Sunday, 7 December 2008

The Final Weekend...

As I type this, it is one of my last entries to this blog from Monrovia, Liberia. It has been quite the year. But that being said I still had one weekend before my departure on the 8th of December. It was the infamous "blackout" weekend, where everything for the Saturday was shut down as our Engineering staff cleaned the main engines ahead of the sail to the Canary Islands.

With the engines and generators being off, the ship can be a rather uncomfortable place to be, with no flushing toilets (we use a vacuum system), no lighting (apart from emergency lighting), no air-conditioning and no Internet and e-mail. And so I decided to head off-ship to the Francis Gaskin Orphanage in Paynesville, a district of Monrovia, pretty close to the SKD Stadium actually. I went to this orphanage last week and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was a good time yesterday. We put on a Christmas party for the kids, making Christmas decorations and then playing games and spending time with the kids. Apart from a couple of friends who I ferried across to Thinkers Beach at lunchtime, the rest of the Mercy Shippers remained at the orphanage for the afternoon. I then returned at around 16h00 and we all bundled into the Land Rover and headed back to the ship. It was another sad farewell to these wonderful kids.

We returned to a dark, hot (but not unbearable) ship. And then at around 18h00 everything came back on, as the Engineering team powered up the generators again. The Captain and Chief Engineer had thought that today, Sunday, may have been needed as a day for cleaning as well. But they did a sterling job and finished everything yesterday. We are so blessed by our wonderful God and of course the dedicated crew we have here on the Mercy Ship.

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