Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships
The largest NGO hospital ship in the world providing free medical care to the forgotten poor

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Burning Questions

If you were moving to Africa, what would you want to know before you left? Here are my burning questions, in no particular order...

  1. How cold is it on the ship? Is it hot like the outside temperatures? It is air conditioned cold? How cold? Will I want to wear pants and sweaters? Or skirts and short sleeves? How will I know what to pack? 
  2. Will there be milk? I am considering packing multiple boxes of grape-nuts. Probably not a good idea if there will be no milk to pour on top of them.
I thought I had a lot of burning questions, but I can't think of any others.  You would think my questions might be more meaningful like, "Will I make friends? or "What teaching supplies will I have?"  But no, temperature and cereal are my greatest concerns. So from this blog post you can clearly see that a) I am addicted to cereal and b) I have temperature anxiety (which I don't think is a real disorder, but should be, because I have it!)

When I started this blog I assumed only people I knew would want to read it.  But since I don't know 1000 people, I guess there are other people reading this too. So for those of you who don't know me, I just want to say that I am not as weird as this blog post makes me sound. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Emotions of Change

Monday will be the 2 month mark until I leave. This month I have started feeling the bittersweet pangs of emotion that come with change. No longer am I just riding the waves of excitement. For months my elation about being accepted with Mercy Ships overshadowed any other possible emotion.  But that changed with my first good-byes. It began over Spring Break; first with my dear college friends, then with my family. With only 4 days between the end of the school year and the start of training, I won't get back to Wisconsin before I'm off to Africa.

I've finally told the teachers in my department at school that I'm leaving and I spent the day yesterday interviewing someone to fill my position. Now I just have to tell my students. I really leaving Sharpstown???

Ready or not, my preparations continue:
  • Yellow fever vaccination...check.
  • Typhoid prevention pills...purchased.
  • Fundraising...only $7,000 more to go.
  • Pre-reading assignments...75% finished.
  • Books for my kindle...thanks to your suggestions I have a long list compiled! Now the problem is not reading them all before I leave. 
  • Packing progress. Should I bring 4 t-shirts or 5? I'm only supposed to pack clothes for a week to 10 days. That should be easy, right? But how many pairs of pants do I wear in a week? And I guess I should make sure I can mix and match them with my shirts to get the greatest number of combinations...ugh! I hate dressing myself. 
  • Learn Malagasy...I can count to 3! Yeah, I know, I still have a long way to go on this one.
  • Buy health insurance...I am putting this off, because obviously it is the least fun thing on my list. 
  • Sell my car...Also putting this off til the last moment, but if anyone is interested in buying a 2011 Madza 2 (stick shift), I will make you a good deal! But not til July. 
So there you have it.  An update of my preparations both physical and emotional. It will be good once I get to Madagascar, because then I will actually have interesting things to write about. Until then I guess you are stuck with my to do lists.