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  • Jordan Avery

Back to the Global Mercy!

First thing I'd like to say is, "I'm sorry!" You know when you type up a reply to someone and then wonder why they aren't replying back only to find out you never hit send in the first place? Well that's pretty much what happened with this post. I wrote the following a few weeks ago but completely forgot to hit publish!


Ever wonder what it's like to come back to work after being off for six months? Neither had I before being sent back home six months ago. However, since then it's been an all consuming thought and now I finally know. The simple answer? Pure joy! Yes, it's hard work coming back after a long time away. There's much that's changed and lot's to get caught up on but it doesn't compare to sliding back into the familiarity of a position you love within an organization that you adore.

As you all know, before I was able to come back to the ship, I had to complete On-Boarding. I packed all my things for two years and flew to Dallas, Texas. After a short flight and a 2 hour drive from Dallas Fort Worth to the Garden Valley area in East Texas I finally arrived to the base of operations for Mercy Ships. I was in for a treat for sure. On-Boarding was full of valuable information for living in a multicultural community.

Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be the beginning of a two year journey with Mercy Ships ended up being the end of the journey I was currently on. While I was there I circumstances change so a two year commitment at this time wasn't possible. However, I was able to finish the On-Boarding program that I was so thoroughly enjoying, and head back to the ship for my final 4 months of service. I'll now be coming back home on the 1st of February 2023.

Soon enough the month was over and on 13 October I packed everything back up and travelled 24 hours to the Puerto de Granadilla in Tenerife, Spain.

After getting embarked back onto my floating home I collapsed onto my bed in relief! As much as I wanted to just lie there and fall fast asleep, it was just about dinner time and I needed to get ready.

Honestly, I don't think anything could have prepared me for the welcome I received when I went up to dinner. I genuinely thought that my impact on community was minimal to none at all. I didn't think that many people would remember who I was or even recognize my face. But I was sorely wrong. I walked up to the dinning room and was greeted by so many of my peers. People who I didn't think even knew my name came up to me and gave me the biggest hug. To say the least, it was incredibly heart warming.

After dinner, my co-worker took me on a tour of the hospital to show me all the work that's been done or is in progress. It blew my mind how different the halls and units looked but also how normal they looked at the same time. It was this limbo where I could tell there was progress being made but I could also see the vision beyond the wires and pipes hanging down. I could see where this ship is going to be in a year from now when she's well into her field services. It was an amazing welcome back and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I arrived on a Friday evening so it gave me a few days to get settled back into the swing of things and to shake the jet leg clinging to me. So Monday morning I was ready to take on the wave of work that was going to hit. Little did I know that it wasn't work that was going to hit like a wave. Rather it was a nasty little bug called "head cold". Yup, that's right. After 6 months away from a job I adore I get sick. I tried not to let it stop me but head colds are the worst because they aren't so bad that you can't work or do anything, but they slowly drain the life source within you so you have zero energy to do anything. However, it was good timing because the first week back wasn't nearly as busy as it could have been.

After a week, I got better and got really stuck into the work. There's so much to be done at this point in the equipping stage. It's really quite exciting! Soon enough the hospital will be complete and then the two ships will be merging before heading off to Senegal! I'm so excited that to be apart of this unique time in Mercy Ships history. Without the all the hard work from all the teams on board the vessel right now this ship would never get to field service. I am so thankful I get to be apart of the team that makes this ship's first field service possible.

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