First, thank you all for following our blog and especially for being enthusiastic about our donkey naming contest! He is very happy with his new name, by the way proud!!! very proud!!! To give you some insight on what the blog comments mean to us, let me explain how it works to those of you who may not know the “routine”. After our evening meal, the fifteen of us gather around in a circle in the common room and determine (noted on the white board), who will be responsible to blog the next day, as well as who, very importantly, will provide the chocolate for the next gathering. We also write out assignments for the following day; some do not change however, many have offered kindly to exchange dental for surgery, clinic, and sorting shoes for just about anything! Then comes the much anticipated and cherished “letters” from home (your blog comments)… on the one evening Deb told us we had over 2,000 blog hits, our hearts were warmed and our spirits soared. We are humbled knowing we are under watchful, caring, eyes. We were so relieved to “hear” that although John Gabbert had retired from Gundersen, he still followed the blog and kept us up to date in his poetic and lovely way!
It is wonderful to return to Project Mercy for a second year. There is a richness here that touches every single emotion one has; one moment you could be fighting back the tears, and the next laughing hysterically because Brian just gave the time of day in every possible location around the globe! One hears about the child walking to school two hours each way, every day, the water shortages with impending famine; the needs are so many that pull at our heart strings every single day.
After the blog readings, we all go around and talk about our day; the sharing and learning is charged with so much listening, knowledge exchange, compassion and attentive listening, one dreams this “after dinner model” could be a regular occurrence to “debrief” shifts in our workdays at home. Humor, too, always seems to infuse its ways into those sharing moments and sometimes roaring laughter becomes part of the storytelling regime. It’s magical….Many of us came as strangers but after a very short time, we started becoming a team. Even though we are comprised of young (17 year old dear Nate) to an older few baby boomers, and many in between; we offer different perspectives, personalities, mutual respect and a genuine sense of caring and work ethic that’s off the charts! This blog writer cannot say how proud and thankful she is to be part of this amazing group of individuals!
(The Internet hasn’t been very cooperative but Deb was able to send a few pictures to add to the blogs. JH)