Sunday, March 3, 2013

60 Minutes and the Africa Mercy

     Last year in Togo the 60 Minutes film crew came onboard the Africa Mercy and filmed the daily life on the floating hospital.  They ended up with about 33 hours of footage from normal meal times in the dining room, the hospital, interviews with Don Stevens, work in the Galley and Dining Room, Reception, and along the streets of Lome.  A couple weeks ago they finally released their special on Mercy Ships!


If you are unable to view the video, here is a link:

     I am not in the video.  But I do know a lot of people featured.  I know Carys Parker fairly well, I was helping her and another girl study Biology last spring, she is a sweet mature girl.  Ali and Phil Chandra came back to the ship this fall with their adorable baby.  I am so honored to have known these people!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Last Week in Africa - In Photos

Sinterclaas (Dutch version of Santa Claus) arrived on the ship Dec 5th 
Saying goodbye to Dennis and Bronte.  I first met them when I arrived on the ship almost a year ago.  I flew in with Dennis and became friends with Bronte.

Trip down to the Big Fridge on Deck 2 for supplies

The Galley would go through all this fresh produce in about 4 days.

You know you've been on the ship too long when the oranges and cucumbers look the same!! Lizzie and I had to feel them to figure out which was which...the cucumber is in her left hand.

Perfect example of how the ship can unite people even with the most major differences...a Barcalona fan and a Real Madrid fan became buddies!
Day in the Pharmacy! I was placed in charge of counting pills.

After my last football (soccer) practice, I needed a shower.

James became the Tuna Salad Wizard

Crazy last days in the Galley

I was blessed to work with some amazing women.
Naomi, Florence, Edwina, Lorinda and I had so much fun.

Moving bunks in the 8 berth at midnight is highly entertaining.

School for the Deaf.  Papanie, on the left, is a good friend of mine.

School for the Deaf.

To get out of the port we would walk through this, its fairly traffic-free in this picture.  You can see the  Africa Mercy  straight ahead.

More amazing people I worked with from the Galley and the Dining Room.

13 people in the van...always room for one more! 
Roxanna, Brandon, and James.  Three of my best friends.
The ever helpful Storemen, Morlaye, Edward, and Daniel.  These guys are awesome.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Observing Surgery

*Cataract Surgeries
*Maxillofacial Surgeries:
-Neck tumor
-Fibrous Dysplasia on the face
-Facial tumor

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dinner on the Dock

Last Thursday was Dinner on the Dock.  Basically it just means that everybody, crew and dayworkers and patients, all get to eat and hang out on the dock followed by worship and dancing. Its a fun night, yet it means extra work for all the Galley and Dining Room teams.  So, all the hotdogs, buns, baked beans, coleslaw, and condiments was transported down the tiny gangway and set up on folding tables on the dock.  As per usual, we had fun grilling the hotdogs.  After dinner we all enjoyed the dancing and fellowship.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dental Clinic - Guinea

Mama Grace
    Dental Clinic round two! No, I didn't get to pull any teeth this time, it was sad.  I was actually working in the sterilization room.  The team was short their sterilizer as she was sick so I stepped in to help.  Mama Grace was a dayworker that was a very patient and good teacher.  First step in the process is to collect all of the dirty instruments from the procedure room.  There were 4 dentists and 8 chairs so the dirty things would pile up rather quickly.  Then, back in the sterilizing room, the instruments would be scrubbed to remove any blood or tissue and then placed into a small machine.  I have no idea what the machines did, I think it was an ultrasonic deal, but the instruments were in there for 15 minutes.  Then they were dumped onto the table, dried, sorted, and packed into the sterile pouches.  Once we had 4 trays full of packaged instruments, we placed them in one of the 3 big steam sterilizers.  Once the 40 minute cycle was finished, they were set onto a table to finish drying and then finally to the instrument room to be used again.

    About 11 or 11:30 the power went out.  This Is Africa after all.  The generator kicked in to run the necessary machines but fans are less of a priority.  The power did not come back for the rest of the day.  So we began sweating.  It was worse in the sterilizing room because it was back in a corner and didn't get much of a breeze.  

    I was unable to really be in the procedure room, other than walking through to collect dirty instruments.  So I did not get to pull any more teeth. Sad day.  But since I was able to have so much fun and so many stories at the Dental Clinic in Togo, it seemed fair that they put me to work.  By the end of the day I was getting the whole sterilization process down.  Except for sorting the sterilized instruments into their homes.  They look a lot alike, color coordination was helpful, but it was confusing!  All in all it was a fantastic day.