Saturday, 23 March 2013

The 2013 Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour...

The 36th edition of the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour occurred on Sunday, 10th March 2013. This was my 23rd Tour and, as has become tradition over the last few years, I rode it in Mercy Ships kit to raise awareness for this mission organisation that has a special place in my heart.

The Cycle Tour was also special for another reason this year: my wife Candace entered and cycled alongside me the whole way. It was her first tour and - considering she hadn't ever cycled more than 30 kilometres before December last year - she did amazingly well. She kept me going towards the end when I was struggling with a terrible stitch in my side. We finished the 109-kilometre event in 5 hrs 45 minutes - and were very happy to have finished the route without incident!

 Cyclists line up for the start.
 On the start line.
The day before the Cycle Tour was the children's Junior and Tricycle Tour. My nephews took part in the 1,5 km route.
 My three-year-old nephew Jesse approaches the finish...
And here comes his five-year-old brother, Rhyenn!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Our Unabridged Marriage Certificate...

Candace and I are back in Cape Town for a few weeks as we work on visa applications and cycle the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour together - which we successfully completed last week! More on that in another blog post though. We were very excited when we visited the Department of Home Affairs last week and discovered that our Unabridged Marriage Certificate was ready for collection! This is a key document that we will need for our visa application process. We had been waiting on it for some time now, and were very happy to get it back one year and two days after our wedding!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Mercy Vision Zithulele Team...

Meet the fantastic team that assembled for the first cataract surgical outreach at Zithulele Mission Hospital last month! It's a team of dedicated professionals who love serving God through providing eye care to help people see!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wild Coast scenes...

Here are some more photos taken of the scenery around Coffee Bay. It is quite beautiful here!

 Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape.
 A rough track leads down towards the ocean.
 Rural houses and farmlands on the hills above the coast.
 Cows graze at their heart's content here...
 ... As do many horses.
 Candace and I on the cliff above Coffee Bay.
Conquering a fear.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Now I can see!

The Zithulele Community Hall, just a short drive from the Hospital, was where the patients were housed before and after their cataract surgery. Here the patients had their eye patches removed the day after the surgery, as well as having an eye test to check the strength of their vision.

Candace and I had the privilege of watching people being able to see for the first time in many years. One man was so excited that he shook everyone's hand as he walked around the room, unassisted for the first time in three years! On the final morning of the outreach, another man - who could now see - led everyone in a time of worship and a prayer of thanksgiving. It was a very special moment!

 Zithulele Community Centre.
Patients wait to have their eye patches removed.
Checking the vision of a cataract patient.
 Patients and caregivers leave the Community Hall on the final morning of the outreach.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Beach exploring at Coffee Bay...

On one of our weekends in the Eastern Cape we explored the beach at Coffee Bay. It has a beautiful, sandy beach, with some amazing rock pools. If you ever get a chance to visit the Eastern Cape, make sure you visit the pretty beach at Coffee Bay!

 This rock pool looks like a big eye!
 Sea-weed growing in a rock pool.
 The red formations look like little volcanoes in this rock pool.
 This looks like a jacuzzi.
 Interesting rock formations.
 Spot the crab!
 Giant sea urchin!
 Hermit crab.
 Soil at the coast made out of crushed sea shells.
 Amazing rock patterns in the cliff.
 Candace makes a new friend.
 Big seas at Coffee Bay.
 Coffee Bay beach.
 High cliffs overlook the coast.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

First Cataract Surgeries...

The first cataract surgeries occurred at Zithulele Mission Hospital between the 20th February and the 27th February. During this time, crew members from the ship came to Zithulele to help train local surgeons, ophthalmic nurses, and optometrists. It was a fantastic team that God knit together, and during this first outreach 51 people were given their sight back through cataract surgery! Praise God!

 Cataract patients wait for their surgery.
 Candace does blood pressure readings.
An elderly man is led out of the surgical unit after his surgery. The next day he could walk unassisted!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Surgical Unit... from the Outside...

This is what the new Mercy Vision Surgical Unit looks like from the outside. We put up the sign a few days ago (21st February), and it looks great! Not only does the unit look good, it also has a pretty sweet view - as you can see below!

 Before photo...
 Cleaning the side of the unit so that the sign will stick nicely to it.
 The sign is stuck on - now, time to pull it off!
 Getting there!
And there it is!
 Looking up the road from the unit... As dark storm clouds move over.
 The view looking towards the sea.
Goats in the fields.