catalog.

So, see? No time to blog.

I made it to my destination, the Canary Islands, the following day and arrived home to the Africa Mercy. (My bags arrived a few days after that…)

Quick back-peddle for those of you who have forgotten…I live and work onboard a hospital ship in West Africa. Sometimes the ship needs maintenance or some such convenience of the Western world and we sail up to the Canaries (Spanish islands off the coast of northern-ish Africa). Now, all of the work is done and the hospital has some shiny new floors (among other fancy improvements) and as I write this we are sailing to Pointe Noire in The Republic of Congo.

Photo By: Debra Bell

Living on a boat is bizarre. First of all, there are whales and dolphins and sea turtles everywhere. The bridge regularly makes announcements like “attention crew, we have dolphins at the bow.” Or “Orcas. Port side.” Like nbd: there’s an Animal Planet marathon playing out there. It’s our third day at sea and already I am completely jaded by this. Shamu and Flipper could tango past my window and I wouldn’t be impressed.

Absolutely none of that last part was true. I wish I was the kind of person who was cool enough to be jaded, but I am not. Truth be told, I lost a shoe this afternoon running to see some whales. 

I digress.


My time at home was sheer, queso-filled bliss. Now it’s time to get back to work. Mercy Ships is bound for West Africa again for another 10 months in the field. Congo, we’re getting nearer.



10 responses

  1. Glad to know you are on the road again and continuing your adventure. So am I and still love what I am doing. I might miss Thanksgiving this year and that is a little upsetting but it doesn’t coincide with my days off. Darn it. Loved seeing you while you were in Vicksburg!!!!


  2. Hi Catherine ~ I am ready for your next stories about the magnificent people you are meeting and the things that happen on the Mercy Ships !! I’m sorry we had to cancel the Guild classes in Houston this summer. i would have contacted you if they had been scheduled. Max needed a well deserved break this summer. Keep writing! i look forward to your next blogs. ~ Rosa


    • thank you Rosa :) not to worry – being home was such a whirlwind I barely had time to write anyways! Next time I am in town I will let you know, would love to see you and Max both.


  3. It is sooo very good to hear from you again. I know your Gran misses you already, but glad that you are back safely. It went by so very quickly, as all good things seem to do. God be with you as you continue to live and serve on the Mercy Ship,; my prayers will be for you . With Love, Gail Campbell


  4. Catherine- I love how you write about the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of your life- thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing more about the work of Mercy Ship. If you meet Dana Perino, tell her hello for me- she is my very favorite person in the world of explaining politics and government, plus she has the coolest dog ever-Jasper! You and all of those working on the ship are my heroes and in my prayers everyday. We will take good care of your mom. Xoxoxo


  5. Catherine – Wishing you safe travels this time around. It is so wonderful to be able to keep up with your travels and wonderful work via your blog. May God provide peace and comfort to all you encounter and most important may He keep you safe. Looking forward to many tales in the months ahead.


  6. I’d like to encourage you to never be jaded. I am jaded. There is nothing cool about being jaded. Since you said I have street cred, you may quote me. ;)


Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: