some friends that i work with and I went for a little hike to get off the ship yesterday and explore around freetown a little bit, and it was a blast. i have never actually lived long enough in a foreign place to actually be able to just go out with some friends and explore, not have to tell my team leader where im going, or have to be back by any certain time, or have any rules or guidelines placed on my outing. we just started walking, and ended up up hiking the mountain closest to the ship, basically weaving our way around no particular path or direction, going around shacks, meeting the locals, talking and laughing. and tripping a lot. it was steep.
in my humble opinion, exploring a new place with no real end goal in mind is the best way to do it, because there is really no such thing as "lost" persay. just more like "hm, now would be a good time to turn around, he isnt smiling." but we always managed to find our way back to a road. and its the best way to find the places that no one else knows about, or views you wouldnt have been able to find other wise, or coffee shops tucked away in a corner somewhere. not that those exist here. but. you get the idea....
the higher we got, the better the view got. you cant really see it, but our floating house is somwhere down there....
these are my friends who all work with me when we prepare food for the ship a few times a week. on the far left is rachel, who graduated from culinary school in california and joined the ship a year ago and has been going strong ever since. she is the main hot food cook on the team. next is jen, originally from Taiwan and who i usually work with on the other end of the galley cutting up cucumbers and peeling garlic and trying to convince her that i really am just kidding and im not actually mad at her for spilling water on my shirt. she is still working on understanding the whole sarcasm side of my humor... on the right is Ghislain from Benin, who i also work with and has probably become my best friend on the ship so far. this guy has the funniest personality, and we have had a lot of good talks together. the guy has faith like no one i've met before. i've started teaching him guitar, and he is picking it up so fast...i thank God for him.
he also sings louder than i do in the kitchen. which is impressive. he is in love with Kim Walker. he doesnt know the majority of the words to her songs, but he still sings. as loud as he can. and i love it. i had to break the news to him that she got married, and he ran over to the computer to google if it was true or not. true dispair.
here's the ship a little closer up...and my face.
i got to work in the hospital ward tonight, which was a blast. i got to spend a lot of time with a little boy and girl who were really bad burn victims. the girl, alberta, had been burned on her arm and side so her skin had healed back in a way that her left arm was fused into her torso. its kind of hard to explain, but her parents had no money to have it fixed, and she was going to have to live the rest of her life with her arm essentially grown into the rest of her body. the boy's burns were so bad that his fingers on his right hand had completely fused together. through their surgeries and 3 months of living on the ship doing physical/occupational therapy, both of them will have their lives back again, with full function in their limbs. i was able to spend time listening to their stories and both of them were so excited to show me (kind of distusting) pictures of their burns and before and after pictures, but i loved it anyway, they were hilarious. i met a lot of the other adult patients and well. so many names that ive never heard before and already dont remember. and honestly, (just like all white people look the same to them), i can never tell any of them apart. i will get better. i hope.
tomorrow i work in the galley in the morning, then later i will be going to the hope center for the first time to see what work is being done off the the ship. i've heard from everybody that it is an amazing place, so i cant wait to see it. they ask us not to exploit the patients in the ward and at the hope center by taking pictures of them (many of them are deformed or still very early in the recovery process and are very sensitive), so forgive me if i dont put up many pictures of me and the patients. saturday im going to the only maximum security prison in sierra leone with my ghanaian roomate to do a bible study with some guys he has built relationships with there! i am so excited! please be praying for that experience specifically please, i think it could be the start of something really cool.
last but not least. i cant figure out how to respond to your comments. ive tried a million times, but it wont seem to let me... so if any of you have advice on this matter, please help. if its an obvious answer, pretend like its not and explain it as if you were explaining it to a 5 year old.
anyway. time for bed. heres the sunset from the ship tonight. love you all very much.