Global Care

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Thank You Benin

I left Benin 2 months ago. It already feels like an eternity. I’ve already started to forget things. The feeling I hold on to is the one that consumed me as we pulled away from the Cotonou dock, “I have to come back here” and, “Will I ever meet people as amazing as the ones I met here?” Yes, I do… and, yes I will. I do hope to return one day, yet I know I’ll meet beautiful, inspiring people...

Snapshots of Life in Benin: The Africa Mercy Wards

In between worlds I’m in Benin, but not really. Many of my colleagues are Benin locals and some are from neighboring countries, but there is a barrier that I don’t often know how to cross. The hospital within the steel walls of the Africa Mercy is not touching land; we have a flowing cushion of water underneath us at all times. We live in a ship, but we don’t move. We have limited medical supplies due to reliance on donations, yet we...

Snapshots of Benin; My experience with local seamstress and how she blessed me; Provocative Joy; Cotonou, Benin

Snapshots of Life in Benin: The Seamstress

Finding New Adventures Over the past few months I’ve written about why I never want to become a person who is fine with the status quo. I want to be someone who swims upstream and whose life reflects the beliefs I hold about the world around me. But swimming upstream looks different at various stages of life. In August 2014, it looked like leaving full-time jobs behind and buying plane tickets to meet the Africa Mercy in the Canary Islands. Last...

Provocative Joy Ivanna Overseas Volunteering with Mercy Ships in Cotonou, Benin West Africa This is how to drop it all and just do it

Overseas Volunteering: 3 Tempting Reasons to Try It!

overseas volunteering I arrived on this ship full of energy to pour into the lives of others and I was so psyched to live abroad on a ship for a full year (although it turned into 3 years). It wasn’t a huge sacrifice for me; it was something I couldn’t wait to try. I heard so many people say, “I could never do that. I’d never be able to live far from family with no steady source of income.” I...

How A Smaller Wardrobe Made Me More Grateful

This kid waded in and out of the ocean wearing underwear that may have started off as respectable briefs but had been worn through to G-string status. Actually, most of them wore only underwear in place of a swim suit. Why is this one kid even bothering to cover himself when there are plenty of kids swimming naked? At the HOPE (Hospital Out-Patient Extension) Center church service last weekend, I sat behind a little boy wearing athletic shorts with rows...