I Wanna Be Where the People Are

Ariel wanting to be where the people are.

We have been at sea for 13 days.

Thirteen days is a very long time, even for someone who loves being at sea. And I do love being at sea, but, as it turns out, I also love land. After two weeks in the Atlantic, it has been brought to my attention just how great land is. 


But the land I love isn’t just any land: it is Africa. And my readiness to get there is not only in the interest of my inner ear, it’s because of what Mercy Ships is going to do in Congo. We are bringing a surgical hospital to Pointe Noire; we come with resources and opportunities that the people we’ll treat have never had access to – until now. 

Screening day, surgeries, medical training programs, dental and eye clinics…there is so much work to be done. It’s no wonder that we are a little antsy around here. But as I was sitting on the bow this evening, I realized that the sail has had a purpose bigger than getting us from A to B. It has allowed the crew time to prepare mentally and emotionally for what we are about to see and do. After a non-stop year in Guinea and a busy summer, it’s been therapeutic. 

And I don’t think anyone was upset over the sunsets.


Back in my office, my  chair is on wheels. So with each swell I am a human pendulum. I’ve essentially typed this post five words at a time between uncontrollable orbits past my computer. It has made for an interesting writing experiment and adventure in physics.

But soon enough, my office chair won’t need a seatbelt. I’ll be able to walk down the hall in a straight line again. My personal belongings won’t be in a constant state of airborne. The view through my porthole won’t be so blue. The quiet and peaceful pace of the sail will be a thing of the past.

And the hospital will be full of moments like this:

Credit photo: Debra Bell: NOMA MAXILLO FACIAL PATIENT GNC18662_GbianDelamou (patient story) his first of 3 surgies.  POP

All of these things await us on land.

So in the meantime I’ll be enjoying our last two days at sea, marveling at the fact that I get to be a part of this.

See you soon, Congo!


5 responses

  1. I cannot wait for your upcoming landfall and the amazing miracles that will be performed on Mercy Ship…. Bless You All !!!!!


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