• Barney Goodall

Goodalls Ahoy 05: The Joy of Small Things...

Hi Everyone,

We’ve realised that living on a ship 4,000 miles from home you get unduly excited about seemingly small things. For us recently this was an industrial size of bag of (proper) teabags that came in a parcel and also the delivery of a handled vacuum. I challenge anyone to dispute the wonderfulness of a good cup of tea and also the ability to easily clean up porridge and soggy cherrios from carpet!

The British crew on-board were recently invited to a drink’s reception at the British Embassy and so being the patriotic pair that we are, we jumped at the opportunity. It was a lovely evening hosted by the Ambassador and her husband at their residence. Liz looked stunning in a dress she’d recently had made from local fabric while chatting about our Mercy Ships journey. Meanwhile Barney did his best not to start a diplomatic incident…

Noah has been flexing his engineering skills and designing ever more elaborate magnetic structures. The fact that the boy's cabin has a huge amount of metal in it (walls, floor, ceiling, pillar) has certainly given varied canvases to work with. However, the designs attached to the walls at face height haven’t been hugely appreciated by his parents, particularly when Judah wakes up in the middle of the night!

Recently we had our first over night trip away from the ship as a family. We visited one of the nearby islands (Kassa) and stayed at a small hotel with little huts right down on the shore line. It was a lovely weekend full of lots of beach games, sandcastles, great company and amazing scenery. Sleeping under mosquito nets with small boys was interesting, but they did really well. Running around the beach at 6am in our PJs made it very worthwhile as well!

Liz has had the opportunity to be part of the Ponsetti team. She has been serving alongside a wonderful team of physios, nurses and local surgeons, learning about the Ponsetti method of correcting club feet. Serial casts encourage the infant’s foot (or feet) into the correct position, and then a percutaneous tenotomy is usually required to release the Achilles tendon and allow the completion of the dorsiflexion, prior to the final casts and braces. A Cameroonian Orthopaedic surgeon has been training Liz to perform this procedure in the outpatient setting. Using her surgical skills felt very natural, but it definitely took some getting used to with babies and infants!

As we move into the second half of the field service here in Guinea, we're entering a very exciting part of the surgical schedule which is the 6-week women’s health block. This started the last week of March and is a combination of fistula patients and general gynaecology cases.

Some of you will know that the fistula and gynae patients are a group that Liz has a particular heart for. Being able to contribute to the care and surgeries of these patients was a big part of our decision to come and serve with Mercy Ships and so this is a time that Liz particularly has really been looking forward to. Also during this time we’ll be having some very special guests to the ship, which all of us are very excited about!

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’


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