It is now only a few hours before Candace and I begin our travels to Indiana. My visa interview went well and we are so thankful to be reunited and travelling together again. But that being said there have been some sad farewells on this side as we say goodbye to my family here in Cape Town. We have tried to see all of my friends and family over the past week or so. It has been sad saying these farewells, but we are thankful for how God has led and guided us through the past year and a half since we began this process. We also know that we will certainly be back every now and then to visit, so it is not truly "Goodbye", but rather "See you later!"
On Sunday we had a family farewell braai (barbecue) with my whole family and aunt and cousin's family. It was lovely being together for one last South African braai. I'm definitely bringing the braaiing tradition to Indiana! :-) Thanks for reading - more when we're on the US side of the Atlantic! Much love!
Jesse jumping on the trampoline in the back garden.
After finishing the lifeboats and doing some touch-ups here and there, my Africa Mercy was finally finished a little over two months since work began on it. I decided that because it is far too large to take with us back to Indiana, I'd donate it to the local Mercy Ships office. Candace and I took it to Mercy Ships Southern Africa (MSSA) yesterday. It looks very nice in their large boardroom. :-)
One final photo shoot at home before taking it to MSSA.
Port side view.
The main gangway can be seen in this shot - stowed up on Deck 8.
View from above.
Size perspective. :-)
My Africa Mercy model in the MSSA boardroom.
Starboard side view.
The MSSA boardroom.
With Candace and my AFM model. :-) Thanks for following my model posts!
The Africa Mercy carries two 50-man lifeboats and two 150-man lifeboats. This gives her a lifesaving capacity of 400 in the main boats, plus another 210 in the inflatable rafts. This gives a total of 610 people, which is much more than the Africa Mercy would ever carry. I was very pleased with how my model lifeboats turned out, hanging in their davits between decks 7 and 8. :-) My model is nearing completion!
One of the smaller 50-man lifeboats.
Forward davits in place for the smaller boats.
Boat 1 in position.
The davits being made for the larger 150-man boats.
The two larger covered lifeboats.
Boat 3 in position.
Forward and aft lifeboats.
Forward view of my Africa Mercy.
Starboard side view of my almost-complete model! :-)
Here is a first glimpse of my Africa Mercy's emergency equipment. I'm starting with the rescue boats adn the life rafts. The Man Overboard (MOB) boats are deployed in case there is a man overboard, obviously. :-) They carry an outboard motor and can go really fast across calm seas if necessary. You can also see the six inflatable life rafts that the ship carries. Each raft is rated for a capacity of 35 persons. So in the rafts alone you could fit over 200 people. :-)
The rescue or Man Overboard boats taking shape.
The outboard motors in action as the little boats skim across my duvet. :-)
Monkey island is an area of a ship located above the navigational bridge. It is here that many aerials and antennas, radar installations and searchlights are located. With all this important equipment here, the Africa Mercy's monkey island is usually off-limits to general crew members.
Some photos of the flags and ropes being added to my model. The Africa Mercy is registered in Valletta, Malta, and thus flies the Maltese cross on her aft mast. My model is depicting the Africa Mercy during her 2011 Field Service to Sierra Leone - hence the Sierra Leone flag in the forward mast.
Mercy Ships flag on the bow.
Sierra Leone flag in the forward mast. The flag on my model, as in real life, can be hoisted and lowered.
Hook anchoring the ropes at the bottom of the forward mast.
Another view of the forward mast.
Aft mast and flag - flag can also be hoisted and lowered.
The Africa Mercy has a large canopy that covers the pool when the ship is in port. It provides essential shade for crew members relaxing at the pool or children playing up on Deck 8. And when the Africa Mercy sails the canopy is taken down and only the frame remains in place. I was initially going to leave out this part of the ship - because of needing to access the electronics housed in the pool - but then I decided it could work as a removable frame for the canopy. So it isn't glued on - it just sits in place to allow easy access to the electronics below. :-)
The canopy frame almost finished...
And sitting in place on Deck 8.
The whole ship with the pool canopy frame in place.
I am a 32-year-old South African whose journey with Mercy Ships began in 2007 when I joined the M/V "Africa Mercy" in Liberia. I met my wife Candace in Sierra Leone in 2011 and together we served with Mercy Ships until December 2012. We worked with Mercy Vision in South Africa during 2013, and are now settling into a new life together in the USA.
If you would like to support Candace and I, please send us an e-mail to the address listed on my profile. Thanks!
We are now no longer serving with Mercy Ships, so please don't send any more mail to Candace and I on the ship. Thanks!
I served with Mercy Ships. Everything here, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercy Ships.