Up to our eyeballs...
Monrovia Travel Blog› entry 24 of 34 › view all entries
Sorry-o for not updating for awhile. Lots have been happening since the last update. Eyes are completely done. We had about 5 weeks of eye surgeries. During that time we had 4 different eye surgeons come in, one staying the whole time and the others over lapping. We did our final push and now there are no more eyes for the entire outreach. I wish I knew the exact number of people who have been given the gift of sight, but we did about 30 eyes a day, if that gives you and idea of how many people we saw.
Last Friday, I went out to the eye tent out on the dock. This is where all the post op eye patients go to have their check ups. I got there first thing in the morning in order to be there for the first day post ops- these are the patients that we did the day before and where getting their dressings removed.
Next year the ship is going to Benin- another West Africa country farther down the coast. And as a way to prepare people for the idea of going to Benin (and a way to get people to exercise), we have a program called 'Walking to Benin'. It is 908 miles from Monrovia, Liberia to Benin. We are in teams of 6 (my team is called Slow & Steady) and every day we walk to Benin- or walk the dock, as it is really called.
This past weekend was a first for me. My first time sleeping off ship. There is a nice place about 3 hours north of Monrovia, called Roberts Port. Before the war it was the surfing capital of West Africa. Now there is a nice resort, owned and operated by a group of South Africans, right on the beach and is a favorite weekend getaway for Mercy Ships and other NGOs. We get to stay in tents right on the beach and not just any kind of tents, these are nice large, luxury tents, complete with 2 full size memory foam beds, a sitting area and mini fridge.
Getting to Roberts Port is sometimes a challenge, having to stop at the UN check points, and getting home is an even bigger one. The thing is that you have to find a taxis that is willing to not only take you the 3 hours north to Roberts Port, but you need to find one that will take you back home when you are ready to leave. Through a fellow crew member, we were set up with a 'reliable' taxis driver, who for $40 would take us there and another $40 to take us home on Sunday.