It’s the most poignant time of the year to be distant from loved ones and home comforts, but Jo Bailey, 18, of Hawick, has been spending the festive season volunteering on board the world’s largest floating book fair, the Logos Hope.
The ship’s crew reaches out to the world’s poorest port communities, bringing access to knowledge through a range of books on sale at reduced prices.
It also lends practical and medical help, from building libraries to testing eyesight, and offers hope as crew members visit those in hospital, prison or on the streets, sharing their experiences of faith.
Jo said: “My favourite thing is the change every day. It feels like we are our own unique country, sailing around and visiting other countries.
“It’s a very varied life, but it still feels very stable, and that’s because we are all united by our faith in a never-changing God.”
Jo left Scotland in August for a two-year stint on board the Logos Hope, operated by the Christian charity Operation Mobilisation.
She had just left Hawick High School and she now works in the ship’s galley, preparing and serving food for its on-board community of 400 volunteers from 60 countries.
She receives no pay, but her living costs are covered by sponsorship from her church and individual supporters.
Since it embarked from Ghana, the vessel has made calls in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.