Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I hate goodbyes!

I'm not sure what I expected leaving the ship to be like, but definitely didn't expect the goodbyes to be THIS hard.

Over the years as a travel therapist I have said good bye hundreds of times. I've gotten pretty good at good bye, but because I also stay in touch with a lot of people I know its not goodbye it's "See you Later".

I think that's what makes this goodbye particularly difficult, I know it's forever. Goodbye, not see you later.  Finite

I think that being in rehab we have the best job in the hospital. We see the patients from before surgery, throughout their recovery, then we get to see them 1:1 in rehab, and we are usually the last ones to see them before they leave the hospital. Getting this much time with our patients gives us the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with them over the course of their treatment.  All of this time and these sweet relationships that develop make saying goodbye an arduous task.

I started to tell patients that I'm leaving last week, I've cried tears thinking about leaving but I wasn't prepared for the tears others have shed over my departure! I feel so loved! I'd forgotten that this must be difficult for them too. Building relationships and seeing so many crew go home, all the while yearning to go home themselves.

I think for my last blog while in Africa I will reminisce about the amazing things I will miss!

I will miss my patients! This week I had an extra day off so I got to go to the Hope Center to craft and dance with the kids. It was so fun to be able to just sit and enjoy them vs. making them work or working on them!  We sang Bumbalea, heard a Bible story, and did a craft to go with the story. I'm so thankful for this extra time with my adorable little kiddos!

Oh man, check out how hard Zidane is laughing!! Love that guys laugh

My sweet gal Assiatou

"Hold somebody, tell them that you love them, put your hands together, and praise the Lord"

Assiatou, treasuring the last moments with this silly girl

I got roped into doing someone's craft for them

So excited to see us at the Hope Center

I hope that the love this gal has felt here, has changed her for a lifetime.

I will miss opportunities to volunteer, and get involved in the Mercy Ships ministries. My last weekend here I signed up to go to the New Destiny orphanage again, what a change in 2 months! The kids clothes were new, they all had good shoes, they all looked taller/healthier, I'm so grateful for the people of Mercy Ships supporting these children. They are almost done with building a new home for everyone, once it's done they'll be able to live rent free!! We heard this weekend that their building should be done before Mercy Ships leaves Cameroon.

Matis speaks English and was really proud of his school work!

Oh baby Isaac was so sad this visit

Teaching Matis how to take a selfie, valuable life skill

Teaching the boys some new moves 😅😂


The babies have grown so much since last visit

Football with Jovan

Group Photo!
I will miss these beautiful friends! We've started a tradition(for the last month) of getting schawarmas for lunch on Saturday. We went to the craft market then got lunch as a group, it was delicious. We'll probably go twice before we go too!
Cheers to Schawarmas!

I will miss being a part of this inspiring life saving hospital. Before I go I want to share some incredible before and after photos of some patients I got to interact with! They weren't rehab patients but the pictures demonstrate a bigger picture of what Mercy Ships does.  I want people who have supported me along the way to be proud of their contributions because it has literally saved lives. Tonight I went to an inservice and Dr. Parker, who has a ton of great quotes, said "Don't do this operation unless you have the Africa Mercy with you." This is such a true quote-this ship does AMAZING things :)

Djenabou Before
Djenabou After

Kaltoumi Before
Kaltoumi After

Baby Paul a cleft lip patient, had to work with the infant feeding program for quite sometime  prior to surgery to increase his weight for surgery. 

Paul after surgery, whoaaaa look at that fat baby!! SO cute- hard to believe its the same child!

My favorite little friend Ousmane went to the Hope Center last week, I have seen him in the rehab tent almost every day since then and he is getting SO much better!! He's almost ready to go home and is a changed boy!!

I just learned this week that my favorite baby Marimou is being re-admitted. Pray for this sweet baby as she is re-admitted, that if surgery is an option she will thrive!
I am excited to go home but I will miss this place!  I have had the joy of working with extremely talented/God fearing surgeons, wonderful/loving/caring nurses, and an incredible/fun/loving rehab team! The purpose, the patients, and the people! I love working with likeminded loving professionals, what an easy work atmosphere! I think it will be a shock to return to western medicine/working with people with various personalities, away from the Mercy Ships love bubble. 

The last thing I will miss is the daily language learning! I committed to learning a french word a day, I'm not sure if I know 120 French words but I gave it my best effort! And I learned so many words in tribal languages along the way, all taught to me by patients! I've had an ongoing list of words in my phone I want to share, you never know when you might need to know Fulfulde, Bamoun, or Mafa :) I have no idea how they're actually spelled but I spelled them phonetically on my list so I would remember how to say them.

Aboo-ey:  POOP 
AFuutie: fart 
Asilly: Pee
Adanina: sleep 
Lumo: walk
Usoko: thank you
Saiyeso: Later 
Bow ojay: good bye 
Me eed demah: I love you 
Useku: shoe 
Budum: good job 

Poutsana: how are you
Pokari: all is well 
O’yama: good morning 
Mushashu: salut 
Poket lienju: have a good day 
Poshina: bye 

Sayama: bye 
Baling guy A: good morning 
amba: good job 
How are you: Kan Sa ging AY 

Cameroon slang 
I learned this one because a child fell in therapy the other day and about 4 adults turned and said-
Ah-see-ya: it’s ok 

Goodbye for now!! I'll be back in Guinea!

Right now I miss all of you at home! I can't wait to see you all!

I fly out Saturday evening and I arrive back in the US Sunday and 2:20 PM :) So happy to see my sisters and their families!