Saturday, October 25, 2014

new blog!

New blog address:

Since we are married now, we are posting updates on a new shared blog,
thanks for following this one!

now it's off to a new adventure

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Suzanne had a wonderful holiday break...

The blog has been quiet lately because....

I went home for Christmas!!!!!!!

(To a very wintery Indiana)


And I spent it with my family and another very special person :)

It was great to catch up with my family- these little brothers definitely kept us entertained for the whole visit :)
Can't believe how big they are getting, and so smart too. Both of them have changed so much each time I get to see them.



And I am so excited to share with the world the highlight of this visit...



On January 4, 2014, Nick and I went on a walk to this spot under a bridge near my parent's house, and while we were standing there on the frozen creek he got down on one knee and asked if I'd marry him!

(And I said YES with a very joyful heart!)

We continued our walk to here, where Nick and both my parents had set up a campfire and we had some breakfast. (When I woke up that morning I remember that I smelled bacon, but then when I went downstairs there was nothing in the kitchen. I didn't think much of it, I just thought whoever made it ate it all. Little did I know it was for a very special breakfast picnic.)
Nick and my parents made that morning such a fun surprise for me! At one point Nick actually crawled through the window to the room he was staying in instead of coming through the kitchen so that I wouldn't suspect that he was up to anything. :)


I am happy to say that we will be getting married at the end of July- exactly 6 months from now!

I thank God every day for bringing our lives together. Nick's love for God is so evident in the way he lives and serves others, and I love him with my whole heart. Meeting each other on the ship and falling for each other in this community has been such a fun adventure- and it is my privilege to marry him in July!


We are apart for this season while I am serving here on the ship, and Nick is heading to Guinea to teach and train others in clubfoot treatment at a hospital up country. Right now I am back on the ship, getting started in a new nursing position which I love already, on the plastics dressings team. We will meet up again in June in the states- you can follow Nick's journey here.

2014 is going to be an excellent year, friends!


Monday, December 9, 2013

how to eat a mango

today's post is on how to eat a mango.....
mangoes are by far my favorite fruit here in Africa.  They are just coming in to season here in the Republic of Congo, and they are so delicious!
Now, since I didn't live in a place where mangoes are commonly eaten, I learned from more experienced people here what the easiest way to prepare them is.  Because if you don't use a strategy with these things you will end up very sticky.

one of my South African friends told me "at home we have a saying: the best way to eat a mango is in the bathtub."
But, if you don't have a bathtub readily available, here is another way:

Here is the ripe mango, perfect for eating...

Start by slicing it into big pieces..

Next, use a knife to cut squares...

Next the fun part....
Flip the skin inside out and the square pieces are much easier to cut off


For curious is what mangoes look like on a tree....

And here's what Michelle and Stephanie look like when they find mangoes the size of their heads! :)
This was from the Guinea outreach...we'll have to see if there are head-sized mangoes here in Congo.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Love is...

The communications team has outdone themselves with this video- take a look and see what love looks like here on the Africa Mercy!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

how I look to my patients...

I have a special treat today...well, I think it's pretty funny anyway. For the past few weeks, whenever I think of it, I have been working on this series of pictures. First I flip over my assignments paper for the day and draw a quick stick person version of one of my patients. Then I leave them with the clipboard and ask if they want to draw me, and I come back later to see how I look. So here are the results:

Here's the first one, drawn by one of the most silly teenage boys I've taken care of. You can call him by his real name, but he'll quickly correct you. He prefers to be called Michael Jackson. Anyway, here's "Michael's" version of me:

I think I'm looking a little Chinese or something. Not sure what's happening with my hair, but I was wearing a headband that day which you can see a little bit. :)

Number two is from Mbouanzi, around 8 years old:

Since I drew Danielle with her walker, she must have decided I needed one as well:

Now, I'm not sure how this next one happened, but somehow Ravette thinks I am a princess. I promise I wasn't wearing a ball gown at work that day. Ravette is always ready with a smile, even when she's not sleeping well on night shift- she's still beaming at everyone at 2 in the morning. She has a joy that is contagious.


And last in the series for now, here's me and Lisia:

I had so much fun collecting these- I think there will be more posts like this. :)


Friday, November 15, 2013

Ward photos Part 2

And here's part two of some of my recent ward photos- meet some of our Orthopaedics patients!

I am thankful for each one of these kids, and the part we get to play in their lives.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ward Photos part 1

This outreach, I get this really cool extra job of "ward photographer"

We have an amazing communications team here on the ship- but it turns out they are not able to be everywhere at once, and there is lots happening around here! So, in order to help out capturing the moments that happen in the hospital, two nurses have permission to use their cameras at work- and I get to be one of them! So cool!

Anyway, I wanted to share some of my recent photos of nurses and patients. I love photography, and I'm so glad that it is part of my work here as well.


This is Melinda with one of our plastics patients. Melinda is the Orthopaedics ward nurse team leader as well- she's basically a rock star and I love working with her. :-)

Watch out for the boys on the red tricycles on deck 7- they will run over your feet and not even glance back. No one gets in the way of their one hour up on deck. :-)
And here's Princivi and his mom:

Thank you cards on the cabinet in D ward:
D ward has cute little people like this fellow, for cleft palate repairs....
Here's Nicky and the..umm...plastic surgery gang? :)
That's right. Mercy Ships- free surgery, hope and healing, and lessons in being a gangster.
Last one- here's one that a fellow nurse snapped of me and Jess: