Sunday, August 11, 2013


We arrived in Pointe Noir, Congo (not to be confused with DRC) 2 days ago. We have posted some photos of our first sightings of the dock, Don and Deyon Stephens, our founders, meeting the health minister and the president's daughter. 


                                               our captain stepping ashore...

We received a very warm and formal welcome organized by the government - the first time there has ever been refreshments (including alcohol!) on the dock. Of course we didn't partake of them because we were hosting the visiting dignitaries on board our alcohol free vessel :-)

                         Don making a speech in front of a sea of press.

Rob and I got off ship yesterday with the management team to visit the prepared Mercy Ship sites ashore. We visited all 6 of them - Patient assembly point, screening, Dental, eyes, team house for off ships programmes staff, and HOPE (Hospital OutPatien Extension) centre, which will house 150 patients and care givers before and after surgery. It has climate control facility for our maxillo-facial and plastics patients. They are some of the best sites we've had, our Hope center will be especially comfortable for the patients. the building was renovated with the help of a Catholic organisation and the local Lion's Club.

 DENTAL AND EYE SITES - These buildings are also renovated and are perfect purpose facilities for screening and treating our patients.

It was interesting driving around town, it's more developed in many ways because of the oil money here, but it's the old thing of the haves and have nots. Also, the hospitals we also got to visit yesterday, look good on the outside, and may even have a good surgeon in residence, however, the team supporting the surgery may be lacking in some basics such as the need for scrupulous hygiene! The major request of the government is for training for medical personelle.

We hope you enjoy the photos as you journey with us!

SCREENING SITE - This site will be a school which is perfect with a variety of buildings to screen, examin and assess our patient's suitability for surgery.


             Class rooms, complete with grafiti





The obligatory large load, balanced precariously on a bike and pulled along by one man!