Project HOPE Alumna Anne Fangman Pens Memoir
“We Hopies had long periods of plain, hard work along with hours of plain, hard boredom. But then we had some inspiring moments. One of them came from a Canadian destroyer that had stopped in Cartagena. The crew toured the HOPE and then gave us a party on their ship. Later that night, as they sailed out of the harbor, they signaled a message to us: “And now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity, these three. But the greatest of these is The HOPE.”
Excerpt from Mustard Every Monday by Anne Fangman
Anne Fangman might seem an enigma to someone who picks up her memoir, Mustard Every Monday: From Secluded Convent to International Adventure. The Project HOPE alumna entered adulthood by entering a convent at the age of 18. Eight years later, a month before her final vows, she left to become a flight attendant. Subsequently, she left that field for even bigger adventure: volunteering on the SS HOPE as a nurse. Her seemingly contradictory background worked for her HOPE application. According to Fangman, the nurse who interviewed her was “looking for nurses who were very flexible and she felt that anyone who had convent, airlines, and nursing background was definitely flexible.”
Fangman recalls the moment she received her acceptance letter: “I was thrilled. I was scared. I was overwhelmed.” But the “old Hopies” greeted her warmly and her adventures began.
While Fangman’s memoir does not solely focus on her time on the ship, she considers her HOPE experiences significant and meaningful in terms of personal and experiential growth. “The two voyages on the SS HOPE (Colombia and Sri Lanka) proved to be the pinnacle of my nursing career,” says Fangman. “Even though I did not retire from nursing until I was 73 and had many challenging and interesting jobs, nothing quite matched my time with HOPE.”
Her voyages to South America and Sri Lanka – although more than four decades ago – embodied the HOPE mission that is still with us today: To achieve sustainable advances in health care around the world by implementing health education programs and providing humanitarian assistance in areas of need.
“One of the many things that attracted me to the SS HOPE was the importance placed on teaching,” recalls Fangman. “Without being able to have an impact on the local working and living conditions, I would have become quite discouraged. Teaching, along with doing patient care, enabled me to better understand circumstances and how they affect human behavior. As with many situations, I learned much more than I taught.”
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