Blog 1 ! :)Ga naar de pagina van Tabitha Holtrop
Dear family, friends and others who are interested in following me in my journey,
The first blog is out! In this blog I will tell you more about how this whole Mercy Ships adventure started and where I am with all the preparations.
The story starts around november 2020. I was in Denmark for my minor and had a lot of free time. And what do you do when you have a lot of free time? Yes, you start thinking and thinking about what you are doing and what you want for your life in the future. Because of the worldwide pandemic, my plans for an internship in Italy got canceled and I had to hope for a spot somewhere else to be able to graduate. Additionally, I thought about what to do after graduation. I didn’t really want to ‘work’, but staying at home doing nothing wasn’t an option either. I decided to make a long cherished dream come true; a year as Au Pair in a foreign country. And that I did. I applied at a christian Au Pair agency and the whole application proces started. I was going to go to Australia for 10 months and hopefully after that I was able to backpack for a few weeks (which was a very urgent advice from someone who filled out a reference for me ;)). But unfortunately these plans got canceled as well, because Australia isolated itself from the rest of the world.
So, what’s next?
In the mean time, we are in januari 2021, a few months later. At the end of januari I came back to the Netherlands, after some trouble around tests and languages etc.. However, without any idea about my internship and without plans for after graduation. I spent a lot of time at the farm, taking care of Sytze together with Sarah. One day, while Sytze was sleeping, I scrolled on Facebook and came across an advertisement of Mercy Ships. I had heard of the organisation before and know people who joined for a while. I started researching about the life on board and what Mercy Ships’ mission is. That is when I discovered there is an international school on board as well. When I read it, it was logical, however it just didn’t cross my mind before. Apart from sending an email asking for more information I didn’t do much with it.
A few days later I received a respons to my email. The little fire inside me started to burn brighter and I really considered this possibility as being a plan for my future. Meanwhile an intership was found last minute in Arnhem and I still worked on my thesis. My dad’s cousin and his family took me in for the time being, because it was easier from there to commute to Arnhem. Together with the other board-members I was able to organise lovely Sine Regno activities, while collecting references for Mercy Ships. That is how the application process started including filling out a lot of documents 🙂
In juli I got to collect my certificate and I started as a seasonal worker at Alliade. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to start with Mercy Ships in september, I continued working within Alliade, but now as a WLA (the person who makes dinner and takes care of the coffee and tea in a care facility). Until the end of november I have worked there with a lot of fun and satisfaction. In september I got officially hired as a Grade 2 teacher at Mercy Ships with january 10th as starting date. In the mean time it has changed already twice and the official starting date is january 5th.
At november 14th, I held a presentation at my church about the work of Mercy Ships and what I am going to do on board. Since then, I’m asking people to donate money to fund the mission of Mercy Ships. On top of that, I’m preparing my travel. All the vaccinations and medicines have been collected, the health insurance is taken care of, all the clothes have been bought, the plane ticket is bought, the suitcases are ready to be filled and my to-do-list is getting shorter and shorter. The only thing left to do is make a packinglist and pack the suitcases. Apart from that I fill my days with puzzling, reading, cooking, going to the outside gym and meeting friends, where saying goodbye is a part of too, unfortunately. What can I say, a well spent last weeks 😉
In january, I will write my second blog in which I will look back on the last days in the Netherlands and I hope to give an insight on how my days on the ships are filled and what my classroom looks like!
Lots of love, still from Joure,