All the blogs I have been meaning to write remain unwritten. There are just not enough hours in the day at the moment and nights of not very good sleep happening.
We are busy with each 'today', the never ending studying, working, family times and daily football playing that form part of each day, spending time with friends before we leave, helping Josh and his friends with their swimming lessons (that a lovely crew member offered to run for them, I'm not actually teaching them given I barely know how to swim myself, they just need another adult in the water because this is not just any swimming pool, this is a wave pool, the water rocks about with the ship) :-). It has been a bit of a shock returning to studying, especially at this time when constantly distracted by clearing out all the stuff we have accumulated, getting ready for an international move and still working at the birthing centre. At the same time I am loving it! The module I am taking is focused on how culture affects midwifery practice (and legal, political and ethical issues...) and is just so relevant and interesting to be studying this while working in West Africa. I am learning so much through both my reading and incessant questioning of the midwives in the birthing unit! I just wish the assignment would write itself though.
We are busy thinking about returning 'home' which is quite a strange thought really. We don't have our house anymore to return to, our boys don't remember much about living in the UK, we don't have work lined up yet, we can't apply for their school places until we have a tenancy agreement....and it is all so time consuming trying to work out the details. But we have already seen a miracle happen with provision of somewhere to live (which we must write more about sometime) and are really excited to have this time ahead. Our boys are generally very positive about the move, we are talking a lot at the moment about different memories we have, things that we will miss and things that we are looking forward to. And there are so many of each. I am excited to be able to make some photo books when we get back to be able to share some of our memories with you :-)
I had wanted to blog about Princess Anne visiting the ship and Tommy showing her around the Academy, but Ali has written about her visit to the hospital which I am sure she enjoyed a great deal:
I had wanted to blog pictures from our evenings sat out on deck 8 watching the children playing, watching sunsets and strange weather patterns, but Tiffany took some and posted them while we were out a couple of nights ago:
I have wanted to find out some statistics about how this field service is going, but you can read about how the dental clinic have treated 8000 people already on Gini's blog:
Or the more lighthearted (depending on who you are I'm sure) fork lift truck falling in the water and the subsequent attempts at rescuing it again):
There are some great pictures on these blogs and well worth a read - here's hoping none of them mind me linking to them ;-)