Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: French Navy

Ok, some wee words to explain... the M/V Mistral, part of the French Navy, docked next to us for a few days and invited us over for a tour of the flight deck and hosptial onboard.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TIA Thursdays

Last night (on Wordless Wednesday) I found myself in front of my computer barely awake. I waited patiently trying to upload pictures for my wordless blog, however the internet connection kept dropping like my eyelids so I gave up. It was a long day starting at 5am making pancakes for the crew and until about 6pm in the operating room and then out for dinner with friends. My head found the pillow quickly.
So I find myself again in front of the computer in hopes of downloading some pictures for my readers to enjoy. "TIA" is a common phrase we like to use here- "This is Africa" and its more like excuse in some situations. These TIA pictures are brought to you from our hospitality center where our patients stay in between visits to the ship. I was visiting patients when one of the mamas had the brilliant idea for me to carry her baby... TIA.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The ladies

Well, what can I say about my blog absence? I apologize it has been so long (my parents do remind me). So the past three weeks, all my time and energy has been focused on one thing: "the ladies". As they are known on the ship traveled for 12 hours on a bus to see if they can find healing on the Africa Mercy. The final preparations paid off and screening was a huge success. We schedule all the women we could help. It was a long day, but incredible to see how it comes together when no one speaks the same language. I cherish my time whether doing physical exams or passing out cheese sandwiches without speaking a word, but knowing how grateful they were to be here. See these ladies come from the north where the dialects are unheard of in Lome’. Let me introduce you to some of them.

These ladies are from Mango and speak Tchokossi.

And these ladies are from Dapaong and speak Moba.

Well, you might not be able to tell, but these ladies have been through everything. Their smiles slowly surface after watching my friend Maggie and I try to explain diaper cream with using only sign language. These ladies are why I am here, not only to make sandwiches or be their nurse, but also to love them. Most of them have been out-casted by their own families and left for dead just because they smell. They can’t go to the market to buy food or sit next to someone without being shunned. They smell offensive to anyone, because it is the smell of urine. They leak from a hole between their bladder and birth canal caused by obstructed labor. We take time to sit down with each of the ladies and ask them their stories. They spend days in labor and have to search for a hospital to help them deliver their stillborn baby. Some have had nine children where some do not have a single living child. Husbands leave to find another wife and they are left to fend for themselves. These ladies hide in their villages and don’t know there are others like them suffering the same way. Some say they do not eat or drink or sleep, because no matter what they leak. This is a life no one should live… that is why I am here, for the ladies.


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.