Blogs from Congo, Africa

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Africa » Congo » West » Point Noire May 31st 2014

We will be sailing soon. We are preparing to do checks for stowaways and some crew members are being trained to do pirate watch. We will be going through an interesting point - 0° longitude and 0° latitude. For those of you who may not know, it is the point at which the equator (0° latitude) and the prime meridian (0° longitude) intersect. It has no real importance. It is in the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean, about 380 miles (611 kilometers) south of Ghana and 670 miles (1078 km) west of Gabon. We are headed to the Canaries and dry dock where the bottom of the ship will be cleaned and routine maintenance will be done before departing for Benin. The Africa Mercy was to go to Guinea, but plans were changed because ... read more
 stabd prop

Africa » Congo » West » Point Noire May 30th 2014

About a half dozen crew members went to orphanage for boys. It was my first time. But others in the group have been going weekly. It was dark and the lighting was poor. The boys came to our vehicle as soon as we pulled in. They are fun loving and enjoy playing games. I could barely see the Frisbee and other flying objects. Several ball games were going on at the same time using the same small area near a building with one light. We play all kinds of games including relay, American football, and naturally soccer. There is only one woman on staff. The rest are men. The age range of the boys is 6 to 18.... read more
Young Boy at Orphanage

Africa » Congo » West May 23rd 2014

“Are you sailing?” That’s a frequently ask question at the present time. Many people will be departing the Africa Mercy just before we leave for dry dock in the Canaries. There are many celebrations and tearful farewells. The last patient left yesterday. All departments are getting ready for the sail. The hospital needs to be packed in containers and the rooms scrubbed down. The tents (for rehab. eye clinic, admissions, etc.) need to be taken down. The vehicles will loaded onto deck seven. Many things arebeing packed away and tied down. Anything that could move during sailing needs to be packed or tied down. Fuel is being loaded for the trip. We had our first muster drill last Thursday. It is a very busy time. I am working in the Starbucks Café and Ship Shop on ... read more
Pointe Noire, The Harbor
Street View

Africa » Congo » West » Point Noire May 7th 2014

Pigs, chickens, rabbits, wedding flowers, fish farming, soybeans, banana, mango, and passion fruit, and irrigation are some of the things I saw when I visited a farm about an hour from Point Noir. The farmer is a medical doctor, formerly with Doctors Without Borders. He last served in Rwanda. Several of the other doctors he worked with there were killed. He was wounded in an explosion while driving an ambulance. After his recovery he felt he needed to live a quiet life, but one that involved physical work. He moved to his home country and began farming. He has taught others farming skills. I went to this place with six other crew members. I was on the gangway as they were leaving the ship. I was invited to go since they had room for one more. ... read more
The Chickens
Small village on river

Africa » Congo » West » Point Noire May 1st 2014

I arrived into Congo and Mercy Ships on Thursday, the first of May. It was exciting to get a warm welcome from fellow crew members I served with in Togo and Guinea. It was an uneventful flight. The lack of signs in the New York airport resulted in my spending extra time in terminal 3 looking for a way to get to terminal 4. But I made all the connections. Starting Monday I will be working in the sales section of the Finance Dept. I have this weekend off. Last night I went to a neighborhood about 14km away with a dozen crew members to show a discipleship film in French. This was the third visit to that location from Mercy Ships. There were about 50 people of all ages. White plastic chairs were set up ... read more
Ngoyo Plaine Orphanage
Ngoyo Plaine Orphanage

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Africa » Congo » North » Ouesso October 15th 2012

The Kony 2012 campaign has kind of died down after the incident where the main guy ran out onto the street naked and was doing some kind of funky dance... some say he was masturbating... the official explanation is that the stress and the pressure and responsibility of suddenly being in the spotlight caused him to lose control of his mind and his body... Maybe... and I think its commendable that he has made a second movie and made a second focus date...ie november 17th... The congo is a fascinating place. Its deep- dark and mysterious... its a dense jungle where it takes 10 minutes to hack through one metre of forest... and the area is so vaste... the Democratic republic of Congo is also french speaking- and comprisong many differnet tribes - some of whom ... read more
specially trianed jungle soldiers
Charles Mwando Simba

Africa » Congo July 29th 2012

Hallo allemaal Nog 6 nachtjes en dan ben ik weer in Nederland. Vandaag zijn we naar een weeshuis geweest, dat gesponsord wordt door de PrivatAir crew. Het was een erg armoedige bedoening, geleid door een non. Armoedig is echter een relatief begrip. Er zijn hier kinderen die nog veel minder hebben. Ze waren erg vrolijk. Geef ze een iPhone en ze klikken de ene foto na de andere. De mensen van PrivatAir brengen ze kleren, eten en andere relevante benodigdheden. We hebben ook een inzameling gehouden om het dak te kunnen reparen. Hoewel het erg gezellig was ga ik toch met gemixte gevoelens weg.... read more
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Africa » Congo July 22nd 2012

Hallo allemaal Deze is wat vertraagd want ik kon tijdelijk niet meer inloggen. Afgelopen zaterdag ben ik met een paar lokale Engelse docenten op stap geweest in en rond brazzaville. We zijn op de lokale markt begonnen en vrij snel naar de buitensteden gegaan. Dat zijn niet onze buitensteden, maar stukken kaal gemaakte jungle waar mensen een huis, of wat daar voor doorgaat, hebben neergezet. Geen verdere infrastructuur zoals water elektriciteit oid. Net als in andere delen van de wereld trekt ook hier iedereen naar de stad. Één derde van de bevolking van Congo woont nu in en rond Brazzaville, pop 1.000.000. We hebben een eind gelopen en een rivier over gestoken in een uitgeholde boomstam. Dit kostte de lieve som van 8 € cent. Het filmpje hiervan vind je op YouTube onder michielderuijter1966. Daarn hebben ... read more
Human powered ferry

Africa » Congo July 15th 2012

Hallo allemaal Een tijdje geleden alweer dat ik wat zinvols te melden had. De lessen gaan zeer voorspoedig en m'n studenten werken erg hard. Ik geef nu nonstop les van 9 tot 15 uur. En ze willen steeds meer informatie. Erg vermoeiend, maar geeft veel voldoening. Ze zijn nu, op eigen initiatief, na de reguliere lessen, een discussiegroep gestart. Hiermee willen ze hun communicatie vaardigheden vergroten, met name voor de mindere broeders en zusters. Geweldig dus! Dit heeft echter wel tot gevolg dat ik in de middag, na voorbereiding van de volgende les, eerst even een uurtje moet slapen. ( ik ben geen 24 meer, zucht!) Daarna eten en naar bed. Ik maak hierdoor niet zoveel mee dat vermeldenswaardig is, sorry. Vandaag echter zijn er verkiezingen. Het hele land ligt op z'n kont. Er is geen ... read more
... het zwembad

Africa » Congo » West » Point Noire July 10th 2012

Tuesday July 10 We're in The Congo! Well, Republic of Congo to be exact; not too far from the Gabon border that we crossed earlier today. Our free camp isn't too far off the road and several youngsters found us but either they kept their little secret to themselves or the adults weren't interested. Driving along solid dirt roads again, the landscape was similar to yesterday. A small section of sealed road appeared in the border town where people frantically pointed to the building we'd driven past and listening to them, Suse turned the truck around and we found out it was immigration. Notes said it was 48km further down the track but here it was. Somehow we'd missed the tiny sign sitting under the window from the main road 100 metres away. Go figure. Filing ... read more
Bush camp
Heading towards Pointe Noire
Lunch stop in Dolisie




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