Goodalls Ahoy 02: Touch-down State-Side
This is our first US update having left the UK on the 11th September and it’s certainly been a busy few weeks!
As many of you know we flew first to LA for a short holiday and to give us all a bit of a break before the busyness of crew on-boarding. The journey proved ‘interesting’ and flying with two boys under five years is certainly a character-building experience… However, throughout all our flights we’ve met loads of friendly, really lovely people who’ve been a huge help, particularly as we struggle through airports with 5 larges cases, 3 rucksacks, 2 car seats and a buggy (plus occupants)!
We had a great time in LA and both Noah and Judah have adjusted to American cuisine (and portion sizes) with gusto.
The week was a mix of exploring the city, seeing friends and a few ambitious hikes...
We also enrolled Noah on a Star Wars training course. He’s now decided that he’s a fully-fledged Jedi Master complete with lightsabre and force abilities…
After LA we flew onto Texas, arriving in Dallas and heading further East to the Mercy Ships HQ in Garden Valley. The site is large encompassing all the support functions that enable the operation of floating hospital.
We’re currently going through the basic training and on-boarding programme which includes practical preparations like health and safety, security and ship-board fire-fighting, as well as sessions to prepare us for living in community with 450 other crew members in close quarters. The fire fighting training was an eye-opening experience and climbing into a burning container full of smoke isn’t something that Barney is in a rush to do again. However, Noah and Judah were keen to have a go!
All of us have also becoming well acquainted with the local wildlife or ‘critters’ which abound here in Texas and have learnt a few valuable lessons;
1) Watch where you’re walking and definitely avoid stepping on fire ant nests (Noah)
2) The spiders here are big and while they look like your bath toys they’re definitely not the same (Judah)
3) There are lots of flying things that like to bite you and the itching will drive you crazy (Barney)
4) Always be well prepared to douse boys / husband with water and anti-histamine when they invariably get bitten. Someone needs to hold it all together… (Liz)
We have been extremely impressed with what we have seen of Mercy Ships so far. At the very heart of this charity is a desire to follow the 2000 year-old model of Jesus Christ by bringing hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor. We are learning so much about God, the charity and not least about ourselves. Exciting stuff!
We miss you our family and friends in the UK so much, and you are never far from our thoughts. Forgive us if the updates are a bit sporadic as we find our new rhythm amidst the busyness of family life!
Also a huge thank-you to everyone that has supported us through coming to our fundraising event at Bisham, one-off and regular monthly gifts. Without you guys we couldn’t be here. The work that Mercy Ships does is phenomenal and please know that you’re all playing a part in that through your support.
Training here in Texas will continue to the end of October and then we fly out to Guinea on the 29th where we’ll join the ship in Conakry.
We love hearing how things are going in the UK and please do email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of Love,
Barney, Liz, Noah and Judah