Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 things I've learned in the first week

I have officially been in Togo for 7 days now. Adjustment has been a bit difficult, but I'm finally getting the hang of community living!

A few things to note regarding living on a Hospital Ship in Togo:

1) The A.C. on the ship works extremely well on deck 4 only. Lucky for me that is where I sleep. Everywhere else, I sweat constantly.
2) African food night is on Tuesdays. Tried it tonight---I'll grab a PB&J next week.
3) Wash your hands a gazillion times a day. Sicknesses spread here like a Lady Gaga song on the radio.
   3b) When you get sick, you are confined to your cabin and that can get boring.
4) Never trust Air Moroc with your luggage.
5) Incorporate the work 'wicked' into your vocabulary. Such as, "I heard there's a movie playing in the Queen's Lounge tonight." "Wicked, I'll be there."
6) Togo is a warm country. Not as in climate, but as in they are accepting of others and always including them in conversations and such. USA is a cold country. There, it's all about me me me. Warm countries are refreshing.
7) There are children on the hospital ward on deck 3 that will make your heart melt. If ever I feel icky or tired or need a boost, onto deck 3 I go. Their laughter will make any troubles you have fade away.
8) I was running last night in front of the ship and I saw a rat the size of an armadillo. I thought I was at camp fern walking behind the kitchen at midnight. Scared the ever loving daylights out of me.
9) My favorite patient, Komi, had surgery yesterday to remove his thyroid tumor. We played Jenga together tonight and talked about soccer. Kids are kids no matter where they are in this world.
10) I was in ward a few days ago talking with some nurses and I looked up at the TV and low and behold the MAVS were playing. An old game, yes, but it made me realize: It really is a small world afterall.

I just spent 2 years getting my MBA to figure out that I wanted to work in a job that doesn't require an MBA. There is palpable irony there. However, I have never been so excited about a job in my life. I'm a writer on the ship, but I'm not a writer in real life! Yet, I have found something I love to do and pray that I will be able to continue it for a very long time :) 

It's all about serving others. Think of someone other than yourself---you will have a satisfaction within that you cannot find anywhere else!! :)


  1. You are such an inspiration! Keep up the good work!

  2. Claire! You are so funny! I absolutly love your comments! I'll keep reading but I love that post! It is "Wicked!" Jonathan

  3. Truer words have never been blogged! I am so happy for you. Katie is right, you really are an inspiration.

  4. Claire- I just connected with your blog but I already love reading about your adventures. I speak from experience when I say that the next 3 months will change you and the way you see the world forever. I'll be thinking of you! Oh and get the dish on life as a surgeon on the ship because 6 years from now, maybe I could be there too.

    -Tracy G


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.