Black and white photos of life on the Africa Mercy

Documentary, General comment, Mercy Ships

This is a rather general blog; I thought I’d share some of the individual photos that don’t usually get made into stories. These were taken at a variety of times, usually when reporting on another story, or while I’m down on the wards taking medical photos. However the first photo is of myself and Claire (Bufe – the writer who pretty much gets all the information that I put in these posts) in our little office.

(Left to right) Missie, Dick and Marina inside the admissions tent (on the dock by the ship).

A toddler wandering around one of the wards where their mother’s bed is.

A cargo ship from Thailand on the dock next to us.

Painting the bow of the Africa Mercy.

A mother sits with her child while day volunteers and nurses sing and dance in ward devotions.

Mary, a ward nurse, takes stitches out of a patient post-operation.

Day volunteers singing during a VVF dress ceremony.

This is Kossi, a 5 day old baby sleeping next to his mother. He was born with a large tongue lesion that almost prevented him from breathing, and became one of Mercy Ships’ quickest admission patients (most are screened many months in advance).

Members of the fire team put on their gear at the start of a fire drill. There are two alarms, a first for the fire team, and a second for everyone else to assemble at the their muster stations on the dock. This ensures that the fire team aren’t blacked from getting to the fire by crowds of staff trying to get off the ship.

Having already been the first group in to fight the (simulated) fire Elliot (centre) and the rest of his fire team changes their oxygen supplies while another team goes in to continue fighting it.

Deck hands help secure a new tyre to the side of the dock. These help cushion the ship when hitting the dock as it sways in the water. New tyres creek very noisily, keeping many of the people in the cabins next to it awake during the following few nights.

Christina, a charge nurse, cheerily looking after an infant (that’s not so cheery).

Day volunteers and staff spontaneously form a band in the corner of Starbucks, keeping everyone entertained after the church meeting on Sunday evening.

(Centre to right) Theo, James and Cael entertain in the corner of the Strabucks cafe in Midship.

In the orthopaedics tent a mother breastfeeds her child while a day volunteer takes off the babies correcting shoes (for club foot) ready for a post-op photograph. Nick, the physical therapist makes notes in the background.

Anama (left), Nick (out of sight) and another day volunteer put the babies correcting shoes back on. They’re not particularly comfortable.

Eye patients sit outside the admissions tent on the dock.

Tracy (Ship Security Officer – centre) and the Gurkhas, who guard the ship: (left to right) Lok, Pradip, Tek, (Tracy,) Ganesh (head of security), Chitra and Min.

A VVF lady listens to a speech during her dress ceremony.

A day volunteer drums during a VVF dress ceremony.

Americans celebrate their independence on the fouth of July with a barbecue on the dock.

Amanda and Anouchka enjoy the dock barbecue on the fourth of July.

Above and below: Crew and members of the Academy throw an American football around on the dock.

Maaike, a charge nurse, tickles Irene, a patient, on a bed in a recently emptied ward.

Josee (centre) plays a card game with Claire and a couple of visitors.

Dr. Leo Cheng explains to Kakou the details of the operation he will perform on him later that day.

Dr. Cheng operating on Kakou later that day.

The port of Lomé from the Bridge.

A member of a vision trip from Texas pulls along a patient on a buggy.

Patients resting in the ward.

Deck workers take a moment to look out over the port of Lomé.

A nurse pushes a patient along on a tricycle.


8 thoughts on “Black and white photos of life on the Africa Mercy

  1. Thank You Tom!!!
    I really appreciate you photos. You take great shots! These photos make me feel as if I’m still there and help me bridge the time till I will be there again next year. A BIIIIIIG THANK YOU!

  2. I love this collection!!! Makes me feel like I was there observing, helping, serving too.

    Tom, you have a tremendous gift. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into a day onboard.

    “Yet grace (God’s unmerited favor) was given to each of us individually [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and bounteous] gift. Ephesians 4:7

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