Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The first Week

Good morning. Well, it is good morning here though it may be goodnight for most of you.
Welcome to my "Blog". I am new to this and am not sure exactly how it works and what I am going to say, but I thought it may be a more efficient way of keeping all of you up to date with what Peter Scott is doing in Benin this year.

The first week on board the Africa Mercy has been an interesting one.

I arrived last Wednesday after three days of travel. Having been on board last year, I am still well acquainted with many of the long term folks aboard and they already had me booked for a trip! 

They took me along on a 500 kilometre+ journey to the north of Benin to a city called Tanguita. Tanguita is home to the St. Jean du Deu hospital, a very advanced and capable hospital by African Standards. St. JDD is staffed by Spanish, Italian, and French Surgeons, catholic sisters, and local doctors.

We were able to donate a significant amount of supplies to the hospital which the Africa Mercy had in surplus. Items such as Foley catheters, sutures, surgical instruments, anaesthetic supplies, etc are always in need and they were very appreciative.

French is a challenging language which I have little experience with, so I was relieved to have the opportunity to use what I know of Spanish to communicate with the sisters working there. Many of which have been serving in that same hospital for over 20 years! THAT is commitment.

On the way back to the Africa Mercy, we stopped at a small restaurant known for its good food. Good, yes. Safe? Not sure. I had the fish. Not sure what kind of fish it was, but that was Saturday night and I am still sick on Thursday morning.

As most of you know, I am doing the same work as I did in Liberia last year, coordinating the Ophthalmic Field Team. We have four clinics in Benin, and all seem to be extremely busy with 300-400 people showing up daily. I apologize, I have not had the time to really take any pictures yet... hopefully in the weeks ahead.

I will try to write something here every two weeks or so, and will try to inform you when I update!