Catherine Clarke Murphy is the Director of Digital Marketing for Mercy Ships, a nonprofit that uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. From 2012 to 2014, she lived onboard the Africa Mercy in Conakry, Guinea and Pointe-Noire, Congo.
Catherine has a degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and now lives in Houston with her dog, Cricket.
Keep up with Mercy Ships news by following @clarkemurphy and @mercyships on Twitter and Instagram.
I spent the better part of February in the port city of Tamatave, Madagascar. It was there that I had the pleasure of meeting Florian and Ambre, two pediatric patients currently receiving free treatment on the Mercy Ships hospital, Africa Mercy, the world's largest civilian hospital ship.
I live in a special community. Although I don't have children of my own, I get to experience the joy of being surrounded by them all the time. Kids fill my days with fun, laughter and imagination. Unfortunately, they sometimes bring screams, cries and messes as well.
There is a universal principle of childhood physics that we all remember well: the joy of spinning in circles. Perhaps it was spinning while locking hands with a playmate, in a teacup at Disney World, dancing in pirouettes, or simply turning in place -- it was a thrill to send...
Above Mariama's hospital bed, someone has taped a picture from the day she was admitted to the Africa Mercy. Whenever I visit her, I admire it. On that day, she wore a traditional headscarf and an easy smile -- radiating of timeless optimism. The faded black-and-white print has...