Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Driving in the rural Eastern Cape...

Driving the roads of the rural Eastern Cape can be quite a challenge. Candace decided to document all the interesting sights that we saw on the road as we drove home one afternoon last week. And by interesting sights, I mean potential hazards! :-)

 Watch out for the dog...
 Potholes... And note the pig crossing in the distance!
 Also, don't get distracted by the soccer games...
 Beautiful scenery...
 And local car wash either!

Surgical Unit... Clean!

The Surgical Unit is now as clean and as sterile as it will ever be. Surgeries are happening as I type and this is what the operating theatre looks like. The Surgical Unit consists of two rooms. The operating theatre, pictured here, is where the physical surgeries happen. The waiting room, behind the camera, is where patient blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs are checked. Eye drops for the surgery are also administered here. It's a very simple, well-organised, set-up.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tarzan & Jane...

Let me introduce you to Tarzan and Jane. These two Land Rovers are responsible for transporting the team and equipment to rural clinics throughout the catchment area of Zithulele Mission Hospital. They have been huge assets assisting with patient transport to and from the community centre over the last week. The community centre is where the cataract patients have been staying overnight prior to having their surgery the next day. This is Tarzan at right.

And this is Jane.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Secondary Cataract Screening...

The Mercy Vision eye team went to local clinics in surrounding communities for the initial screening late last year. Some 2,000 potential patients were screened in just a few months. Those who were deemed suitable for cataract surgery were given appointment cards to come to Zithulele Mission Hospital for secondary screening in February. This process happened during the week of February 11th - February 15th and Candace and I were privileged to be involved. We supported the hard-working Mercy Vision team as they ensured that patients were ready for the surgeries scheduled for the following two weeks.

*All photos here were taken with the patients' knowledge and permission.

 Patients wait to be screened for potential cataract surgery.
 Candace working hard with patient history forms.
 The Eye Team checking out a patient's vision.
One of our two Land Rovers parked outside during a cold and wet day.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Cleaning the Surgical Unit...

Greetings from the Eastern Cape province of South Africa! We arrived here on Sunday, 10th February, and have had a busy two weeks here. We spent last week helping with secondary screening for cataract patients, as well as cleaning the Surgical Unit. We dedicated two whole days to scrubbing and cleaning the new Operating Theatre, and this was what it looked like during and after our initial clean.

(I'm currently playing catch-up with my blog and therefore I'm several days behind. Cataract surgeries have already begun - but since I usually blog chronologically, you'll have to follow this blog to see more!)

 Almost all of this equipment needs to be unpacked and put in the surgery.
 The surgical unit being cleaned.
 Ceiling, wall, and floor cleaning now complete!
 Medical equipment moving back into the surgery - including the microscope (out of shot) and the bed.
More medical equipment. We had to clean each of these items prior to moving them into the surgery.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Exploring Silvermine...

Candace and I enjoyed a lovely hike at Silvermine last month. Silvermine is part of Table Mountain National Park and has some breathtaking views over Noordhoek and Hout Bay. There is also a dam which is great for swimming after a relaxing hike. It was another beautiful day in Cape Town.

 Walking along the dam wall.
 Pretty flowers # 1.
 Pretty flowers # 2.
 Pretty flowers # 3.
Pretty flowers # 4.
 Pretty flowers # 5.
 Pretty flowers # 6. I wish I knew their names.
 These black lizards are very common.
 This one may be common - but definitely less seen due to amazing camouflage!
 View towards Fish Hoek and Simon's Town.
 Long Beach stretches from Noordhoek at the bottom to Kommetjie at the far side.
 Hout Bay.
 Heading back down towards Silvermine Dam.
Silvermine Dam - perfectly safe for swimming.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mercy Ships on 60 Minutes...

"60 Minutes" is a CBS-produced show that is very popular in the United States. They were on the ship during our 2012 Field Service to Togo, and featured Mercy Ships this past Sunday night. However, if you missed the show or are not in America or Canada, you can still see their piece online. It'll give you a good idea about our work with Mercy Ships and why we loved being a part of this amazing ministry. Enjoy watching it here!

Cape Peninsula Trip...

Candace and I had the opportunity to take a couple of our Mercy Ships friends on a tour around the Cape Peninsula last month. It was a beautiful day and we saw many wild animals in the nature reserve, including penguins, antelope, zebras, baboons, ostriches, and more. We came home via Chapman's Peak Drive and the fishing harbour at Hout Bay, where we had lovely fish and chips for supper. It was a great day!

 World War II gun emplacement over False Bay.
 Simon's Town, False Bay.
 Boulder's Beach penguin colony near Simon's Town.
 A couple of African Penguins.
 Three bontebok at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
 Zebra in the reserve.
 Tortoise along the road.
 Pretty flowers.
 Lovely Cape scenery.
 Windswept tree.
 A flock of ostriches.
 With our friends at the Cape of Good Hope.
 Looking down towards the Cape of Good Hope.
 Cape Point new lighthouse peeps out from behind the cliff.
 Cape Point.
 Rock pillars hold up the mountain.
 The old Cape Point lighthouse on the mountain above the sea.
 Slangkop Lighthouse at Kommetjie.
Chacma Baboon.