Friday, 27 June 2014

Week 3 - How could it be!?

I don't believe the title really has ANYTHING at all to do with what I want to tell you but it rhymed so it seems right. This week was lots more classroom fun but we were focusing on the topic of personal and interpersonal development. For anyone who has done the DISC personality test I am a C/S. What does that mean? For starters, I don't like people, talking, ridiculous movies like Napoleon Dynamite, mosquito bites, conflict, chlorinated water, and criticism of my work. Wow! That is the best test ever! Of course the test didn't tell me all of those things but they are all true. The C stands for conscientiousness and the S is for steadiness. I am certainly more of a C than an S.

There are about 12 people in this photo who are either part of staff development at Mercy Ships or are staff that will be staying at the base to fulfill positions here. Everyone else is off to the ship! Apparently we are an unusually large group.

We are all part of a small group that meets once a week and this is mine: 
From left to right: Floor (Netherlands), Stacia (NC, USA), Erin (Our fearless group leader), Heather (USA), ME!, Hannah (CA, USA)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and HAPPY CANADA DAY. Thank you for all of your support! I forgot to mention that in our support raising seminar they were stressing that we are raising support, NOT fundraising because it is so much more important to have a strong group of people helping you in more than a financial way. So thank you for all your prayers and love, you should know that I can feel it for real!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Week 2!

Week 2: What's up y'all?!
So it seems that this week was different from last week in many ways:

1. I cried much less!
Last week was literally dehydrating! This week I only shed some tears on Monday and then I just went dry. The rest of the week I was actually able to focus on what was being said instead of being so distracted with all the emotions floating around. 

2. I met Shaun T
For those of you who don't know him and don't have facebook, here is a picture:

He is a fitness instructor and has various programs. One of my roommates acquired the Hip Hop Abs series and so we started on Monday. We get a kick out of what he says and does during the workouts. For example, when the Pussycat Dolls comes on he yells "THIS IS MY JAM". Ya. It's quite comical. It is a short workout everyday but it is something and I have really lost my interest in running. Maybe I need to find a group to motivate me to run again. 

3. I am PUMPED to make cookies
We get to go to Walmart once a week, on Wednesdays. Last week I was so frugal and cheap because I didn't want to spend money I didn't have, and on things that weren't 100% necessary. Well, I realized that buying things that improve/maintain my mental health are 100% necessary or else I will lose my mind, be miserable, and start ruining this whole experience for everyone! So I bought all the ingredients to make chocolate chips cookies! Really, I am so excited that it borders on pathetic. I'm fine with it. 
As an aside... my cart was nice and heavy this week so I was able to ride it down the aisles which was SO fun. Ya, I know I need to get out more, but I can't. 

4. I got to go to Catholic Mass
One of the many wonderful staff members here at Mercy Ships offered to take myself and a few other to the church she and her husband (also the deacon) attend on Sunday. I got to make confession before mass (even though there were lots of people waiting the priest made sure everyone was heard even though it went past the time mass was supposed to start). The deacon was giving the homily and it was AWESOME! He spoke with such passion and eloquence that I was absolutely enthralled. Sometimes I find myself to be distracted during mass but I was very present in that moment. I walked out smiling and just feeling so much lighter. I love when that happens!

5. I played wiffle ball
Can you believe I have never played wiffle ball before? I am terrible at baseball and softball but this was SO fun and I could actually hit the ball! We played until the mosquitos started eating our ankles. 

I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!

My group will be on a silent retreat tomorrow so pray for us that we really use that time wisely and truely listen to what God is saying. 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

What happened this week?!

What happened this week Marina?
Well, let me tell you... I don't remember!
There was SO MUCH information that was handed to us that I probably won't remember everything at this moment but I am hoping when I need it the info will come to me. 

We were in the classroom all week this week learning about the Mercy Ships organization, hearing AMAZING stories from people who work and have served on board one the ships operated by Mercy Ships. I learned that you aren't allowed to call it a boat, people are touchy about that. The reason is this: you can put a boat on a ship but you can't put a ship on a boat. Got it! 

I started practicing my French with a program called Duolingo (it's pretty fun and when I get bored or frustrated with French I switch to Spanish). 

I also got to learn more about my job specifically. I will be the HR Facilitator for the staff who are part of patient services, 116 in total! The good news is that I will, hopefully, get to know a lot of people on board by name. The three other facilitators are responsible for technical, general, and surgical positions.
Then there is an HR assistant that is in charge of all the housing assignments on the ship. I was told that is super top secret because it is such a point of contention for many people on the ship. I was also told that the staffing plan is like a huge puzzle and I just got a big smile on my face and said that I LOVE puzzles! This might work out very well. 

Friday night got pretty crazy around here. This is what happened:

Yup, I made a fort and climbed up the pole in the middle of our room. One of my roommates was laughing because she said that it was very different from how she spent her Friday nights when she was  in her 20s! I explained that I have never been a conventional 20 something and that this was a good time for me. Clearly I am already very desperate for privacy and am getting so antsy that I am climbing "the walls". 

Today I slept in until 9:45! That is impressive considering I have been waking up at 6:30 everyday. Then I cleaned the bathroom which was gross but very fulfilling because it really looked and SMELLED much cleaner once I was done!

So exciting right?!

Tonight we are going to a BBQ at the home of one of the Mercy Ships employees that lives about 30 minutes from the headquarters. Tomorrow I am getting a ride to Catholic church and then have the afternoon free. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


So I was thinking that I would let you know what my plan is for this blog going forward. In an effort to make sure I keep myself honest I thought I would let you know that it will be my goal to post on here at least once a week. Now, that being said, should there be some circumstance beyond my control (travel, lack of internet, or some unforeseen circumstance) I hope you would be nice and let it slide! 

If prayer is a part of your life I would love if you could keep me in yours, if not, then please smile, or hold the door for someone, or whatever other opportunity might present itself! 

To keep in mind:
All of the people in the program with me right now - to be open to all the information being offered
Mercy Ships - for guidance in conducting its work around the world
You - to find something to smile about or be grateful for
Me - to be patient with myself and others

Thank you,


Friday, 6 June 2014

Feeling the Love

Everything is good, so you can stop worrying (mom).
I'm in Texas! I already saw a cowboy with some horses and a donkey, and no the cowboy was not riding the donkey (that would have been comical).
When I was in Houston waiting for my connection I got to talking to a gentleman from here and he asked me what I was doing and how long I was here for. When I told him he just said poor girl and explained that I should have come in the winter because it is going to be mighty hot around here in the next little while! Oh well, I'll sweat out all the toxins!
I felt so compelled to write because from the moment I was picked up at the airport in Tyler I felt so welcome. Then when I walked into the dorm where I am staying I saw this...
For those of you who can't read the verse it says "I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go: I will guide you with my eye." Psalm 32:8
Nailed it! That is just perfect for my situation.
And if that wasn't enough, then I saw this...
How amazing is that? There is a mug and all kinds of treats. But really, how nice is that?
I am in a room with 3 other ladies, all from the States and the building we are in has 3 other rooms but not everyone is here yet. I suspect that will change later on tonight.
So there is nothing scheduled for today, just dinner and then tomorrow we dive in!

Monday, 2 June 2014


As Friday approaches there are more and more goodbyes to say. I am not scared or worried about leaving I am just really sad that I won't get to see these people for such a long time. My real worry is that their lives will go on without me and when I get back there won't be a place for me anymore. That is too much worry for right now though.
Yesterday I was sitting with my mom at church and the priest starts his homily and it is all about saying goodbye! I love when that happens. But of course I just started bawling, like nose running, hot face, bawling my eyes out. It was perfect though, I couldn't have asked for a better message. My mom kept herself together because we all know she just doesn't cry at the typical times. However, she eventually started crying too (but more appropriately with no gross runny nose).
Friday at 8:35am I am off to Texas to begin this amazing opportunity!
All the donations and prayers that have been offered up are such blessings and I feel very supported and loved. Thank you!