And so it appears to be Tuesday the third of September. That means only one thing.
We leave tomorrow!!
Time has ran out and pretty much all of our goodbyes are done.
We have had such an amazing few weeks preparing for our trip. A while ago my organised, geeky husband was beginning to twitch intermittenly as we were a little short of the money we needed to complete the year volunteering and 2 months training. I was completely comfortable to go and see what happened, happy to return home early if necessary. But I know Ally was more than uneasy about his spreadsheets not adding up. As any closet geek reading this will know this kind of ‘unknown’ can induce some spreadsheet anxiety. Mainly for the ones who can produce spreadsheets and in turn get a tad anal about them.
Then came the Triathlon. In total Ally raised over £2500. Then church kindly offered to support us (even though we told them we didn’t really want any money). Then Mum had a small coffee morning that raised a big sum of money! Over £700 in total from amazing friends and family in Portsmouth.
The geeks and their spread sheets can breathe easy, sit back and enjoy the trip. Due to the enormous love and support from you, our friends and family, Mercy Ships will have a Nurse and an IT assistant for 12 months.
If you have donated please don’t underestimate what that can do. You have contributed to something amazing. Something life changing. Something extraordinary. You are paying for me as a Nurse to care for some of the poorest people in the world, for their surgery, for their medicine, for the ship to function as a hospital. You have invested in us which means you are investing in the Congolese. That my friends is exciting!
Last night was the final push for Mercy Ships publicity and fund raising from us in the UK. We hosted an evening of music which basically turned into a farewell party. It was aptly named ‘An Audience with the Joneses & Friends’, a fantastic night that Ally and I were able to share with a lot of our favourite people. I was able to dive back into the depths of Jazz music and sing what I love to sing. That alone is really quite exciting as I haven’t sung ‘properly’ in public for a very long time. I normally get on stage, the legs shake, the heart pounds, my mouth opens and although vomit is the main thing that comes to mind, it desists, as does my voice and a wobbly weak whisper is all I amount to. Frustration is then all that is left and this scenario has become unfortunately familiar. Until last night …
I spent a long time pre-gig with some ‘Cool Runnings’ style mirror talk..
“I’ve got pride, I’ve got power…”
this could be described as embarrassing but obviously also beneficial as the gig went really well and I definitely felt I sang with power. The wobbly weak whisper vanished and I was jazzing the night away. I felt very free and very jazzy with my dazzling ‘jazz brother’ Jonny on piano.
Ally went next with some fabulous tunes that had the crowd singing along. Its safe to say that my Husband really does have the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. Its not soppy or loved up, we’ll have no “ahhhhhh” or “oh thats cute” so hush to anyone silently making those remarks in their head. It is just a fact, he does have the most beautiful voice I have ever heard.
Then the wonderful Nai and Will Weeks. What a pair. Such beauts. They played some great numbers and it was so nice to see them perform together and great to hear Naomi’s beautiful voice.
Chris Lawson Jones up next who never ever disappoints! Beautiful acoustic set was shared with the lucky audience and they loved it.
Then came the full house band with Ally and I to finish the festivities. Ally’s Dad and Brother were in the front row clapping and swaying in time to ‘Across the great Divide’ (Just another sentimental country moment in the Jones families collection).
It really was such a great moment to see so many people we love in front of us having a good time. We are absolutely gobsmacked by the support we have received and never expected so many to come. So a big thank you to all who did.
We are of course sad to say goodbye, but we are super excited about going to volunteer with Mercy Ships. I cant wait to be a part of a non-profit organisation whose mission is to serve the poor.
Who give free cataract ops and give blind people sight.
Who operate on severely disfigured people and send then back to there villages healed.
People who were once not welcomed and now can be.
These are people like you and me, who with Mercy Ships have a chance in life.
So to Mercy Ships we go … Stay tuned
Thank you and good night.