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  • Jordan Avery

Coping with Change....Again!

This journey with Mercy Ships has taught me so much about myself. When I got to the ship it was in dry dock. Doesn't sound that bad but it is a time where the ship morale is very low and there is virtually no community on the ship. It made the transition hard but I persevered.

I am now on the Global Mercy (GLM) and it feels very similar to back then. There are only 169 crew and children on a ship built to house over 650. It is quiet every night and you really have to search to find any of the groups.

It's desolate.

It's eerie.

However, that is just part of being on a massive ship such as this one with so few crew. The last few weeks have been very hard because of this. The people on board are also just less welcoming as well. It is very obvious who are the alumni because they are the one starting conversations with me as one of the new faces aboard. They are the ones who are trying to make me feel welcome. Majority of the crew on this ship are brand new so they don't know what ship life means for Mercy Ships. When I got on the ship there was no one there to greet me and the receptionist had no idea what she was doing. I think that is just lack of training but who knows. It was just weird.

The next several days I did feel quite isolated but I eventually started to get traction in the community. I feel it did help when the families came on board too because one of the families I was semi-close with on the Africa Mercy (AFM) came on the ship. It really helped to have a few more familiar faces on ship to help settle in. I had lots of conversations with one of the mom's, Ruth, and she has become a friend rather than an acquaintance.

It was also a very awkward time to transition over to the GLM since it was right before the holidays. All of the crew already had their friend groups and I didn't really fit in any of them. It really has been a hard time for me. I spent a lot of time trying to distract myself from the loneliness.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I'm starting to feel more at home within the "community" here and am starting to learn who I enjoy eating and chatting with. With this past week being the first since the holidays it was insanely busy. I haven't had time to feel to loneliness but I don't think I will be feeling it for too much longer. There are about 50 new crew coming over the next two weeks so there are bound to be some of my type of people!

There was one person that I met on Friday and really hit it off with! Her name is Abigail and she's the Videographer! She's from the USA and was completely convinced that I was too! Its astounding how many people think that I am from the USA based on my accent. I know I don't have the most Canadian accent but I feel like there is enough there to distinguish me from the USA crew. But I suppose not!

With all these new crew coming in I am really praying for some more quirky people who have similar hobbies and personalities to me. I need some relief from this overwhelming sense of loneliness. I know I am loved and have people who care about me but right now I need a reminder. So to show myself when I wake up everyday that there are people who love me and care about me I have put all the letters and cards I've received during my time with Mercy Ships up on the wall in a collage of words of love. I may not read them all everyday but it is just a visual reminder that there are a lot of people who deeply care about me.

My favorite poem has also helped too with the overall challenge of coping with this massive change in my life.

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas wrote this when his father was dying and he didn't want him to just go without a fight. I, nor any of my family members, are dying but I attribute his words to the general idea of not just succumbing to trials and tribulations. Fight against whatever is pushing you down. Rage against it and let that fuel your fight to not roll over to whatever you're going through. For me that is going through this change again, but it applies to all challenges.


"Because their words had forked no lightning they do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light." ~Dylan Thomas

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