a travel journal for Tianna's friends, family and supporters
Ocean Lines

So many of you have been, and continue to be, a part of the reason I am able to be here.
This website is my attempt to share the blessing of this experience with you. Enjoy.

New home: Mercy Ships Lausanne, Switzerland
Maison de Rovéréaz amid the changing seasons...

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson



My Itinerary:
12 Oct - 17 Nov
Lausanne, Switzerland
Mercy Ships Switzerland
17 Nov - 22 Nov
New York, NY USA
22 Nov - 6 Jan
Homer, Alaska USA
6 Jan - 9 Jan
Seattle, WA USA
9 Jan - 12 Jan
Lindale, TX USA
Mercy Ships Int'l Operations
12 Jan - 15 Jan
New York, NY USA
15 Jan - ?
Lausanne, Switzerland
Mercy Ships Switzerland
M/V Anastasis Itinerary:
5 Nov - 28 Feb
Cotonou, Benin
1 Mar - 7Mar
Benin/Liberia Transition
10 Mar - 17 Jun
Monrovia, Liberia
29 Jun - 23 Aug
East London, South Africa
24 Aug - 5 Sep
Durban, South Africa
8 Sep - 26 Sep
Cape Town, South Africa
Monrovia, Liberia



Homes for the Holidays...
November 30, 2004 | Homer, Alaska

I'm HOME. There's no feeling like it. The warm embrace of the familiar... I used to think you could only have one home at a time -- that it was the place you lived. Yet how many places have I called "home" in the past few months, and how many of those still feel like home at this moment?

The Anastasis as I last saw her... click here to view departure slide show (3.37 MB)

Just a month and a half ago I left my floating home of three years -- a bittersweet but timely parting. I left her on a cold day at a dock in northern Germany, with a host of friends waving goodbyes from the deck and the plaintive echo of the ship's horn tugging at my heartstrings. What a vast and amazing and surprising journey. I planned for two years and stayed for three... The last year, while it was the hardest in many ways, was also the most rewarding. Were it not for the evidence of pictures and the enlarged spaces in my heart, I would think it was all a dream. I will be absorbing the memories made within the Anastasis' walls and Africa's shores for a long time to come -- and I surely left pieces of my heart behind when I disembarked.

Swiss fields in the fall...

On the other side of a plane and train ride I found the welcoming doors and arms of my new Swiss family -- an eclectic group of 16 people living in a big white house on the edge of a cultural city and keeping the vision of Mercy Ships alive on land. There are Mercy Ships offices of this kind all over Europe and the world -- little-known but incredibly necessary support teams who work tirelessly behind the scenes to raise funds and awareness of the need and the mission. Without these supporting offices, the world would not hear, the ships would not sail, and the hurting would not be helped. My job here? To bring my design and communication skills together with the other "Creative Pool" members in this unique environment to serve the organization's growing international needs. It's farther away from the front lines, but closer to where I can be most effective. The beautiful and inspirational setting comes as a bonus and a blessing. Already, the beauty, peace and quiet spaces have been restoration for my soul.

Alaskan winterscapes...

Today, half a world away from all of the above, I'm sitting in the home of my childhood. At first glance, so much seems the same as when I left, yet I know much has changed -- much more than just myself and my perspective. Maybe with all this coming and going I've just grown more used to the pace of change, and come to expect it. There is an undeniable comfort in familiar things -- your first language, family, familiar faces and places -- reminders of another life -- lives. I've waited three years to be home again for winter and the holidays, and I plan to savor every moment. Then, in the new year, I will make my way back across the world to another home.

So, where is "home" exactly? The place you come from? The place where your stuff is? Where your family lives? The dictionary gives the following definitions, among others: 1. A place where one lives; a residence; a dwelling place; 2. Of or pertaining to one's dwelling or country; domestic; not foreign.

There's another definition I like better: "The center or heart of something" -- the place one belongs. Maybe the saying, "home is where the heart is," is more than a cliche -- maybe it's true. Maybe the more your heart encompasses, the more places you belong. And maybe at some point, it's the company of souls, not places, that truly becomes your home.

From my home to yours... Happy Holidays.


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