Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Visit to the African Mercy Ship

Three days before we left Pointe Noire, we were able to visit the African Mercy Ship, which was docked in Pointe Noire for at least 6 months.  We wanted to see it because of the wonderful medical care the staff on the ship are able to provide for people living in Africa.  Their website tells about their mission to help:
The staff of 400, including doctors, nurses, cooks, teachers, etc., either pay their own way or find sponsors to support them.

I had started watching a blog belonging to a couple from Salt Lake City after reading a news article about them.  The website of the Mercy Ship said they would be coming to Pointe Noire.  I tried to get permission for our 8 young Elders to visit the ship but was not successful with that request and felt very blessed that we were allowed on board for a  visit.
 The young woman on the left was one of our hosts.  She is from South Africa.  I can't remember all the details she told us, but she said that there are 400 crew members and at each port they screen and hire about 200 local people to help with daily tasks, including interpreting the dialects of the people being helped.

The medical help they provide is for maxio-facial tumors, leg bone  malformations (before age 16), cleft palates, and corrective surgery for women who have been injured during long labor giving birth. 

This is one view of the harbor from one of the ship's decks.  There were 8 levels.

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