Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Come Sail Away...

This afternoon we lifted the gangway and sailed from Tenerife with the tunes from Teodoro's trumpet touching our hearts. Teodoro is a long-time friend in Tenerife. If he's on the island when we arrive or depart, you can bet he'll be on the dock. The standard is Amazing Grace, but it's quickly followed by other favorite hymns that speak of God's faithfulness and our call, as well as give praise. When we arrived around midnight just before Christmas, Teodoro was there. We heard the strains of Amazing Grace before we picked him out, atop the sea wall near the light (you can barely pick him out in a similar location in the photo from today). That night it was Great is Thy Faithfulness that stood out in my mind and heart; today is was To God be the Glory. You know what? We're headed off on a grand adventure. I have only a general idea what lies ahead in Monrovia. We've been there fact, it seems we just left! But God doesn't allow himself to be put in a box, one doesn't really know what will come next. But this we do know: God is faithful and it's all about him, not me, not Mercy Ships. To God be the Glory.

The first picture shows it a bit better, but the seas are not smooth...not rough, but definitely not smooth. I spent most of last week seasick (the headache and dizziness thing, nothing more) and we were still in port, so you can imagine what it's like now. It's a good time to curl up in bed with a dvd or book, but work beckons. Tomorrow morning I have to present HealthCare Services activities at the Liberia briefing for the crew. If it's still like this, I'm not sure how I'll fare. It may end up being a very brief briefing!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Preparing to Sail

Quick request if anyone out there is reading this. Please pray for our staffing needs in HealthCare Services. We're in critical need of operating room nurses, dentists, and various eye specialists. If you know of anyone who fits the bill, encourage them to apply at the Mercy Ships website!

Ran into town this afternoon so I could get a yellow fever vaccine. It's good for 10 years and mine is due this summer, so figured on getting it here. Unfortunately, when we (several of us planned to get them) arrived at the vaccination center, there was no doctor and apparently he isn't open on Tuesday evenings. Now we're hoping to be able to get it tomorrow morning, though shore leave ends at 0800, so we'll need special permission for that.

Since I was already off ship, I continued to a supermarket to complete my final shopping for the next several months. In all my trips to the stores, I had forgotten to by hand soap! Sometimes the ship shop carries it on board, sometimes they don't. I've learned over the years to simply stock up on what I want. Also made the requisite stop at Viva Maria's so I could buy three fresa y limon (strawberry & lemon) fruit drinks. I drank one in the restaurant, one while waiting for my Chinese takeaway (next stop to use up Euros), and put one in my freezer when I returned to the ship. I'll enjoy that one later!

It's nearly midnight and it's just dawned on me that if there is any chance of an 0800 yellow fever vaccine tomorrow, I am going to have to leave the ship by 0720 in order to walk there in time. Good night!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Nativity Scenes in Canary Islands

As I've walked around towns on both Gran Canaria and Tenerife, I've marvelled at the number of nativity scenes displayed in public places, often sponsored by the town. In Gran Canaria the city of Las Palmas sponsored a sand sculpture contest that depicted the various stages of the account of Jesus' birth, from the annunciation to his role as Shepherd. The mall had a detailed layout that included women washing clothes and men baking bread.

In Orotava, the Nativity scene fills half the town square, directly in front of the town hall. It has details I've never imagined in when I considered Jesus' flamingos anyone?