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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Move to Appelsbosch

As the Africa Mercy prepared for the shipyard phase to replace the generators, many of the non-technical crew were preparing to move ashore. Now that's probably got you thinking, where on earth do you put 150 crew in a new country. A few month's before, our advance team were asking the same question and were hunting out several locations in South Africa to solve that problem. One day they received a phone call from "Wayne" ?!? who arranged to show them a property that might work. This phone call turned into reality and as soon as we were docked the crew went into action packing up their "needed" belongings for 4 months ashore. As you can see by the picture, bags for 150 crew takes a lot of room (and there was more round the corner!).
There was even a "plant hotel" so somebody on the ship could look after our precious plants whilst we were away (thank you so much!).
It was amazing how everybody just pitched in and worked together and soon all the bags, galley and office equipment were loaded onto a Pickfords truck and ready to go. The crew climbed into Landrovers and buses and took the 1.5 hour journey to Appelsbosch, their home for 4 months. It was quite funny to see pedestrians on the road stop and stand with their mouths wide open as they saw one landrover after another pass them in a convoy.
It wasn't such an unusual sight when we got nearer to Appelsbosch because they knew we were coming. At Appelsbosch there was a disused college, it was as if the previous occupants expected to come back as things were left on shelves, science equipment in the labs, full sets of cheerleading costumes!?, trophies from past achievements and many books in the library. When we arrived the tuck shop was open, selling lots of goodies and crew were soon lapping up the doughnuts and fresh milk as if they hadn't seen it before. That's what living in west Africa does to you. As we all took a look around we knew this was going to be a great place to live.

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