Saturday, June 30, 2007

So know dear friends that the work here in Liberia goes on! It is heart warming work. So we continue to shine! You in your small corner and I in mine.

This is picture of Min one of the gaurds from the ship. Each time we leave the ship we have to scan our card. It is for security so they know where we are if there ever was an emergency they could quickly go to the computer and know immediately who was on and off the ship.
The best part of the Africa Mercy is having the patients come for surgery. The wards are starting to fill up with patients again. It is a pleasure and delight to work with them.

Friday, June 29, 2007

June 29, 2007 was the last day both ships docked next to one another. It is strange to walk off the African Mercy now and see open ocean. It feels like we have moved again similar feeling to when we sailed from Ghana to Liberia. We are all adjusting to the change.
These pictures are pictures of the Mercy Ships logo being painted over on the Anastasis in preperation for the Anastasis being recycled. The Anastasis sailed to be recycled on June 29, 2007. It was a little sad to see my home for the first eight months of living in Africa sail away. For me it was only eight months others it had been 10 to 20 years.

These are a couple of pictures of the inside of the hospital on the African Mercy. The first is a picture of one of the wards and the other is a picture of the ICU. Things are very different than the Anastasis. The African Mercy was designed as a state of the art hospital ship where as the Anastasis started out as a passenger ship and was renovated to a hospital ship.

Through the transition this is a lot of what we did. Moving every thing one can imagine from the Anastasis to the African Mercy.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

May 29,2007. The president of Liberia came for a tour of the new ship. She has made many positive changes for Liberia. It is our prayer that the she may continue with peace loving ways.
May 30,2007 was a memorable day. They had the symbolic ceremony of passing the torch from one ship to the other. Each crew member stood in a line from one ship to the other and passed the torch.

The Africa Mercy arrived May 21, 2007. It is now docked beside the Anastatsis. Between the last day of surgery and the arrival of the African Mercy the crew have been busy packing the Anastasis. Now with arrival of the African Mercy the crew is starting the process of bringing everything needed from the Anastasis to the African Mercy.

There are many interesting road signs in our travels across Liberia.

Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."
We have so much to be thankful for.
Sense the last surgery May 2 and screening days May 3 and 4. We have been packing up the Anastasis waiting for the Africa Mercy's arrival. The Africa Mercy arrived May 21, 2007.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The patients are awarded a precious treatment card, their ticket to surgery. On screening day I helped with the taking the histories, the last station before patients went to see the Dr's and recieve their card. In all 117 reconstructive procedure candidates were added to the surgical calander during the event. A further 60 patients were selected to see the ship's orthopeadic surgeons later in the year.

The screening was conducted at Tubman Stadium in the heart of Monrovia. There was estimated approximately 1000 people atteneded with 253 taken into the stadium. Dr. Gary Parker stated "This is our third year in the Monrovia area, so we may have treated the needest people in our first couple of visits. That would be encouraging to think that we'd actually made a dent such that we are not seeing today the number of cases we normally see."
Security was tight for the first mass screening held by Mercy Ships in Liberia on May 3, 2007. This was the first time the Liberian Government an the United Nations have considered the security situation stable eneogh to allow large public gathering to be held.

Twelve year old Sarah was the last patient to recieve a reonstructive surgery. Sarah comes from the remote southeastern corner of Liberia where her family farms rice and sugar cane. When Sarah was born with a cleft lip the family tried to find help but the Liberian civil war intervened. Doctors and nurses fled the region as the fighting grew worse. However than a second opprotunity presented itself in the form of Mercy Ships.

Seven re-constructive surgeries were completed in the last day of operations on the Anastasis. Three cleft lips were repaired and four tumor/cyst operations.

The last surgeries aboard the Anatasis took place May 2, 2007. Twenty-seven operations. The ophthalmic team conducting 20 eye operations.

Monday, April 30, 2007

After the many facial surgeries that are perfomed the patients can start to look alike, with the large white banadages around their heads. Despite this fact their personalities come shining forth. Jeremiah in this picture put all these stickers on his own face!

The wonderful work on the Ward continues. Hettie playing with babies and lots of cleft lip and palate repairs.

In other ways war torn Liberia is so much different than Ghana or Senegal. From the signs, to the ever present UN and the barb wire every where. Each person here seems to have a story to tell and thankful for a listening ear to tell it to.

Carrying things on their heads and babies on their backs!

In so many ways Liberia is similar to Ghana and Senegal, the other two African countries I have experienced. One similarity being how they use their heads as their third hand. It really is amazing what they can carry.