Published: April 8th 2007April 8th 2007
The bow of the Anastasis
The bow... what else can I say, but it's the reason why we are here!
I have now been on the Anastasis Mercy Ship for one week and it has been a week of new and exciting learning and adjustments. It's wierd to think that I am in West Africa, because I live on a boat that has airconditioning. And sometimes because the ship is so big, I forget that I am on a ship.
I feel sometimes like I am back in college living in dorms, eating in a cafeteria, having certain meetings at 0730h when I like to sleep in, and living with people again!! I have 2 roommates in a cabin that could have room for 6... 3 bunks with 6 closets and that's it! the bathroom is next door with 2 showers and a sink and 2 broken toilets... but they were "liquid only" toilet... guess what that is... exactly like it sounds... ONLY liquids.... hmmm... makes things difficult for girls, so it's a trek to the bathroom for me!! There are only certain hours that the cafeteria is opened for breakfast, lunch and supper and there is not much selection... so there is no choice and no where to buy food other than eating here... so I have to suck
The Anastasis has life preservers all over the boat to throw out to anyone who may find themselves a bit wet from falling in!
We actually have a 11p.m. curfew mostly for our own protection because of the state that Liberia is in. The ship is docked at Freeport, Monrovia, Liberia. And it is guarded by UN soilders 24 hours a day at the gate in towers and they patrol the dock at night. There is a security officer that sits in an air conditioned booth and every person that goes on or off the ship has to go through and get a visitor pass or for me, scan my ID badge (that I have to wear everywhere on the boat so we know who's who....) so they know who is on and off the ship and if anything were to happen we would know where everyone is. So that is comforting to know, but scary at the same time to think that the peace is so fragile here that we need to stay alerted to everything.
There is a pool on the top deck, called the pool deck and no visitors are allowed there cause it's the only place where we are allowed to be "less covered" in our swim suits. Otherwise, due to the culture we are required to
Anastasis by sunset
Here is the Anastasis in all her glory at sunset.
have some limits on the ship and when we are off the ship for respect purposes. For instance.... all pants and skirts must be below the knee because the culture here is such that showing your knees is really offensive, but showing your chest is not... so basically I could dance around topless as long as my skirt is covering my knees... but to give US on the ship some grace and after 6p.m. or while playing sports we can wear shorts.
The port we are docked along also has many other ships that are near, although no one is allowed to dock right beside us for security reasons... as well there are many sunken ships along the ports ... so funny! cause they are all just left abandoned. Not sure if it's a result from the war that lasted for 14 years, or when the rebels contoled the port or if there are just really bad drivers!!
My first weekend I also went out with my friend Ladonna who also is from Victoria. We met while we were at work on my unit at the Royal Jubilee hosptial and soon found out that we were going to
It's through the window, but here's a view of the where the Captain would be when the ship is sailing! seems so old fashion, but cool!
Mercy Ships at the same time!! How cool is that... I feel very lucky and blessed to have her on the ship to hang out with and have a familiar face amongst all these strange friends.
So, we went to church with these local Liberian people that are a part of a few different church plants... basically it was just a building with cement foundation and bamboo walls and a tin roof. But man, they can sing! All they had was a shaker thing and a drum set and they just sang their hearts out, singing to God. It ended up too, almost being a dance party in the aisles! I wish I could have taken some more pictures of that, but because I was a "guest" I was sitting right at the front facing the congregation!! With the Pastors, and special speakers. Then we went to the grand opening of a trade school from a Mission ministry that was opening up for women to learn trades like sewing... so they can make money. They were never given opportunity to learn these things because women here just get married and have babies, so this gives peopel who want to, to
Mercy Ships dock
This is the side of the ship as it's tied up along the dock
learn farming and sewing, so they can be independent and make some of their own money!
So that is a bit about the Ship and where I "live." My next entry will be a bit more geared to what I am doing, but I just wanted you to have a clue as to where I am and a few pictures of the ship. Hopefully I can take a few pictures of where I work, but it is hard because we are not allowed to take photos on the ward, just to protect the dignity of the patients... but I will try and get a few.
Take care all!
There are more photos below