Whether you cooked delicious meals for the entire ship community, taught French to the students in the Academy, pampered the patients during the visiting hours, cleaned and made the OR safe for surgery, repaired the vehicle in which the nurses and doctors travelled and screened our future patients,YOU graciously offered your time and skills to make our world a better place.

THANK YOU for the uniqueness of your gift

In order for you to continue to thrive in what’s next, we want to make sure that you are well taken care of and equipped. Therefore, we prepared a tailor-made content for our crew coming home in order to guide you through your transition from ship life to life back home.

We really want to emphasize the importance of the time you will invest in your “debriefing” reading through the following pages, reading a book or not, planning a retreat, following some tips, or simply acknowledging the fact that you might experiment some up and down during this transition.

We are here for you if needed, so never hesitate to give us a call at any time, even if it is weeks or months past your return home.

Top Tips and fantasies of returning home

  • Time to ,,land” and adjust.
  • Time in making decisions about what’s next and seek advice from those you trust.
  • And don’t forget to move forward.

• Identify your expectation. This can help you avoid a lot of challenges and grief.
• Ask yourself if your expectations are realistic and where they come from.
• If an expectation is to high, accept to remolde it or to walk into grief.

  • Expect mixed responses from those you speak to on your return.
  • Expect that most people you speak to will have no insight or empathy to situations or stories you describe so it’s hard for them to respond appropriately.
  • Some people may not have even realized you were away!
  • Be ready with three responses to the tough, ‘So, how was your trip?’ question:

1. Two sentences for those who are asking out of politeness.
2. Two minutes for those who are asking because they want to know but don’t want a full run down.
3. Two cups of tea for those precious friends or family who give you their ear and let you talk.

  • You need to remember that the type 3 person is rare so treasure them!
  • Don’t be surprised or offended if someone changes the topic back to their lives and mundane details about curtains or paint samples when you’ve been sharing a significant story. Don’t be too critical of those who do this. Save your two cups of tea stories for those who you know will listen but also make sure you listen to them.

3. I will write to everyone I met! This is a feeling that quickly disappears when home. Do stay in touch with one or two people. This communication will help you adjust to being home, plus it keeps your new vision alive.
2. People are dying to hear about my trip! Some people would rather die than hear about your trip! Very few people want all the details and schedules. Prepare a specific story about a person or lesson learned. Share this clearly and briefly. Leave them wanting more.
1. I will be glad to be home! Of course, there are things you will have missed. However, you may experience some re-entry adjustment or low mood. Recognise this is a part of re-entry.

Mercy Ships Swiss Volunteer family gathering

Don’t miss out your next Mercy Ships Alumni get together. A special time to share unforgettable memories of your time on board with alumni, see old friends and meet new ones, share possible challenges of your return home, offer tips to future crew members who are about to board, and especially, eat good food and have fun!

More information will be sent in due time to your personal email address. Check your personal emails regularly!

Both of us have ship experience and we still have so many vivid memories of our time on board! Like you, we were changed by these experiences and had to go through the process of coming back to a home with a new perspective on life! We want to encourage you to take care of this transition process and remember that we are here to support you!

Contact us! [email protected]

Jessica: 021 654 32 70 / Janina: 031 812 40 34