Goodalls Ahoy 04: Happy New Year 2019
Happy New Year and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a nice break.
Apologies it’s been a while since our last update and life is starting to calm down again after the busyness of Christmas. We’re finally getting back into a more normal routine.
Christmas here on the ship was great fun and pretty crazy all at the same time. It felt like each day of December a different nationality was celebrating their national tradition; which in a way it was given that during 2018 we’ve had 46 different nationalities on-board the ship!
Judah and his Christmas elephant!
We were treated to Sinterklass arriving by boat (Dutch), Sankta Lucia - a festival of lights from our Scandinavian crew mates and then the Africa Mercy’s very own ‘slipper by the door’ tradition on Christmas Eve. Not to mention our own snow ball fight as well…!
Over the Christmas period the Academy also put on a lovely nativity production and Noah took on a starring role as ‘Sheep 1’, complete with a cotton wool bonnet
We also had a visit from the President of Guinea (Alpha Conde) who toured the ship and met some of our patients.
Barney dressed up specially for the occasion and even learnt the French for ‘your excellency’.
This is Barney on the day….
…. although the gentleman with Barney is actually one of his sales team (Josue) rather than the President, who wasn’t posing for selfies that day.
Both of us have been getting out and about in Conakry a bit more and while our lack of French language skills are definitely a hindrance, people are very friendly and accommodating.
Liz has been to assist in theatre several times over the last few weeks, although not in the area of the body she is used to! It has been a real privilege to help with other surgical specialities, including Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) & Plastic Surgery. Assisting a plastic surgeon repair a cleft lip on babies a similar age to Judah was a real high point.
Mamas over here are considered to have been cursed to deliver a baby with facial clefts, and the stigma and isolation is devastating. To see a face transformed so people can see the inner beauty of the person that was always there…its fantastic! Not to mention the smiles on those Mamas faces on the post-operative ward round when their little beauty has been returned to them!
This little baby (Mohammed) has a cleft lip similar to the cases Liz has been able to assist with.
Noah’s French skills are coming on apace and routinely he’s coming home from school to proudly tell us the French for different words such as sun, moon, stars, sock… He also had the chance to meet Mercy Ships founder Don Stephens, and when asked if the class had any questions he came up with “I really like you” and “Do you know Spiderman?”
Noah has also (pretty much) learnt to swim unaided now and is able to swim a length without airbands. Judah on the other hand still prefers the comfort of his dry suit.
Over the last month and before Christmas the hospital theatres have been particularly focused on orthopaedic cases. The procedures and recovery periods can be pretty long, however the outcomes for the patients are truly amazing. Recently our communications and media team put together a video about two sisters who were treated last year in Cameroon and are now back in their village. The team visited for a follow-up visit and the progress the girls have made is fantastic. Below is a link to the youtube video which tells their story:
Thanks again for all your support and prayers.
Lots of Love,
Barney, Liz, Noah and Judah
If you would like to support us financially the easiest way is by donating through the Mercy Ships UK website and select the ‘This donation is to support a crew member’ option at the bottom of the page. Please include our surname and designation code ‘Goodall 5013’