Five months prior to coming on board, Heather Bos had no idea Mercy Ships even existed. But her close friend and parents soon remedied that: all three knew that she’d be interested, given her easygoing nature, adventurous spirit, and love for people.
Her medical expertise was the icing on the cake, making Heather a natural fit. At home, Heather works as a Physical Therapy Assistant- a profession she loved immediately. Here on board she works as a Hospital Supply Assistant: she is in charge of making sure the hospital is well- stocked with all the necessities: from culture swabs and IV start packs to catheters and oxygen masks, if you name it, she’ll supply it.
Heather wakes up every morning here looking forward to going to work. “It’s different here [than at home], because everyone wants to be here. No one’s getting paid: everyone’s doing their job because they want to.” Heather loves the work culture too: “No one assumes the worst when you make a mistake – it’s incredible.” This is not only the first time that Heather has been to Africa, it’s also the first time she’s travelled alone. Surprisingly, transitioning to life on board has been a breeze.
For a lot of people, volunteering on a hospital ship in Africa might be enough of an adventure, but not for Heather. When she first heard about an opportunity to visit a local woman’s prison on an early Saturday morning, she showed up ready. “Definitely go,” she told another crew member after returning that afternoon.
Heather’s spirit of adventure is contagious. So what’s next? After she leaves the ship, Heather will continue work as a Physical Therapy Assistant in Canada. She loves the job and might go on to become a PT. As far as further involvement with Mercy Ships goes, it’s definitely on the horizon: “Seeing the community here made me think that I wish I could stay longer…I didn’t know I would feel this way.” She’s grateful for her time on board, and wants others to get to experience it for themselves. “I’d say do it! If you have the chance, do it!”