Professional baker Sheila Aeschlimann served onboard the Africa Mercy from July 2018 to January 2019, returning to the hospital ship after her first field service in 2015.
Sheila loved her work and the community that surrounded her. For her, this second field service was just as much a dream job as a homecoming:
“When I arrived on board, I already knew some people from the last time I had been onboard in Madagascar in 2015. So, for me it was more of a come back home… I think I had the best job ever on the ship.”
Sheila speaks about her time volunteering as waking up every day filled with joy. She loved working as part of a team towards a common goal, supporting the hospital ship and its volunteers, all working together to transform lives. She also had the opportunity to travel around Guinea, experiencing the culture of the surrounding country.
Sheila has beautiful advice for anyone about to embark on the journey to the ship:
“Do not be afraid to be you. Don’t be scared to go inland and talk with locals, even if you don’t know the language. Learn a bit. They will be so happy to see that you have an interest in their country and culture. Give 110% of yourself – spread the love that God gave you and share it with everyone you will meet.”
Sheila is currently living in Switzerland, and she plans on doing another service with Mercy Ships once our new hospital ship, the Global Mercy, is completed next year.