As I type this it is nearly 01h00 local time. I'm on night shift and have another six hours ahead of me. This is my third night shift in a row. And what wasn't great was I was sick for all of Tuesday with a stomach bug, but I'm on the mend now. It's a huge responsibility, manning the fire panel and our 911 emergency phone. And being on my own now I am fully responsible. Thankfully all of my nights have been uneventful. (So far...)
But what was more exciting than night shift was Monday. I joined Jan, our Security Officer; Andy, our Transportation Manager; and a fellow receptionist in a mission through the jungle to rescue a couple of crew members whose vehicle had broken down the previous night. And it had broken down in the middle of nowhere. We were expecting to be away for around six or so hours, but ended up getting lost ourselves looking for the village (Kotomi) where they were staying. We took a wrong turn and then had to backtrack for around an hour and take another road. We eventually found them and their vehicle (which had a broken fuel pump - but had been fixed) and drove back to Monrovia in convoy. We were away for nine hours, from 09h30 until around 18h30! The scenery was amazing. Again we passed through many UN checkpoints and drove along some seriously waterlogged, muddy roads. It was just as well we were in a Landrover 4 by 4 vehicle. I've never experienced such off-road adventuring in my life before. So it was quite an experience!
It was also so sad to see the poverty in the rural villages (in fact, poverty is everywhere). In a sense Mercy Ships are also here not only to do medical work, but also to empower people to take pride in themselves. This is evidenced by an agricultural project with which we are helping. It was also rather touching and amusing to hear the children shouting and cheering when we drove past, "White man, White man!" At certain stages on the drive we could have sworn they were saying "YWAM, YWAM!" Mercy Ships is affiliated with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Anyway, that's all for now. Stay tuned for more news!