You know how after a time life just becomes normal and routine, no matter the place you live?
Well that’s how life has become for me here on the ship. It is normal for me to take my breakfast, lunch and dinner from a dining room self serve line and eat in a room with up to 300 other people. It is normal for me to eat African food every Tuesday night. It is normal for me to walk about 50 steps to get from my bed to my ward in the hospital. It is normal for me to share my personal space with someone I hardly know. It is normal to walk through the hallways of this ship greeting each person and stopping several times to chat on my way to the laundry. It is normal to stay up late each night socializing as people around here never seem to go to sleep. It is normal to do aerobics DVDs twice a week with lovely friends in a small family cabin living room. It is normal for my showers to be only two minutes long. It is normal for me to wear the same cupboard full of clothes day in and day out. It is normal to walk down the gangway and into the port, full of trucks carrying containers. It is normal to be called out to by the men on the street. It is normal for the kids on the street to point and call Yo-vo (white man). It is normal to get on a motorbike taxi and make my way into town. It is normal to barter for a price for anything sold on the street or transport costs. It is normal to read the restaurant menu in French. It is normal to speak to my patients through a translator. It is normal for my patient’s caregivers to sleep under their bed. It is normal for me to just pick up babies in the ward and carry them around on my back while I work. It is normal for me to be surrounded by people from different countries all over the world. It is normal to walk down the corridor and hear two people speaking to each other in a non-English language. It is normal to sit on deck 7 or 8 and look out over the ocean or at the beach and admire the beautiful view. It somehow became normal that I live on a ship in West Africa. But even though it’s normal to me, sometimes I look around and marvel at where I am, and what I’m doing. And it’s NOT because I’m talented or special. In fact just today I was thinking how unqualified I feel sometimes at the job I have recently undertaken. But I am here and I’m serving and being blessed more abundantly than I could ever give out. And I love it.