Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Thanksgiving Testimony...

The Mercy Ships community at Appelsbosch celebrated America's Thanksgiving Day last Thursday (25th November). Our Food Services department did a great job in catering for us with turkeys, stuffing and roast vegetables!

Although South Africans (and much of the world, in fact) do not celebrate Thanksgiving, this holiday does provide me with an opportunity to think of those things for which I am thankful. Right up there are my family and friends all around the globe, along with the privilege of serving with Mercy Ships over the last three years. And most of all, I am thankful that God saved me and has called me to a mission so close to my heart.

I know that quite often my blog focuses more on the technical side of serving with Mercy Ships, but this blog I created over three years ago is a continual testimony of God's faithfulness to me. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving - I am thankful for you taking the time to read my story here. God bless!

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
(Psalm 105: 1 - 3 NIV)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Appelsbosch Science Fair!

This past Wednesday the Academy hosted the annual Science Fair in Miss Orman's Science Lab. It is really interesting - as always - to see what the students are learning and how they are applying what they have learned to real situations and case studies. And, of course, the Biblical application is really cool! Here are some photos from the Science Fair!

Christina (Miss Orman)!

How much electricity do different fruits/vegetables produce?

Do birds care what colour their food is?

How Dirty is Dirt?

The Coke Test - to see if people could tell the difference between Coke Light, Coke Zero and regular Coca-Cola.

This was perhaps one of my favourite exhibits - since I was included in the sample for the experiment. It measured how gender plays a role in frustration - we had to try and play an (impossible to finish) game and the researcher captured our responses to the frustration of constantly having to re-start the game. It came up with some pretty interesting results.

Does anaesthesia with adrenalin last longer than anaesthesia without?

The practical implementation of the above experiment. Anaesthetic being administered into the arm via a needle.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Shipyard continues... On water!

Yes, the Africa Mercy is now out of dry dock and safely berthed at the repair quay. She came out of dry dock almost two-weeks ago now, and progress continues all over the vessel. I was down at the ship this last Thursday and I went up to Deck 8 to see the work that has been happening there.

Progress on the protracted pool project, which began back in Tenerife and continued throughout Togo, continues. They've installed "wave-catchers" to try and lessen the impact of the waves.

This is a close-up of one of the "wave-catchers".

The frame for the canopy has been re-assembled on Deck 8... This was sorely missed during the Togo Field Service.

The large, new Mercy Ships logo on the funnel.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Port Autonome de Lomé, circa 1968

I found this picture on a friend's Facebook wall, and thought I should put it here to show you how the Port of Lomé looked in 1968. Mercy Shippers who served in Togo will recognise the (only) dock in the photo as our Mercy Ships dock. But the rest of the harbour is rather different. The silt build-up from the ocean means that the beach on the right of the breakwater now extends to the very end of the breakwater, and is now covered in vegetation. There is also a restaurant and beach resort out near the breakwater - Coco Beach Hotel. And of course there are now many more containers and buildings in the area. Thanks to Ben Howard for letting me publish this picture here.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

uShaka Marine World...

Last Saturday (6th November) I got the chance of going to uShaka Marine World, home to a world-famous aquarium and water park. It is somewhat similar to Loro Parque in Tenerife, but perhaps on a smaller scale. My friends and I witnessed the open ocean feed (where divers entered a tank with chunks of fish to feed the larger sea creatures), the dolphin and seal shows, and browsed through many interesting exhibits in the aquarium.

We also had a lovely meal at the Cargo Hold restaurant, located in a large model tramp-steamer, the Phantom Ship, that doubles as the main aquarium. Here we ate our lunch while sharks swam menacingly by the glass windows overlooking our table.

I also had some time to kill between shows and so I visited the "Dangerous Creatures" exhibit. Here you got up close (albeit behind glass) with snakes, scorpions, spiders and other creepy crawlies - the photo at right is of a rattle-snake. Despite the distinct lack of anything marine-related here, it was definitely my favourite part of the day!

The open ocean feed was really cool to watch!

The Dolphin Stadium.

Synchronised swimming.

This is their oldest dolphin at 39 years of age!

My friends outside the Dolphin Stadium.

The African Penguin display.

The Seal Stadium.

It had a pirate theme to it.

CPR seal-style!

A whale skeleton in the aquarium.

Sea Turtle.

Hammerhead Shark!

Cool Jellyfish!

The Phantom Ship.

Durban beachfront from the Phantom Ship.

And finally the Dangerous Creatures exhibit. This is the beautiful - but deadly - Green Mamba.

The Black Mamba - the Green Mamba's more aggressive and equally deadly cousin.

An Anaconda.

And finally the Cape Cobra, common throughout most of South Africa - and also very dangerous.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Durban dry dock...

This is another view of the Durban dry dock, with the Africa Mercy undergoing repairs.

Africa Mercy.

The entrance to the dry dock.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Appelsbosch from above...

These photos are taken off our Transfer Drive and were snapped by our Chief Dental Officer, Dag Tvedt. They give a nice view of the campus and the various buildings that make up Appelsbosch College of Education.

Here you can clearly see the sports field (left) in front of the blue-roofed Lutheran Church. The gym is the white-roofed building a little to the right of shot. All the dorms, dining room, academy and business centre are in the buildings adjacent to the gym.

A closer view of the campus. My dorm is the one closest to the gravel road just right of centre.