bonjour! i have not been good at setting aside time to blog. i will improve, promise. lets back up a bit....i left last thursday for paris, france. i took a few days there to just walk around and hang out on my own. it was fabulous. i had been there once on my own a few years back--so there were a few things i still wanted to see and do. i did the whole backpack thing as opposed to a suitcase...which i payed for regarding back pain. you really start re-thinking every item in your bag :) anywho--i have now been in Benin, West Africa for a week. CRAZY!! this week flew by and crawled at times, i will admit.
we arrived late last sunday and i was pretty exhausted. tours, paper signing, room assignments, ect filled the next day. i actually started work on monday morning by choice. i really felt like i needed a schedule and normality. ive been traveling and going with the flow for a few months now...and i was craving a schedule. i love my co-workers--olivia is a PA from dallas and mariechen is an OT from south africa. we all get along really well--and i enjoy being with them all day. this is a HUGE blessing.
regarding work--i have spent the majority of my time finishing up the orthopedic patients that they saw a few months ago--ie--giving them exs, gait training, casting club foot kiddos, and doing ROM with ward patients. i make rounds every morning with the MDs so i can see what is needed for the day. everyone is friendly..for the most part...and we work well as a team. people are here because they want to be. no one is overworked and underpaid....like the attitude in an american hospital. we are all underpaid...we all volunteer :) i really enjoy working with people from all over the world. i am trying to learn french in order to communicate with patients and people in general...we have translators tho...which makes life a lot easier.
ship life--is interesting. 400 people from over 40 countries...all living on 1 ship. there are rules for everything---but there needs to be. the ship is run very well--from security to firedrills to meal times. its quite impressive. there are a ton of opportunities to leave the ship for both ministries and to play. i went to a place called Babs Dock yesterday---and just layed out and read all day. i needed some peace and quiet. today--im headed to a world cup qualifier game between mali and benin. should be interesting. im praying against fighting and stampedes :) i am trying to stretch myself...do things i dont normally do...in order to meet people and establish relationships. community life is very important on the ship--and its hard to not feel like an outsider when so many people have been here together for months. i pray against this daily--as the devil is constantly trying to make me feel uneasy. the Lord has been faithful...as He is always is.
so yeah, that is me so far. i will post pics soon.....need to find someone who knows how to do that. im a tad challenged when it comes to technology.
alright--love you all. there is so much more to tell you BUT...im off to soccer. go benin!!!