Tuesday, April 30, 2013

50 Things I Will Miss

When we leave from this phase of life, this community, this part of the world, and this journey, there are many things I will miss. Here are just the first ones that popped into my head, in random order, like my brain works:

  1. The delicious smell of snuggling a clean, beautiful, African baby with those gorgeous brown or black eyes trying to figure you out.
  2. Playing connect four, ludo, checkers, memory, or reading with patients.
  3. Spontaneous worship on the wards with day workers and patients singing and dancing in hospital gowns, scrubs, tubes, bandages, casts, and all.
  4. Various greetings to crew members or friends that are like secret handshakes: a curtsy with Bright, a "ca-caw" like a parrot to Miriam, a two open hands pumping the air like you're telling someone to lower the limbo bar meaning Agbaza myenga (the body is weak) - Dede wé (take it slow) with my Fong speaking friends.
  5. Listening to a voice or a laugh coming from in the hallway (or through the paper thin walls) and being able to identify the person it belongs to without seeing them.
  6. Hearing French spoken all around and getting to practice it with various people throughout the day.
  7. Fresh mangoes, coconuts, bananas, avocados, and pineapple available for sale at a roadside stand.
  8. Tuesday Night: African night in the dining room with fried plantains!
  9. Dancing on the dock with patients, caregivers, day workers and crewmates. 
  10. Exercise class with Bill Foley and others at 6:15 am three times a week - roll out of bed and within 10 minutes be in class with up to 35 others for 30 minutes of strength training.
  11. Not worrying about the weather or road conditions to determine if I'll be running in the morning!
  12. Game time, anytime!  You want to play a game?  When you live with 400, you are bound to find someone else to join you!
  13. The crazy sights you see when you are out: a man on a motorcycle carrying 300 bananas, a live goat strapped to the top of a taxi, someone balancing a suitcase (or a front door) on their head, or some other surprise nearly every day. See the goat?
  14. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are safe behind the protection of our trained Gurkha security guards - 24/7.
  15. Watching the sunset over the ocean with a sea breeze and various fishing boats coming in with their day's catch.
  16. Listening to my African friends pray so reverently, sing so freely, and dance so completely. 
  17. The raw beat of the djembe drum where fingers work magic to create a plethora of rhythms, tones and volumes.
  18. Watching the light bulb go on for the adult I'm teaching how to read - hearing "W-O-W" become "wow" on the first attempt.
  19. The sense of small community and sharing a common goal and purpose with everyone in your "neighborhood."
  20. Teaching beginning and intermediate computer skill classes to those eager to learn.
  21. Exploring countries that many have never even heard of. 
  22. A wet-unit bathroom which you can use the detachable shower nozzle to completely hose down and the vacuum drain will suck up the puddle.
  23. Along the same lines: a vacuum system for the toilet!  No clogged toilets for 28 months!
  24. Living among 30-40 different nationalities and learning people's life stories and treasures of experience.
  25. The glorious free-cycle boutique!  Best place to find a new treasure and leave something you've tired of.  I've been ruined for shopping!
  26. A long commute means you've stopped to have a chat with someone in the hall.  You can return your library books, schedule a hair appointment, swing by the bank, post office, and store in three minutes time and within 300 feet of your front door.
  27. Children excited to see you because (well, because of the color of your skin), and excited for the chance for you to take a picture of them! 
  28. Ample activities and opportunities to learn and grow as new crew are constantly sharing their gifts, talents and interests with others.  Swing dance? Karate? Zumba? Frisbee Golf? Trivia night? Ping-pong?  A night practicing your surgery skills (on a dummy, of course)? You name it - it can happen. 
  29. A library in the same building as my home!! What more could I ask for?
  30. Always someone around to do something with!
  31. Getting to know patients at the Hope Center as they spend many days, weeks or months with us.  Having them recognize you by face and name and greeting each one or leaping into your arms. 
  32. Walls that are steel so magnets stick to them- you can hold anything to a wall with a strong enough magnet - lights, mirrors, fans, pictures, projectors, etc.
  33. Funny language foible signs: want some patato salad? Cold slaw? Backed beans? Horse sauce?  All have been part of dinner in the dining room.
  34. Did I mention the fact that I haven't had to cook a meal for 28 months?
  35. A rolling screen in the dining room and reception that reminds me of everything I need to know.
  36. The adventure of those days when you are in town and you are reminded: T.I.A. (This Is Africa) - this just happen differently here.
  37. Being shouted at because of the color of my skin as I walk down the street.  In Sierra Leone I was an Öpoto or Whitegirl, in Togo I was a Yovo, and in Guinea I'm a Foté.  
  38. The uncertainty of never knowing what is going to happen at a local church - will there be only two offerings, or five today?  Will we dance at the front of the sanctuary with Bibles on our heads?  Will we be segregated by gender?  Will there be a special "Thanksgiving"service so it lasts for five hours? 
  39. Watching the girls have the safe opportunity to practice being little adults: going to dinner with their friends and eating at their own table, preparing snacks together in the crew galley, getting themselves to their various activities throughout the week. 
  40. The freedom from STUFF: no vehicles, no credit card statements, no utility bills.
  41. Along the same line, the convenience of having the dentist, doctor, pharmacy, and hairdresser all in one place on a needs basis.
  42. Watching lives transform physically (and emotionally and spiritually) right before our very eyes. 
  43. Having the privilege to be able to wander onto the wards and hang out with someone who is waiting for or recovering from a major surgery.
  44. Watching a caregiver and sometimes their baby wiggle out from underneath a patient's bed from the mattress where they call their bed.
  45. Fufu with friends!
  46. Drive by shopping - nearly anything can be purchased with just the rolling down of a window and an exchange of cash while you are in traffic.
  47. Pressure-free health services:  going to the dentist and only getting done what is necessary- there is no benefit for our dentists to recommend more services or extra features.
  48. Being able to schedule a get together with 10 of your friends, a few hours in advance, and everyone can make it! 
  49. Watching people wash the outside of my windows while wearing life jackets and standing on a board secured with two ropes. (I think of Curious George EVERY time and wonder if he'll find a way to come in a window and paint a beautiful jungle scene in our room! )
  50. Dance Parties onboard - no sleazeballs, no drunk gropers, just being free to bust a move and watch your children do the same.
  51. On that note, watching my daughters dance with their grown up male "big brothers" and seeing them interact in a multi-generational social setting.
  52. Joking with my middle-school students during math class and seeing them succeed!
  53. Fresh soda out of a bottle.
  54. Feeling like each day serves a greater purpose just in waking up and stepping foot out of the door.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Running Around Town - a Half Marathon Experience in Guinea

So, those of you who know me know that I am a "runner." I'm not a REAL runner.  I mean, I don't subscribe to a running magazine...  I don't run fast enough to qualify for anything special... In fact, some people would say that I (gasp!) JOG!  But since I joined cross-country running at the age of 14, I consider myself I runner not a jogger.

I like the calorie benefits of running.  Did you know, you burn about 100 calories per mile?  So, on a really amazing day, I can burn 100 calories in less than nine minutes?  I like this.  Why?  Because I like to munch and can't help myself to those yummy cinnamon rolls on Tuesday mornings served piping hot on the ship (or the fried plantains Tuesday night...or the blueberry pancakes Wednesday morning or....).  You get the point.  Carbs are my sneaky enemy so running is my combative tool.

For that reason I look for opportunities to run for fun, for a challenge, and for a chance to chat with friends while we work off those extra bites.

When I signed up to live along the west coast of Africa onboard the Africa Mercy I thought maybe my running days were put on hold.  I could think of every reason why I WOULDN'T be running in Africa.   (You know: it's hot, it's gotta be dangerous, we live in a port for crying out loud....) But, then I discovered a highly dedicated group of people who love to run (for all different reasons).  So, pre dawn's morning light we gather on the dock rubbing the sleep from the corners of our eyes and tossling our unkempt bedhead and head out into the town where things are about as quiet as they get in a capital port city.

With the help of an occasional street light we leap over rope barriers and sleeping dogs (of course we let them lie, and they certainly make no effort to do anything but!).  We avoid the spike strips and the rogue goat that is as surprised to see us as we are to see him.  We breathe deeply as we pass the bakery where the fresh croissants are browning and we try to hold our breaths at the fish market and the walls just visited by a random pee-body (um, I think I made this word up).

And so goes the routine in the wee hours of the morn as we watch the city wake up.  I love seeing the children popping a squat on their little plastic potty chairs in their front yards - or watching people brush their teeth with an African toothbrush (a special type of branch from a bush) or a store-bought one.  The whispering swish of a hand-bundled broom sweeping spotless a little area of sand and dirt surrounding each home is my favorite morning ritual to observe.

But it's nice to change things up and Mercy Shippers are usually quick to jump at any opportunity for an EVENT.  This past weekend was no different.  For about six weeks we have been hearing about a SEMI-MARATHON - a half-marathon to be exact: 21 kilometers (1.6km=1mi, therefore 21km=13.1 mi).  It would take place on the 21st of April, the same morning as the London Marathon, and just six days following the Boston Marathon.

There was a 5km, a 12km and the mother of all: the 21km run.  We added a sign-up page in the "Join Us Book," (yes, an actual book that resides in our common area where you can join the happenings that others have discovered and are willing to share) and then the training began.

We had 21 crew mates from TEN different countries that competed in these events.  Most of us ran just for the experience while others worked on a personal best or a new distance they had never attempted.

The sun (unfortunately) didn't hide from us the morning of the race.  With our paper "bibs" pinned on and our sunscreen applied, we caravan-ed to the national stadium for the start of the race.  I was very impressed with the organization of the event - a huge DEPART banner hung suspended across the road where traffic had been blocked for the morning.  A brass band was striking up a tune and over 1,000 people were prancing antsily around as you do before any big race.  No port-a-potties existed so hopefully you  could convince your systems that it was just nerves, or find a little place to pop a squat with relative privacy.

The 21k-ers kicked off the event promptly at 8:00am, followed by the 12k-ers and then the those running the 5 km.  Surprisingly, most of the runners for the two longer distances had proper lace-up tennis shoes, and only those in the 5k were competing in jelly sandals or plastic cleats!  (If you've ever watched people exercising in Africa, you will know what a rarity this is!)

The route appeared to be planned around the several Total gas stations in town and at each one there was a team of people distributing 0.5 liter bottles of Coyah brand water, and a plate of roasted dates or figs for your snacking pleasure.  The traffic was blocked for the first 3km of the race, and then they opened it at one point when the last runners had passed the highway entrance.  Lo and behold, however, the taxis that were anxiously waiting for the blockade to be removed somehow managed to catch up with us!  We still needed to navigate across three lanes of highway, like a pitiful game of Frogger.

At every point where the route turned or required action, there was a military presence directing both the runners and the traffic to prevent a run in.

As we traveled we did not pass mile or kilometer markers, so we were glad that about half of the course overlapped with our normal running route and we knew what to expect and could estimate our progress.

Accompanying me and my kiwi friend, was a race assistant on a pedal bike with some bottles of water for when we needed them.  However, as my kiwi friend informed me, he was holding those bottles of water while he relieved himself halfway through the race. We chose to take water from the other assistants instead. :)

The sun beat down, the pavement droned on and on, but eventually we completed the 21 (or 22 or 23 or 24?) kilometer loop that circled the downtown peninsula and another large portion of town.   The Red Cross of Guinea van inched its way along the course providing water and aid to those needing it.

As we returned to the stadium the crowds cheered (they were catching on that spectator appreciation is approved of!) and pointed the way across the parking lot, through the stadium gates, into the stadium  proper, and down the track to the ARRIVEE arch where officials were recording times, writing down names and declaring the order of finishers.

I was surprised to hear the word "cinquieme" proclaimed over me when I gave it my all as I heard my former cross-country coach's voice echoing in my head, "don't stop before the finish line!  Run through the end!"

It turns out that of the more than 1,000 runners, there were only some 200 that enrolled for the 21km race.  And of those, there were (shall we say) less than a dozen women. (I'll leave the exact number out to protect the honor of the innocent. ;))

So, while our 5km, 12km, and male 21km runners weren't able to rise to the challenge of the local competition, our female 21km runners nearly dominated the field.

Out of the six places that received recognition (and a cash prize!), Mercy Ships represented five of them! Medals were awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd, as well as photos taken on the podium.

It was a fun day of people watching, culture spectating, and being a part of a fun combination of traditions.  Thank you, Total Guinee, for putting together this event!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Friends from Around the World

One of my most favorite part of life with Mercy Ships is our international community of friends.  We have anywhere from 25 to 45 nationalities on board at any given time (I know this because calculating this is one of my side jobs for the big boss).  When we have over 40 nations on board,  my heart swells a bit.

International diversity has been something that has fired me up for as long as I can remember.  As a teenager I had photos of children and adults from all over the world plastered on my walls  - I just couldn't get enough of the beauty and creativity of the Lord in making each one of us unique.
I'm drawn to collections of flags, churches that pray for the nations, learning different languages, and of course international travel. University of the Nations, YWAM's headquarters in Kona, understands this too, and has this fountain at the center of their campus.

The idea that God loves the NATIONS - he calls the NATIONS to himself - that every TRIBE and TONGUE will be gathered around His throne in worship tells me that He is the author of celebrating diversity.  I think that is what resonates deep in my spirit as well.

Here are the countries that have been represented on board the Africa Mercy this past year:
Of course with different cultures you celebrate differences in language, dress, customs, greetings, holidays, and religion.  Even within the Christian believers from all of these nations we find so many differences on how we express our faith - for some worship is loud, spontaneous and vocal.  For others its a very somber, reverent moment between you and the Lord.  We have tried to embrace a bit of this on the ship with various expressions of worship throughout the year.

I love it when we have a night of African worship where it is not just a possibility to have the freedom to worship freely, but an expectation that you will worship with all your being.  "Shake Your Body for Jesus" is an actual song that you sing in church in Sierra Leone and you get up on your free, move around the sanctuary busting any move you've got while you are singing at the top of your lungs.

When we gather together for a birthday with our African friends, we don't just eat and play games and watch movies.  We have a rich time of singing, celebrating the Lord for what He has done in the past year, and a time of prayer to bless the birthday celebrant.

A couple of months ago I was struck with a flu that left me without energy and appetite.  I spent most of two weeks in bed.  Two of our African "brothers" (they are friends, but really they are my little brothers) would come over to pray over me. The first one said to the second one, "sing a song for Grande Souer" (big sister) and, on the spot, he sang an acapella song about God being the healer.

I love this.

Another thing I love that we are able to enjoy (and digest) about different cultures is FOOD!

Our wonderful Gurkhas not only provide amazing security for us on the ship, but they are amazing cooks.  They bring a little piece of Nepal with them every time they are home between their assignments on the ship.  Often in the crew galley, our communal cooking kitchen, you will smell the rich aromas of fresh chai tea simmering in a pot, fish curry fusing its flavors together, or the buttery smell of fresh tortilla-like flat bread that accompany their dishes.

They have a tradition of cooking a meal for the entire crew during a sail from port to port, so we look forward with expectation to a night of curried eggs, flat bread and Nepalese curried fish or chicken.

On occasion they make and sell momos in our snack bar (at the low low price of $0.20 a piece!).  These treats are similar to potstickers with bits of meat and vegetables steamed in a noodle wrapper with incredible sauces to dip them in.

And then from another part of the world, we have the West African dish of fufu.  Now, I must say - if you rush out to try fufu, I can pretty much guarantee that you're not going to love it.  It's more of an acquired taste.  Actually, it's kind of tasteless.  Fufu comes from pounded yam or cassava - they stem the starchy root and then pound it (and pound it and pound it) in a huge wooden mortal and pester until it achieves the desired consistency.
So when one of our Togolese friends was leaving to return to Togo, he threw a fufu party for us.
With fufu, hand sanitation is very important because often you eat with your right hand (your left hand is reserved for other things....).  So, you rinse, lather up, and rinse in the next bucket.

There are plenty of beverages on hand.
and if you just want to quench your thirst, grab a sachet of water, and down it.

Ghislain prepared the whole meal for us:
The purplish dough substance is the fufu - it gets its purple tint from the type of yam grown here in Guinea.  The peanut sauce stew is in the two round tureens and then there's a jollof rice dish in front.
Load up your plate with a ball of fufu and some stew and you eat it by joining your 2nd-5th fingers together and pushing them down into the fufu like a knife, separating the small chunk in between your fingers and your thumb.  Slather that with the rich, spicy peanut sauce, and shuttle it to your mouth in one quick swoop.  

After the third time of tolerating fufu, we grew to LOVE fufu and the girls are ecstatic to be here!  I think Kylie had three bowls full!!

The thing about fufu is that it is a bit like eating raw rice - it keeps growing and growing in your tummy (a perfect food in a country where this might be your only meal for the whole day).  While it is incredibly labor intensive, it is cheap and filling.  

After fufu, we all fill ready to strike a pose and have some fun.

With full bellies and warm hearts we celebrate with our friends.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A week in the life (on a hospital ship)

What do we do on the ship?  Isn't it boring?  Don't you feel trapped? Sometimes.  Yes, we are limited in our shopping and our excursions.  But, here are just a few things that we participate in or lead during a sample week:


Foley's Fitness - Three mornings a week the amazing Bill Foley, a retired state trooper leads us in thirty minutes of brutal core and cardio conditioning in our international lounge.  About 30 people brave the darkness at 6:00am, stumbling into the International Lounge with bedhead and sleep in their eyes to shape up.

Communications Meeting - Monday mornings we kick off the week gathering together as a community for updates, fellowship and teachings. 

Work Experience - Kylie and the other junior and senior highers had a special week in school where they applied to work with a department for several days.  Kylie got her first choice of being a writer with the Communications Department.  She was able to shadow them and write about the Plastics screening day that happened at the beginning of the week as well as following existing patients.

Plastics Screening - This Monday we had more than 60 potential patients come to be seen by our plastics surgeon who arrived last week.  He will assess these patients with burn contractures of the eyelid, neck, axilla (armpit), elbow, wrist, knee and ankle.  Those that would see improvement in their range of motion and or a dramatic change that allows them to work or live well in their society again were scheduled for surgery.  Kylie was a part of this as a junior writer, and I was a runner for paperwork, waiting with patients for X-rays, and other menial tasks.
Running Club - open to all Academy students and any others that want to be a part, one night a week for 45 minutes the kids have relays and fun running or walking back and forth on the dock and earning points towards their cumulative mileage for the field service.

Computer Class - immediately after running club, I have been teaching some beginning computer classes - how to write a blog, how to create a digital newsletter, using Microsoft products such as Outlook, Word, and Excel.  This is a real joy to teach the beginnings of computer use to crew members that have no or little computer experience.


Dock Open House - this Tuesday was a little bit different in that the four departments that work in large inflatable tents on the dock opened their doors to the crew so we could all see what happens in Outpatients, Rehabilitation, Screening and Admissions.  Kids and adults enjoyed participating in balance games in the physiotherapy area, a screening bingo in identifying which patients belong to each type of surgery, a photo booth and more.

French Class - weekly our Petit Frere (little brother) Innocent leads both beginner and intermediate French lessons (complete with homework) for those that desire to brush up or acquire this language that is so widely spoken throughout this region.  Togo, Guinea, Benin, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, and Cóte d'Ivoire are all French speaking nations.


Parent Teacher Conferences - Also this week we were able to play both ends of parent teacher conferences in that we sat in as parents for conferences, and in between those I was the teacher for ten other families to discuss how their children are doing in math and ways we can move forward.

English Lessons - Three afternoons a week I meet with a day worker who has never attended school.  He was banished from his home village when he became a Christian and started working in labor jobs to make ends meet at a young age.  We are using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons,"a book I used both with Kylie and Savannah.  It's been a joy to see the "lightbulb" go off, and watch as W-O-W becomes "wow!" I find I LOVE adult education.

Small Group (cancelled) - this week we had to cancel it because (as you can see) the schedule was full.  But normally we meet on a week night and worship, read a chapter from the Bible together, discuss, and pray for each other. 


Health Fair - Near the end of the week, all the K-8 students had two mornings of health fair where they had presentations and hands-on exhibits with the dental team, nutritionist, and doctors who presented a lesson on tropical diseases and on cardiology.

Ballet - Thursdays girls are blessed to have an amazing ballerina and instructor (and mom of three boys), Miss Gretchen, who arrived with her family this fall and has been teaching the girls since she arrived.  They look forward to ballet all week long!

Piano Lessons - One of the many benefits to living in community is that we have a wealth of talents and gifts present in the same building.  Since we are all volunteers and we all basically live on the same status quo, everyone is willing to share these gifts and talents at no cost to those sharing life with them.  This ranges from karate to African drum lessons; ballroom dancing to ukulele club.  The girls get to benefit from piano lessons by piano enthusiasts and while they don't look forward to them, it's so great to have the option here and the shared pianos to practice on or play.

Dinner Date - Every once and awhile we need to get out and have a date, too!  We discovered a Vietnamese Restaurant in town and found sitters (also a free perk of fellow volunteers!) and had a night out on the town.

Community Meeting - Another chance to get together as a community for updates, a teaching and some worship. (The highlight of the Thursday evenings is usually the ice cream that follows in "Town Square.")


Diving - Every other week Dan gets to submerge under the ship and go to work cleaning out the intake valves so our air conditioning and generators keep running.  This is a not very glamourous job, but something he looks forward to.

Hope Center - Friday afternoons I head up a group of crew members to spend time with our future or former patients at the Hope Center.  We head out with a bag full of crafts, games, and our singing voices and practice the motions of He's Got the Whole World...  This is a highlight of the week for me as I get to interact with these precious folks that have made their way to the ship for surgical reasons.

Zumba - We had a special treat this week to have a certified Zumba instructor onboard as a guest.  She lead four classes this week full of energy (sweat) and us trying to find our groove.  it was a great way to break up the week and burn a few calories!

(Did I mention our jobs, too? Oh yeah, we work...)
Work Schedules - Dan's working these days in our Maxilo-Facial & ICU ward three shifts a week, in addition to two shifts a week in the PACU, our recovery ward.  I'm teaching junior high math in the mornings, working for the screening team in the afternoons, getting some HR work done during the spare moments, and then balancing these other things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alseny's Transformation

Meet Alseny. 
This little peanut arrived in November at the age of four months.  He weighed in at six pounds.

His cleft lip and palate prevented him from getting the same nutrition as his TWIN sister, Mariam. 
This is not the first set of twins we have seen, I wrote about another set in Togo, but I am going to share the scenario again because it just highlights the effects of this birth defect so well.

Here are the twins - Mariam and Alseny upon their first check in with us on Nov. 15th (yes, the date is important).
Mariam is an average sized baby, breastfeeding regularly from their mama.  Alseny is not receiving anywhere near the same amount of nutrition as his "big" sister.

I don't need to point out all the areas you can compare here.  It's just stunning.

Alseny's fight for life is strong though.  He is alert, active, responsive and engaging.  Our infant feeding specialist steps in to help provide some tips to plump him up so he is big and strong enough to undergo surgery. 

Mama has fought hard for his life - in a culture where this is viewed as a curse - on your entire family and village - the norm is to abandon the babies in the forest to die and escape the curse that has come upon you.  So the courage it takes to love your child wholeheartedly here speaks volumes.

Here he is on NOVEMBER 27th - yes, just 12 days later.  You might not see the difference immediately, but scroll back and compare  - his ribs aren't protuding, there's a bit of meat on his legs, his arms, his cheeks have some flesh to them instead of just being pulled taut over his skeleton.
His sister Mariam is whispering sweet nothings in Alseny's ear.
Here he is (12 days after arriving), now weighing in at 4.2kilos (9.25 lb! He has added 50% to his weight!)

Big sister Roughiatou (roo-guee-ah-too) has come with mom to help care for the twins during their time in Conakry awaiting surgery.

Mom, big sis, Mariam and Alseny

Proud mama

Is there anything more beautiful?

We watched Alseny grow at the Hope Center - our weekly visits saw a new - fatter boy each time! Here he is in December with Kylie.

And now....

Meet the February Alseny!  He has surpassed his sissy, Mariam.  He is happy, chunky, and ready for
We look forward to rejoicing even more with momma as her happy (now FAT) baby gets a chance to view life in a whole new way.

How can this be the same teeny baby that lay nearly lifeless on this scale less than three months ago?

God is a god of miracles.

Here we have this beauty before surgery.

 The night before surgery mom, big sis, twin sis, and Alseny move onto the ward to prepare for surgery.

And the surgery went very well.

 Alseny gets lots of special love and care from his nurses in the OR, PACU and back in the ward.

 Tuesday of this week I got to see my darling back at the Hope Center

 His lip still has some sutures but it's healing so nicely. 

Lovely, lovely Alseny!