I wanted to share a little bit of our Christmas with you all. I have 483 photos in our "Africa Mercy Christmas 2013" folder. I have done slightly better than last year (556 items). I combed though our photos, wondering how I could cull them into a blog post. Then I thought about which photos captured my emotions-which ones make me smile, which ones bring tears to my eyes, which ones make me proud, which ones make me patriotic and which ones capture the richness of Christmas through the eyes of 40 nations. So here is my attempt........
The Crew Services team keep the ship looking pretty sharp and it is overflowing with lovingly cared for plant life and wonderful artwork, donated to the Africa Mercy over the years. However, at the beginning of December, the ship comes alive! Deck the Halls is a day where the ship is transformed. It changes the whole atmosphere of the ship. Above Jess and friends stand on top of the Starbucks café clearing off artwork to prepare the area for all the Christmas trees that will sit atop it.
The gangway Christmas tree.
The Christmas photo booth is lots of fun and we love our family photos this year! Below Jess poses with her best friend Deborah and her sister, Anna. We call it the Oreo!
I never knew I loved saffron buns, handed out during the Santa Lucia celebrations. It's not like I woke up one day and went, "Mmmm, think I'll have a saffron bun today!" But guess what? I do!
Me looking all Saturday morning!
The photo makes me smile!! This is our mischievous dog Barney who, thanks to his carer Marion, actually sat still to have something placed round his neck to make him look all Christmassy and then even posed for a nice photo!
Jess played the role of Elizabeth and had a monologue and a solo alongside the character of Mary. She was so beautiful!
This is a photo that fills me with nostalgia and patriotism. I am hopeful that long after we leave the Africa Mercy, the tradition of Carols by Candlelight, that began as a whisper in my soul in 2012, will stand.
My awesome Aussie mates, Leah from Tassie and Tammy from Sydney. SELFIE!!! It is wonderful to have a few more long term Aussies on board these days and also many returnees. We have a special connection.
We finished our grand adventure to the Grande Marché with a visit to local patisserie, Le Citie. We must have been great customers because we were treated to a lovely Christmas cake, on the house!
One of my favourite photos from the ship this Christmas! Shoes lining deck 4, filled with goodies, in the early hours of Christmas Day. (Photo courtesy of Josh Young)
The Three Stooges- Al, Andy and Ray
Me and Tassie Leah. All those from the British Commonwealth had the privilege of paper hats with jokes within the folds, lovingly hand made by some Aussie crew, bringing a little piece of home to Africa.
Our Nepalese Ghurkhas all decked out in suits and their Nepalese hats, taking a well deserved break from keeping us safe 24/7.
Featuring a little more of Australia, the iconic chocolate ripple made a grand appearance in our cabin, thanks to Mum and Dad and their special delivery of chocolate ripple biscuits!
New Year's Eve on the AFM! Admittedly it's a bit quite. We didn't have fireworks (oh how I miss fireworks) and we didn't have alcohol. But we did have good company, great mozzarella fingers, awesome African music and a midnight toast!
Here's to another wonderful December on the Africa Mercy, celebrating our uniqueness and cultural diversity! Here's to another year serving the nations of Africa with our Mercy Ships family!