Sometimes I forget that I live on a hospital ship. Working in the Academy means I don't naturally interact with our patients in the course of the day. It's easy for me to get preoccupied with lesson plans and classes on the ship and forget that I live in Madagascar. So I've started visiting the HOPE center.
The HOPE center is an off-site building where patients, who travel from out of town, can stay before and after their surgery. The HOPE center, which can house over 200 people, frees up beds in the hospital, so more people can get surgery. Patients at the HOPE center visit the ship for outpatient follow-up appointments until they are ready to travel home.
Hanging out at the HOPE center gives me an opportunity to spend time with our patients in a more relaxed setting. The Malagasy people are especially friendly and I enjoy spending time with them even if we don't share the same language. Whether it's origami, games, or music, I'm figuring out fun ways to interact with the people I meet there. Going to the HOPE center is also a good way for me to get off the ship (it's about a 10 minute bike ride away) and I always feel so happy after an afternoon spent there.
I think I'll make this a part of my normal weekly routine.
|Teaching kids to play Quirkle. No words needed!|
|Dancing to the music of a tin whistle is sure to put a smile on everyone's face.|