Blogs from Togo, Africa - page 3


Africa » Togo May 17th 2012

Wednesday, I went with a group to Palime to visit the Missionary Sisters of Charity. They care for children and adults with HIV, TB, other illnesses and palliative care. There were four sisters and some lay workers. The sisters spoke English. One said she was from Bangladesh. The others were also dark skinned, but I don’t know where they were from. They will stay in Palime for about four years, but can also be reassigned at any time. They were gracious and fun loving. This is the order of sisters started by Mother Theresa. They wear the traditional habit of the Sisters of Charity. There were about 25 men and women patients when we visited. There were many more during the last visit, but many were well enough to go home before this visit. A doctor ... read more

Africa » Togo » Lome May 14th 2012

Today, I went to an African fishing village for church worship and a prayer walk around the village. It was awesome! What a wonderful opportunity this was and it probably will be one of the highlights of this trip. One of the chaplains from Africa Mercy went also and three ranger rovers full of crew members. We arrived to the sound of music and singing. A generator pumped the sound system. Mostly there were drums. Some young ladies did percussion with gourds covered with a loose net with beads. The women and men sat on different sides of the church. The children were outside under a canvas tarp having their Sunday school. There were about 50 adults and as many children. Church is at least a three hour service. There is also the social time that ... read more

Africa » Togo May 11th 2012

This morning I worked at the Africa Mercy Ship Eye Clinic. There was a dancing and singing celebration. Previously, about 25 men and women received cataract surgery. On this post-op visit, they had their vision tested and were given reading glasses, if needed. They received three kinds of eye drops and other exams. The patients all carried a blue Mercy bag pouch with eye supplies in them. The clinic was held in a large tube like tent on the dock. My main jobs was to escort patients as they came out of the other end of the tent back to the waiting area where they sat on benches under a canvas covering. They were given cookies and water. Two interpreters then gave them instructions. They were told to always wear sun glasses outside. They were told ... read more

Africa » Togo » Lome May 8th 2012

Last night I went to a school for the deaf. There were about thirty kids who live too far to go home every night, so only go on the weekends. We were in a large court yard for our activities. It had a gazebo type shelter with wooden tables and chairs. The kids know American Sign Language. I learned to sign a few words. We read a story, “I’m Going on a Lion Hunt” and helped them make lion masks. Two crew kids and their mom were with us. Our boys played soccer with them. The school kids were very excited about having them there. We played games and communicated as best we could. This morning I went with two Mercy Ships men from Lome to a detention center for teens. The police/guards were not in ... read more

Africa » Togo » Lome May 5th 2012

This is my first long weekend on duty. Let me tell you about the dining room duty. It seems like a boring read to me, but you may be interested. Friday has a regular meal schedule. The Saturday and Sunday morning and evening shifts are longer, but we have one long break of several hours in between. The dining room is on deck five. When boarding ship we climb up the gangway to deck five. We take turns washing dishes now, no more paper plates and cups. Lome was working on the streets which caused a loss of water for a while. However, we still need to conserve. The major change is washing dishes and being able to do a load of laundry a week. In the dinning room there are two small “back rooms” for ... read more

Africa » Togo » Lome May 3rd 2012

It seems I lost my entry about the week end. Well, there will be others. I worked in the dining room on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday is Africa night. Plantains, beans, rice, mango were some of the foods. There is salad every lunch and dinner. There are always celebrations on board. Last week it was the queen’s birthday in Holland, I think. There was also Togo Independence Day. There were also several hours of meetings for new crew and signatures to get. I have finally finished that part. Wednesday, I signed up for French lessons. It is the Rosetta Stone Program. I don’t know how far I will get. Right now there are not many people signed up so I can go on a computer and used it any time. I got a few items from ... read more

Africa » Togo » Lome April 27th 2012

There is still a water problem. We get updates from the Captain at meal times. We were told yesterday that we could do one load of laundry a week and to continue to take two minute showers. Those two minutes are wonderful. I haven't always been able to get one in my travels. We are using paper products in the dinning room - which means no washing dishes. So we are finishing a little early each meal. Broccoli is the most popular vegetable with the crew. They eat five pans to every two of other kinds except the mash potatoes which also are popular. There is a chapel service for everyone not on duty at 1930 every Thursday. Last night's message was on "strength". After chapel last evening, the firemen on board served us ice cream ... read more

Africa » Togo April 25th 2012

Last evening I went with a group to show the Jesus film at a location somewhere in Lome. It was shown on the side of the street in fromt of a church. The pastor and his wife spoke English. The wife wore traditional dress. The pastor and five children worn western style clothing. The wife showed me some bags that she made with small sized cord. I think she tries to sell then to make extra money. The church was lovely inside. About 30 passers-by stopped to watch the movie which was in the local language. We also sang and prayed. It was interesting to watch the people's reaction. They clapped at the miracles made negative sounds when bad things were happening. I was told that this was done twice a week in different neighborhoods. The ... read more

Africa » Togo April 24th 2012

Left Vermont 22-4-12 and arrived on Africa Mercy in Lome, Togo at 0915 local time Monday (23-4-12). Tuesday 24-4-12 My first assignment, with two days on ang two days off, will be in the dinning area. I get to choose what to do the other days. I plan to start at the Hope Center. Patience who still need follow up care but live too far to go home stay at Hope Center. There are many meeting during the first two weeks for new crew. After that, not so many. My first one is at 1600 today. Coming in from the airport reminded me off many of the poor place I saw in Latin America. The crew is exceptionally friendly and helpful.... read more

Africa » Togo April 24th 2012

This morning I went to Maison Bethany, an orphanage. Judging by the pictures on the walls, it seems to be Catholic. There were about 20 children. Our leader read a bible parable about building a house on a firm foundation. Then we built a small house using blocks on sand and one on a rock and made it rain with a pitcher of water. We had several activities. Watercoloring, singing, games and puzzles. They seemed to receive good care. The place was spacious by standards down here and clean. I had the chance to speak with the translator. He 25 and single. He says that most men do not marry until they are 28 and women 25. He knows French, English, and at least one of the African languages. I don't know what the temp is ... read more

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