Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A Picnic on the Cliffs...

The Mercy Vision team were invited to a lovely picnic with some hospital friends on the cliffs above Lubanzi Beach last Friday. (26th July.) It was awesome to enjoy food and fellowship in a pretty spectacular setting - and outside of the work context.

 Feeding frenzy in the waters below - birds, dolphins and fish.
 Whales in the distance.
 Huge waves stretching across the sea.
 Looking towards Lubanzi Beach.
 With Candace above the cliffs.
The Mercy Vision team - minus two members - above Lubanzi Beach.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mercy Vision School Outreach...

The Mercy Vision Zithulele team did its first school outreach this past Wednesday. (24th July.) We saw 127 children and performed VA (Visual Acuity) tests on them all. We also dispensed eye drops to a few children with itchy or teary eyes, and referred a small number to our eye clinics. It was a great day!

 Approaching the school.
 Mercy Vision School Outreach 2013.
 VA testing stations.
 Children waiting to be seen.
 Our translator explains the instructions to the children.
 Giving one of the children a basic VA eye test.
 While we screened the older students, the pre-schoolers waited for their lunch. Hmm, yum!
View of the classroom we were using.
 Mohau and the children pose for a photo. Farewell kids!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Hole In The Wall...

Candace and I went to Coffee Bay yesterday afternoon. (Sunday, 21st July.) We had lunch at the Ocean View Hotel and walked along the lovely beach. But the highlight of the day was driving through to the amazing Hole In The Wall just ten kilometres further down the coast. We parked the Land Rover on a hill above the spectacular rock formation, and then walked down to get a closer look. You can read more about the history of Hole In The Wall here.

 Walking along the beach at Coffee Bay.
 This is Whale's Back - although I think it looks more like a giant tortoise peering out of its shell.
 Hole In The Wall from the hill opposite.
 The lagoon where the Mpako River meets the ocean.
 With Candace at Hole In The Wall.
 The hole is so high that a small yacht could fit through the opening.
View from the lagoon.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

New Mercy Ships Land Rover...

At first glance you may think this Land Rover Defender is the real thing. But don't be fooled, this is just a model that I found in East London. It was silver in colour when I bought it, so I had to make some changes. I gave it a couple of coats of white paint, added the Sierra Leone number plate of Mercy Ships Land Rover 625, and stuck on a Mercy Ships logo. And there you go, vehicle 625 comes to life in miniature form!

The Land Rover model in front of the Mercy Vision eye clinic.
The mini Land Rover with the real deal behind.
The downside is the wheels - the silver hubs don't look rugged enough.
 Sierra Leone number plate.
 625's number on the windscreen.
 A real Mercy Ships Land Rover in Sierra Leone. 2011.
 Land Rovers on the dock in Cotonou, Benin. 2009.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Scrub Nurse...

Candace has been trained recently as the surgical scrub nurse for cataract surgeries. She's done a great job helping with surgery and gaining experience in a new role - and has enjoyed it too! Here are a couple of photos from last week's surgery day.

 Candace assisting with surgery.
The Mercy Vision surgery team in action!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Air Ambulance...

This medical helicopter has been a frequent visitor to Zithulele Mission Hospital over the past month. The basketball court next to the Mercy Vision unit doubles as the helipad, and so we get to see it arrive and depart the hospital. And while it is exciting having a helicopter land in your backyard, the downside is that there is usually a seriously ill patient needing to be transported to another medical facility. Thankfully we have the resources in this country to make that possible.

 The helicopter with the Mercy Vision units behind.
 Loading the patient into the helicopter.
 Heading back to East London. A four-hour journey by road takes the helicopter just 45 minutes!
 Two days later the helicopter was back again to pick up another patient.
View from the Mercy Vision unit.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Lion Park...

On our final day in East London we visited The Lion Park, an interesting place that has a selection of wild animals. The highlight of the day was being able to hold and stroke baby White Lions! They were so cute!

 Sign to The Lion Park.
 A male white lion.
 The pride of lions.
 African Wild Dog.
 Spot the odd one out? The dog keeps the lion cubs in line!
 Candace holds a two-month-old male white lion cub.
 Bengal and white tiger.
 Giant tortoises.
 Fallow deer.
They do say that the grass is always greener on the other side... It's true for these llamas!