Things are wrapping up. All the landrovers are stowed on deck eight. The last crew leaving the ship before sailing, have disembarked. It’s basically all over. So now we wait. Shore leave expired about five minutes ago. I did get off the ship one last time today. I had a quick run into town to the market. After dinner, I went to Obama Bar with some friends for one last Fanta by the sea. Hopefully, this time tomorrow, we’ll be at sea. But who knows for sure? The Lord and the captain.
I started a new summertime job yesterday in reception. I’m actually quite pleased to be there. I get to learn new things and see a lot of people. Some of the duties include watching the fire panel, embarking/disembarking crew, counting the people onboard and ashore, laminating stuff, updating the rolling announcement board, monitoring the use of vehicles, and of course answering the phone promptly and courteously. Good times!
In honor of my new summertime job, I’ll be doing a series on this blog entitled “receptionist’s log.” It might be fun. It could be a total flop. Time will tell.
Today, we were cordially invited to a farewell thank you event by the government. According to Guinean custom, they could not let us leave without them showing us their appreciation. We were escorted to the People’s Palace in a convoy of buses provided by the government. We were also given a military escort.
After arriving at the People’s Palace, many dignitaries gave thank you speeches to Mercy Ships. They also gave out many plaques to the senior managers in gratitude. Then we were treated to many different groups of entertainers, including music, dance, drums, and acrobatics. It was quite a show!
And life goes on in Guinea. As I wander around the city, I can’t help feeling happy and sad all at the same time. I’m so happy for all we were able to accomplish this year. The statistics of the successes are amazing. And I am sad too. When I walk outside the port, I feel welcome. People greet me with smiles and thank yous. They don’t know me personally, but they know where I work. Hey! Mercy Ships! Thank you! I am humbled by all the thanks. And I can only thank God for allowing me to be in this place.
It’s hard to say goodbye to people I’ve grown to love like my own family. There’s so much more to be done here. Now I have to trust God isn’t finished here yet. He has people here who are part of my kingdom family. Each person here matters. Each person here is loved more than I could ever imagine. I will never forget Guinea. She has a small piece of my heart. When I hear certain songs, I will be carried here again in my mind. I will always pray God blesses Guinea and brings her peace.
One Love… Michelle