Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy St Georges Day

With over 60 English crew onboard the M/V Africa Mercy how could we pass up the chance to celebrate St Georges day? With scones, strawberry jam, whipped (UHT) cream and plenty of Tea it was a bit of home on the continent of Africa.

Anne caught consuming cream scones! Nathaniel was in bed and Rachel was finishing homework (whilst eating scones).

A gathering of Englands finest!

Fun on the Ward

The nurses onboard are not only highly motivated and highly skilled - they also have highly active imaginations when it comes to making the strange environment of the ship's hospital seem a friendlier place.

Empty bottles make great Corridoor skittles for an orthopaedic patient

After a cleft lip surgery and a hard day of face painting, mum and children need a quick 40 winks.

And of course you can't beat a cuddle!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fill her up mate!

Does anyone out there despair at the cost of their fuel bills? On Saturday we had to re-fuel the ship with 700 Tons of diesel oil! Usually a fuel barge will come alongside our vessel and we'll pump fuel across - but not in Benin.

On Saturday we had to lift the gangways, secure the ship and 'sail' across the harbour to the fuelling station - leaving our landrovers and other equipment on the dock. Despite some equipment over heating in the engine room, and with the help of two shiny tug boats we had a safe voyage and were re-fuelled and back at our usual berth by lunchtime on Sunday.

I'll try not to complain about having to take a car to the local garage for fuel anymore!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

even more pics

As promised here are some pictures of the childrens fancy dress day, Rachel's dance and even one from 'Pancake Day'. Yum.

Iona as a 'Renaissance Girl'

Rachel is an Egyption Princess

Nathaniel is a Roman Soldier

Pancake Day

Easter Dance

Picture Fest

Last night the Academy (School) onboard displayed pictures that the children had painted, together with some inventions taht the children had created. As if this wasn't enough there was also live recorder playing (by Nathaniel and friends), singing, poetry recital and even a cake stall. Here are a few pictures:

Rachels 'Perspective' Picture

Nathaniel's Sunset Picture

Iona's Picture of a Liberian beach

Nathaniel and Ken play us a song

The guys hanging out

More singing and recorders

Iona and Grace read their Poetry

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Yes we are still onboard the Africa Mercy and still in Benin. Plenty has been going on in the last few weeks. Rachel had a tooth taken out by our Norwegian dentist (and friend) Dag Tvedt as it was hindering the new tooth underneath it. She also performed a dance with some friends at our Easter service on Sunday which was received very well. I'll post pictures in the next day or so of that. Nathaniel and Rachel both won first prize in their classes for the fancy dress day. Nathaniel was a Roman soldier and Rachel was an Egyption Queen. We think Iona should have won as well but next time all our efforts will be concentrated on her (for Pirate Day). We had school reports which were excellent for all three kiddies, and they continue to work hard at all they do.

Anne took the plunge and led the community devotional meeting last week (Tuesday). She managed to combine two songs and a video clip from Lord of the Rings (Smeagol's identity crises) in a way that truly blessed and spoke to the crew. She is now joining Toastmasters to help her beat her nervouseness when doing public speaking. I've been eating a lot of chocolate (stress relief) and trying to keep work in perspective. I had the privilige of speaking at our Easter Thursday meeting onboard and God was gracious in finally giving me something to say at 4pm the same afternoon. Up to then I'd had no real idea what I was going to say to the 380 crew onboard!

Enough talk - here is a picture of the Easter Sunrise Service (06:30) held on the upper deck of the ship. I'll stick some more pics up of other stuff when I get them off the camera.