Africa Mercy Ship Volunteer - Dolphins off the port side

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June 16th 2012
Published: June 16th 2012
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Yes, the Africa Mercy is sailing. A pod of dolphins is now swimming off the port side. Wow! We left Lome, Togo this morning. We are heading for the Canary Islands. This ship was originally a ferry and when out to sea it rocks from side to side. Right now, all I see is water. It is a bit cloudy. When we left port, the port captain/pilot came on board to guide us out. There were two tug boats that helped get us going as well. Once we were out of the harbor the pilot returned to port, probably on one of the tugs. There was a stow-away search, and then we were on our way.

Everything is tied down. We have been busy for the last two weeks preparing. I had no idea there was so much to do. We also had a number of drills to go through. I have my emergency pack ready.

It is a bit tricky in the dining room. I can’t walk across holding a stack of 20 plates any more. I am not sea sick at all. The remaining hospital staff has been reassigned. Some have come to the dining room and galley. I only work every other day until we land. But we are on a weekend schedule so breakfast is not until 7:30. I get to sleep until 6:30. One thing that was new to me is that we are allowed to throw biodegradable stuff into the ocean - food and paper. The other trash we save until we reach port.

We may not always have internet while sailing. I haven’t included pictures mostly because I have very few. After all, I am not here as a tourist. Many of the ministries did not allow pictures. In some cases it would have been a distraction to what we were doing. When the kids see a camera, they want to have their picture taken with you. Anyone can go the official Africa Mercy site and see pictures of patients and the hospital ship.

There are a few activities planned to entertain us during the next 10 days to two weeks. I found some crew members who like to play fast scrabble and have game pieces. One of the African players, Ernest, is a walking dictionary. It is hard to read while the boat is moving, but playing the game does not give me a headache. One is a Shrek marathon. Red October is being shown tomorrow night.


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