1,000 Words

Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words. My friend Suzanne happens to be pretty skilled at taking photos so I reckon hers are worth even more. I'd love to share some of the photos she has taken of Benin. Some of are Cotonou, where our ship is docked, and others are from … Continue reading 1,000 Words

Warm Beer and Grimy Chacos

I'm seated inside the Toamasina port drinking a lukewarm beer that cost less than $1, staring at striped fish in transparent waters beneath my feet. The quiet moment invites contemplation; thoughts swarm my mind, tugging about, and I continue to stare. My gaze focuses on my sandals--Chacos, to be exact. They're great, aren't they? If you're from … Continue reading Warm Beer and Grimy Chacos

Have Yourself A Merry Little Pity Party

Yesterday marked my first Christmas away from home, in a warm climate, and aboard a ship. Rough life, huh? In all sincerity, I wasn't particularly excited to celebrate this year. Since I arrived on the Africa Mercy five weeks ago I have battled a severe case of "scrambled egg brain." This self-diagnosis reflects the ever-changing emotions and tired, mushy state … Continue reading Have Yourself A Merry Little Pity Party

Don’t Envy Me

I left Grand Rapids in a whirlwind and didn't get a chance to tell loved ones my thoughts. Or perhaps I just hadn't yet articulated my goodbyes. Either way, during my 13 hour flight across the Atlantic I finally had time to process--shortly after the middle-aged Ethiopian passenger convinced me (quite easily) to ask the … Continue reading Don’t Envy Me

From Michigan to Madagascar

“That sounds so cool. You should totally do it,” I affirmed, cupping my steamy, tea-filled mug. Kelsey, my dear friend and college comrade, smiled. “You should think about doing it with me.” I inhaled earl grey steam and pondered. “Mercy Ships? Nah. I'll do my own thing.” I withheld my genuine reason for declining. Truthfully, … Continue reading From Michigan to Madagascar