The Africa Mercy
Well, its been almost 24 hours since I've gotten into Liberia. My flights were uneventful. Had a little trouble in Belgium, that airport is terrible, nothing is labeled and no one speaks english, and I took spanish in high school, which doesn't help in a french/german speaking country. There was no one on our flight from brussels to monrovia. The plane had 3 classes and 8 seats across and only about 50 people on board. I happened to met a young man who will also be on the ship, he's from New York and just graduated from high school and wanted a break b4 college. We ended up sitting next to eachother on the plane.
Got into the country a little b4 6pm, got our luggage and waved through customs. We were met by a van and a driver and were loaded and ready to drive another 1.
The front door
5 hours to the ship. The roads were a little bumpy and there were no street lights or traffic lights at all in town. The scenery reminded me a lot of Guatemala, people walking on the side of the roads, palm trees and houses with thatched roofs near by. Homes were in little groups, there weren't just single homes lining the road, and many didn't have walls or the walls were made out of woven material. It was dark when we arrived at the ship. The UN guard the gate and the road to the dock. walked up the gangway and before we entered the ship we were blasted w/ cold air. Up until this point, the humity and heat were almost unbearable. Inside was the reception desk. We got our picture taken for our IDs and had a quick orientation, not much but we were shown our rooms.
Looking back at land and the dock
Most rooms are on deck 3, which also has the ORs and the wards. I'm on deck 2, which is the basement, but I have my own room (for the moment) Its 10x10, has 2 dressers, a chair and a double closet. the beds are bunk beds that fold out of the wall. Its humid down there, cause they say the AC's been acting up. I can hear the generators, they are loud and make the floor vibrate. I have no window either, cause I was told decks 2 and 3 are under the water line, so esentially I'm sleeping under water.
Slept great last night. Got up around 8 this morning, took a shower and went up for breakfast. After breakfast had a tour of the ship. Saw the wards, the library, laundry room, starbucks (yes there is a starbucks with drinks for $1) the lounges, school, etc.
The Port side looking west from Deck 8
Found out how to sign up for weekend trips and church services. Met some anesthesia people, one from Australlia and one from Wyoming. Went to a UN store and bought 3 tshirts for $5. They use american money here as well as Liberian dollars. It was really hot and we walked for about 1/2 hour b4 we got there, blah. I've never dripped sweat b4. Tomorrow I'm going to a local church for worship and then I have OR orientation tomorrow night. This next week will be busy, but if I can survive, it should be fun! Monday, my computer should be set up so I'll be able to post pics. (we have internet in our rooms and wifi on the ship- we're spoiled.) Lounged around on the upper decks this afternoon. Its loud up there, but there is a nice breeze that comes in off the ocean. Its very nice. anyhoo, thats about it for now