Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome Wagon

Here's what I found upon arrival on Monday. I love it! And today, I actually made it out to the deck (once I figured out the door. Doors and stairs don't work the same on the ship as on land. Who knew?). The sunset was gorgeous, and apparently there are a few shipwrecks you can see when the tide is low. I plan on trying to see them/photograph them tomorrow. The hospital is still in setup mode, but you can feel the excitement rising as screening day gets closer. Tonight we had a guest speaker who has lived in Guinea for the past 20+ years, so he was giving us a crash course in Guinean culture. Some information was pretty general, like pay attention to how the people around you behave and act accordingly. One fun thing to learn was that many Guineans like to celebrate, so they might ask you to come to a wedding or a baby naming ceremony after just meeting you. And it sounds like church services are very energetic and interactive, and the description reminded me of church in Poneloya, Nicaragua. I can't wait to go on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

yo ho, yo ho!

A pirate's life for me! It's official! I'm on a boat! And I really like exclamation points! I've been here for the past 2 days, and it's been rather overwhelming to get used to everything. First-people are fabulous. There are crew from all over the world, so the first three questions out of everyone's mouth are:

1) Where are you from?
2) How long are you here?
3) Where do you work?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Au revoir, Paris!

It’s been a whirlwind tour, but still, it seems too early so say goodbye to the City of Lights. Today was officially Museum Day, so the game plan was bags to the new hotel (a Hilton no less), the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Orangerie, and maybe Versailles if time allowed. The hotel trip was long and uneventful, which is to say boring, so we’ll move on. I’d been to the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay on my last trip, but I was excited to see these places and the art through my Mom’s eyes. She loves Impressionist paintings, and one of the first things mentioned when planning the trip was that she wanted to see a Monet.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Return to me

Our last day in Geneva let us get some souvenirs (most importantly chocolate), take a long stroll out to the Water Jet, and leisurely meander along the boardwalk while people watching.  First things first, one of my coworkers (Melissa) made me promise to sing "The Sounds of Music" while in Switzerland with the mountains around me. Nevermind that the movie takes place in Austria, but being obliging, here's the silent proof. Sadly, no one asked me to participate in any remakes of the movie.

Geneva Day 2

So let's discuss what's really important: food. Here's a sampling of our continental breakfast at our lovely hotel.
Breakfast of Champions!

Friday, August 24, 2012


We survived the France train system! I'd never taken the train before (in the States nor Europe), so I was a little nervous, but everything went smoothly, and the train is fantastic! So smooth and quick and you get to see all the great French countryside. Every village reminded me of the one in Chocolat. *sigh* So when we arrived in Geneva, I wasn't sure what to expect, other than there was a large lake nearby. It's beautiful! I'll post a few photos, but we really hit the ground running as soon as we checked in.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And we're off

So part 2 of the whirlwind tour of Paris. We definitely slept in until 11am, which wasn't exactly on purpose but apparently very needed. After our late start, we decided to save the museums for Saturday and Sunday (to make the most of our museum pass), and we headed for the Sacre Coeur. The Sacre Coeur is a Catholic basilica that's had someone praying at all times of the day for the past 125 years.

Steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur

Ah Paris...

Well, it's official. We're in the City of Lights. By the time Mom and I arrived, it was 2pm Paris time which means it was 8am Indy time, and 7am Chicago time, and 3pm Helsinki time. But really that meant it was TOURIST TIME!

Part deux

Side note, apparently Michigan landscape looks like Finland according to our flight attendant. Who knew?

Part One

Helsinki here we come!