Saturday 31st March 2018

Hello everyone

Just a short note this time as I am due to depart the Ship and return to the UK in approx. 2 hours. It has been a very emotional week. We had cataract surgery patients Mon – Wed, and because it was the last week of operations, we tried to squeeze as many returnees in as we could. It was a busy few days. On Wednesday after the last patient had left, we had a mini party for the day crew, which included some from the theatre aswell. There were many tears as each of them shared what they had learnt from their time with Mercy Ships, and also because many of them will now be without paid employment. It is hard to say goodbye when you have worked with people for an extended period. To make a sad day even worse, the Eye Team lost their football match to Hospital Team 3 – 1 😢, they were all really upset and said they wanted to win as it was their final day.

On Thursday, we also had our last celebration of sight and said goodbye to Dr Christiane (the Cameroon surgeon who has been training with us since January). More photos and tears!

The Ship has provided a good spiritual package of events for Holy Week, but I still managed to attend the Cathedral on Good Friday for the (2 and half hour) French service!!

I have also been busy with saying my goodbyes – I’ve learnt that it’s important to attend to this properly, and ‘finish well’. I found having an ‘exit interview’ very helpful. This also stirs up many emotions. Plus, there is always more paperwork to have signed off for departure – speaking of which – I’m going to finish now as I still have to clean my cabin space, take a shower, return all bed linen to laundry, have some tea, collect my passport for the final sign off!!!!!

Take care

Will probably see some of you soon

Melanie x

Total number of cataract surgeries performed was nearly 1400.