Our last day in England was sunny, with sudden blustery showers blowing up from nowhere, as much of the the summer has apparently been here in England. We spent the morning at home with the Giles, in Barton. Tony went off to work around midday. He has been seeing patients in Watford this last week or so, so he has a bit of a drive from here. Tony does locums in maxillo-facial surgery when he is home from Africa, to earn the finances he needs to enable him and Ann to continue their visits either to the ship (Anastasis) or various countries, most recently The Gambia and Liberia. Their next visit will be to the new ship, the Africa Mercy, which is now docked in Monrovia, Liberia.
Ann and Tony’s home in England is a Mercy Ships mecca. Various crew members have found their way here either during their holidays from the ship. Apart from us their have been one other family, and two other long term crew members staying here in the last few weeks, for varying periods of time. There are a couple of others booked in for the next month too. So the Giles provide an invaluable service to the people of the organisation, in their own friendly, caring and humorous way – a kind of halfway house, a refuge, for Mercy Shippers who are leaving and wondering what to do next, who are temporarily homeless, or who are simply on holidays. Some, like us, stay for a few days. Others are here for many months. Ann and Tony welcome us as the friends we have become during our shared experiences in Africa and on the ship.
In the afternoon we drove up to Bedford where Maria and the kids went to the cinema to see Shrek the Third, while I wandered around Bunyan’s old town looking for books in English we could take back to Sweden. Last night we chatted for hours with Ann and Tony. Today we will drive east across the countryside of Hertfordshire to Stanstead Airport and fly back to Sweden. Our flight leaves at 1.30pm.