All comments contained within this blog are my personal observations while serving on the M/V Africa Mercy. They are not the views or opinions of Mercy Ships or partner ministries.»

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Site reckie.(Checking out the site we will be filming at.)

Today I went into town with most of the communication department to take a look at the facilities we will be working in for the Medical Assessment day next week. I had prepared myself to be out in the heat and humidity all day filming the happenings. I brought my hat, Deb has sunscreen I was going to be using and I had a cloth all set to wipe my brow to stop the sweat from running into my eyes as I film people as they find out if their life will soon be changed when they receive their appointment card for surgery on the M/V Africa Mercy.

Ha, the Lord brought me on this trip when the Medical Assessment day is going to be held indoors in three air-conditioned rooms.

When we arrived at the stadium where we will be seeing people, we were escorted to the managers office. It was a very nice office and we were greeted with a smile and invited to sit. After the formalities we were taken to the rooms where we would be working that very long day. The room was a bit warm, but I was very comfortable. There was a 6-foot tall AirCon (Air Conditioning) unit sitting in the corner but not turned on.

We walked out onto the football/track field, that is football as in soccer. I could not help but think that the fields look much bigger on TV. This was a normal size field, perhaps one my nieces would play on. I remember walking around the stadium in Sydney, Australia before the 2000 Olympics and that field was HUGE. It's like comparing apples to oranges I guess.

We found the rooms and walked around finding all the electrical plugs for our equipment, Deb looked at how she was going to hang the white sheet to have people stand against when she and Esther take the before shots and when we returned to the managers office it was immediately noticeable that while we were being shown around, he had turned on the AirCon just for us.

I am always amazed at people's hospitality towards foreigners when I travel around my "beloved Africa". Most of the time they do not have much to give, but what they do have, they give freely.

We finished our business and returned to the ship. As we drove out the gate, a man on the passenger side pointed to a man approaching the drivers side. The man walked up and told us he was here for the assessment day and told us his problem. Unfortunately, the problem he described was one that the ship could not assist him with.

Earlier in the day at one of the briefings we were told to expect this when we were in town. It didn't matter if we were part of the medical crew or not. The people just wanted help.

We also found out that there are only about 140 doctors in all of Liberia. There is a population here of about 6 million people. Do that math if you really want to be frightened. For dentists it is even worse. There are only 2 dentists in the country.

On the way back I was trying to take all the mental photos I could. There are moments that will always remain vivid in my memories. Africa lives its life on the streets. Unlike first-world countries where we do most of our business behind closed door, you can see everything on the street of Africa.

For example, we passed three girls as they stood around a tub of water. It looked like it was laundry day. One girl had other things on her mind. Instead of washing the clothes, she was giving her doll a bath. She was smiling from ear to ear as she combed her naked, white "Barbie" doll. I don't recall what was going on behind her or the two other girls with her; I only remember her beaming face and the action of combing the dolls thinning hair. So much life in the girls eyes, so much hope, so much potential and so loved by God.

Once again it is late into the evening as I write to you about some of the stories taking place here in Liberia. I look forward to telling a lot more in the weeks to come.