Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cape Town 2012...

It's been over two weeks since my last blog post and some may be wondering where I am... Well, I am in fact home in beautiful Cape Town for six weeks, having a break from Mercy Ships. The last time I was home was in March 2011 and Table Mountain was certainly a welcome sight as my Air Namibia flight (Accra - Windhoek - Cape Town) approached the Mother City.

I have been in Cape Town for nearly two weeks now and have spent much of my time doing wedding preparation for my upcoming marriage, painting the house and other chores, training for my 22nd Argus Cycle Tour, and playing with my adorable nephews, Rhyenn and Jesse.

The lovely Candace arrives in Cape Town tomorrow, and we get married this coming weekend. It is certainly an exciting - and busy - time!

Here are some photos from my flight home and time in Cape Town thus far... :-)

Planes on the runway at Windhoek - most notable is the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) plane.

Flying above the Namibian plains.

The great Orange River - the natural border between Namibia and South Africa.

St. Helena Bay - about 200 kms north of Cape Town.

Voelvlei (Afrikaans: Bird Lake) Dam - one of the City of Cape Town's water sources.

On final approach to Cape Town International.


The day after I arrived we went to Constantia to look at a rose garden. It's stunning here!

Lovely home.

Dad and I braaing meat at my sister's school.

We also had some excitement with bees in the back garden!

But thankfully the majority of them had left - leaving just a few robber bees stealing the last of the honey.


The remaining bees huddling together in the corner.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Changes since 2010...

The Africa Mercy has been docked here in Togo for well over a month now, and I haven't had a chance to get any pictures of the surrounding area up just yet. Well, today I made it my mission to get some photos to show how things have changed - and stayed the same - since we were last docked here in the Port Autonome de Lomé in 2010. Enjoy!

The replacement forklift has arrived to replace the one lost in Freetown's port last year.

The Transportation tent and container on the dock.

The new Hospital tents on the dock - they are actually inflatable (the white ones).

The ship's swimming pool now has the Mercy Ships logo on the bottom!

Togo's Navy still share the waters by the AFM.

There is much activity across the port where Crystal Plage, a restaurant and beach resort, used to be. It is now just a pile of rocks as the harbour is being extended.

Barges and construction equipment where the port is being excavated.

Elsewhere in Togo, there is much development. The transportation infrastructure is far better that what it was back in 2010. Here are a few photos to highlight the positive development that is occurring.

The Beach Road is complete - and has working street lights!

This building was just a concrete shell in 2010. Now it is a modern financial institution!

Another view of the Ecobank headquarters.

Heading towards the port along Beach Road. Note the road signs too!

The large empty space that was just outside of the port has now been converted into a paved parking area for trucks. It really has eased the traffic flow in the port!

Togo's Lighthouse...

If you're a frequent visitor to this blog then it will come as no surprise that I've located Togo's rather unique lighthouse. It is located further from the coast than most normal lighthouses, and is perched high up on a water tower, making for quite an interesting lighthouse! And it is active, flashing two beams of light every 10 or so seconds.

The lighthouse is visible up ahead. This photo was taken after turning off the Beach Road by the coast (behind us), so it gives an idea of the distance from the lighthouse to the sea.

Looking back at the lighthouse in one of my side mirrors.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Introducing Candace!

Meet Candace, my amazing fiance from Indiana, USA! She's a nurse and works with the Admissions team here on the Africa Mercy. We met last year and have really enjoyed getting to know each other over the last few months. We made our engagement official late last year in Tema, Ghana. I'm excited to share my life with her!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Hospital Open House 2012...

Before the start of every Field Service, the Hospital opens its doors to the general crew, so that the whole ship can get a taste of what it is like to be a patient or a nurse on the Hospital deck of the world's largest charity hospital ship. This important event happened this past Monday, and I was there to capture - and experience - the fun and activities.

There were many different activities, including wound-care and learning how to do dressing changes, how to insert an IV, how to intubate a patient and many more. It was a great evening learning about the pivotal role that the Africa Mercy hospital plays in many West African nations - it is, after all, the reason why we are here.

Trying my hand at wound-care. (Not a real wound, of course. :-) )

Inserting an IV.

I got that elusive "vein"!

Match the name with the Hospital equipment.

Suctioning a lung.

The Captain tries his hand at intubating a patient.

Eeyore is ready for surgery!

Crew members learn how to suture.

Sterilising machines.

X-Ray room.

Our CT-Scanner.

Candace and I at the Open House. :-)