Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dress Blues...and more....

Thought you might enjoy a peak at one of our six Operating Rooms, otherwise known as "Theatres" here on the ship!

Introducing my nursing team from around the globe! A beautiful sight if I don't say so myself! (Representing England, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Whales, USA, Canada, Norway, Holland, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I thought you might enjoy a picture of the ship...she's a beauty isn't she? The hospital is pretty much underwater right now, but we're working hard to get 'er up and running! (Just kidding! This is actually a picture of the sunken carrier just outside my door. )

Monday, February 11, 2008


Hello again! I forgot to mention that I am currently having technical difficulties with the picture upload process. We're working on it continuously and hope to have pictures added to this site by the end of the week!


Greetings From Liberia!

Greetings family and friends!

I thought I'd take a moment to let you know I've arrived safe and sound, after a 28hr journey, and am loving my new home away from home! The ship is absolutely amazing, as are the people who inhabit it. There are so very many beautiful new faces, each with their own story to tell, and I find myself eager soak up all that each of them is willing to share.

I'm currently living on deck three, the same deck the hospital is located on, which makes for the shortest "commute" to work I've ever known!! I'm sharing a tiny little cabin with four other women from around the globe and, though we are literally on top of eachother, we are having a great time together. My bunk mate is from England, and the others are from Germany, Switzerland, and various parts of South Africa. As you can imagine, this interesting mix makes for great pillow talk! :)

As nurses, we have plenty of work cut out for us this week, preparing the hospital and wards for our incoming patients of the next week. Because the ship has recently sailed from the canary islands, all of the hospital had to be broken down and secured for the journey. Now that we've reached our destination, we must reassemble and organize everything. We'll also be setting up tents out in the city of Monrovia for a special two-day screening event in the capitol's new outdoor arena. It's here that all Liberians are invited to visit, most standing in line for hours with hopes that we might be able to help them or their loved ones. Its unclear right now how many people we will see, but numbers have climbed into the thousands on past screening days. Please pray for resourcefulness and compassion as we attempt to assist as many as possible, knowing that we will be broken-hearted to have to turn away even one.

Yesterday (Feb 10) I had the pleasure of experiencing church "Liberian Style"! I hopped in the back of a Landrover and treked on through the city, and on out into the countryside to visit the International Church of Monrovia. Its a small church, initially established by missionaries from around the world. Unfortunately, the war forced many to flee for their lives and the church virtually collapsed. Today, under Liberian leadership, this small community, who has seen so very much suffering, is thriving once again! They are praising God for their lives and for the chance to share the hope of the gospel with those who have not yet heard its life-saving message. They are a true inspiration!

Being an Irish-American, I couldn't help but stand out in the crowd made up of my darker skinned brothers and sisters :) Rather than alienate me, however, they went out of their way to welcome us to their place of worship. Their beaming white smiles, generous handshakes and hugs were simply precious. What a gift it was to experience unity as God's children regardless of time, space, or color! I found this particularly illustrated by the fact that we clearly understood a universal language of love, known as the gospel, and could even break into hymns familiar from home, half way around the globe! It was a real privilege to be their guest and I sincerely hope I will get to go back.

I am very eager to get things underway with regard to medical care and surgeries, as I am certain it will offer me the privilege of caring intimately for a people who have virtually been forgotten. This country has been absolutely dessimated by the war, and the destruction of any internal infrastructure. Liberians are living (and dying) without access to clean water, basic medical care, or proper nutrition. What appears most heart wrenching about it all, is that so many of this suffering appears so preventable in the day and age within which we live.

Of note, a fairly large transport vessel was seized this weekend for an exorbanant amount of cocaine. It is now guarded by UN forces and sits about 10 yards from my window....again "we're not in Kansas anymore Toto"!!

Well, I suppose that's all for now. I promise I won't always post marathon messages. I just wanted to catch you up to speed with what's been going on since I left. Thank you once again for your supportive hearts and for your general interest in the details of this unfolding dream!

Love katie