All Aboard!

One week in and ready to go!  

image.jpg

I will be working on B ward, which is the Plastics unit. Unlike what you'd think plastic surgery is all about in the States, these procedures are about function, not aesthetics. For example, a severe burn can cause contractures to the point that a person cannot use a limb or even walk. The surgeon uses a skin graft to release that tight skin and restore function to the affected limb, but only after weeks and possibly months of healing and rehab. This is just one example of a plastics case, more to come. 

image.jpg

This last week has been all about prepping the wards for the patients and preparing us new nurses for their care.  

image.jpg
image.jpg

We will have Day Workers, who are local translators, working alongside us.  

image.jpg

The nurses station is quite small...well the whole unit is small. It's going to get VERY crowded! 

image.jpg

I am in a 4-berth cabin with only 2 other cabin mates. Lucy and I are both working on B ward and Theresa (far right) is a nurse in the operating room (OR).  

Lucy is from Sydney, Australia and Theresa is from California.  

Lucy is from Sydney, Australia and Theresa is from California.  

image.jpg

Deck 7 provides from great views of the port and the sunsets. The weather has been quite cool when it's cloudy and being so close to the water, there seems to always be a good breeze.  

image.jpg

I've ventured out in Cotonou a few times. I went to an arts and craft market with these girls. The shopping lasted 10 minutes and then we sat in a bar (drinking what we'd ordered as Coke and came out looking like Fanta) to recover from all the vendor-hassling.  

image.jpg

Another day trip led to this pool. The pool guy let us in for free when he found out we were nurses on the Mercy Ship.  

image.jpg
image.jpg
Lucy :)  

Lucy :)  

Truthfully, the last week has included more downtime than I bargained for. I'm so thankful to have Lucy to sit around and laugh with. She's teaching me Australian. Haha! 

Surgeries have officially started this week and that means I'll have stories to tell very soon!  

Respite

I just got back from five beautiful days on Kauai with my dearest friend. 

Kalalau trail on the Napali coast

Kalalau trail on the Napali coast

One of my oldest friends (we were pen-pals when we were 13!) and her husband and friends have a house on Kauai that they open up to host people in ministry to come vacation on the island. I brought Jessica with me for a little R&R in paradise. 

Rebecca and Lindsey, our incredibly generous hosts  

Rebecca and Lindsey, our incredibly generous hosts  

We had an amazing time, lots of hiking and swimming and talking. 

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Beautiful places and good friends are food for the soul. 

Chasing waterfalls.  

Chasing waterfalls.  

This photo is barely edited! Those colors are real!  

This photo is barely edited! Those colors are real!  

Jess graciously obliged all my requests for pictures. 

No place I'd rather be...except Navotas. ;) 

No place I'd rather be...except Navotas. ;) 

image.jpg

Waimea Canyon State Park is fantastic. The views, the colors, that waterfall in the corner. 

image.jpg

We met this homeless local on Glass Beach. He wanted to sell us some weed. He was so sweet. Reminded both Jess and I of being in the Philippines. 

image.jpg
We stayed in the mountains. Gorgeous green views.  

We stayed in the mountains. Gorgeous green views.  

Beach destination along the Kalalau trail

Beach destination along the Kalalau trail

image.jpg
image.jpg

Thank you so much, Lindsey, for showing us your island!

image.jpg

My favorite part of the trip is hiking to these epic waterfalls. I made sure to try out the water at each one. 

image.jpg

Til next time, Hawaii!

Napali coast view

Napali coast view