Sunday, 27 July 2008

Working In Communications...

Since I last wrote it has been an extremely busy time in Communications. I have been busy writing crew and patient stories, and last week I was covering a sporting event for Mercy Ships. Our ship's soccer team were invited to play at the national stadium of Liberia, the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex (SKD). We played a team made up of employees from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and although we lost 3-0, it was a great friendship-building event.

On Wednesday the Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) of the United Nations, the second most important person in the UN world-wide as well as the most senior UNMIL (United Nations Mission In Liberia) official, visited the ship. She had heard that the M/V Africa Mercy was formerly the Danish Rail Ferry Dronning Ingrid, and interestingly enough, she had worked on her when she used to ply the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Germany. So I was covering this event as well. It's amazing how I feel so at home in my new role as a Communications Writer and Journalist. I walk around with my digital voice recorder and my notebook and pen, always taking notes!

However, not all is work here on the Mercy Ship. I'm still involved with my Bible Study out at New Matadi on Wednesday evenings. And I still meet up with friends to chat and pray together. Last week was actually quite an eye-opener for me. A good friend of mine here on the ship challenged me to be more proactive in applying Matthew 6: 33 - “Seek first His Kingdom...” It is something which I have struggled with of late. But it's great to have friends who love me enough to tell me words that may hurt, but are words that I need to hear. So I've been reconnecting with my Heavenly Father, and He's been showing me so much more than before!

On Friday we had a South African evening, and it was great to spend time with my fellow countrymen and women. We watched a SA movie and chatted, sharing stories from back home. We also had a group photo taken (above). There are currently seventeen South Africans on the ship.

Yesterday (Saturday) I joined a group of twenty Mercy Shippers in visiting an old abandoned Hydro-Electric Power Plant, over an hour outside of Monrovia. To reach the plant you have to drive through some really muddy off-road tracks. It was a real adventure to get there. The plant itself was built in 1964 and used to supply a huge amount of electricity, but was destroyed in Liberia's brutal civil war when the rebels came through in 1990. The government is trying to locate contractors to repair this plant, but it will cost an estimated US$244-million! It's just such a pity that such potential lies in ruin. It also highlighted to me that war really brings about such waste. But other than that it was a really great day, spent in good company, and certainly a day I will remember for some time. The other photos here are from this day.

As I type now I am sitting in the Midships Lounge, watching the final stage of the 2008 Tour De France. The cyclists are doing laps of the Champs-Elysees. It is quite a contrast to cycling in Liberia, that's for sure!

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