Well let me tell you...Everybody is probably on there way out, exiting, leaving, moving on to either the IOC (International Operations Center), Anastasis, Africa Mercy or some point between here (Chickasaw Alabama) and home, their own home.

Most of the crew of the Caribbean Mercy will be gone by Monday the 6th. I have chosen this weekend to go home and visit my family (mom and dad, sister, brother in law, niece and nephew) and my home church, Valley Fellowship.

By doing this I have created some more quality time for me to be with family after being gone nearly 7 months to Europe and Africa essentially missing several birthdays and holidays...And I have also released myself from a weekend of 'goodbyes' of which I don't really enjoy participating in anyway. And more than likely I will see a lot of these people again. They only left the ship, not the whole organization.

For those of you that may be mad at me for ducking out...I hope you have safe travels.

I will return on Monday and start back to work getting ready for my next phase. Cleaning and organizing all my foods into smaller refrigerators and freezers, shopping, cooking, cleaning, menu planning, etc...For about 8 crew members that are 'left behind'. Nine including me. I will also be responsible for being on a rotation for a 24 hour 'watch' that will keep me restricted to the ship with certain checklist and maintenance points to mark off. Happily I will not be involved with any night watches!

There were a few 'goodbyes' I made sure happened before I left...And those were of a private nature anyway, not for public or shipwide 'news', but a personal farewell to those that may not be coming back, or be seen again anytime soon.

And a big thanks goes out to Jeff (my boss) Chief Steward - 2004*2005 - best one I ever had...Best wishes and prayers for you and your family. You made it the best for me!~