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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Family Visit

I often say to friends, if you haven't seen a blog post you know that life is busy and it sure has been recently.
It was great to recently have my Sister and Brother in law visiting for 2 weeks and showing them the world that we live in.  They said that even though we had told them all about it, being here was somehow different.
We wanted to break them in gentle to get them used to things and the heat, so we first headed off to the God is Love Church on the Sunday for them to experience "church" in Africa, followed by lunch, catch up and swimming at a nearby hotel.
We continued the week with a tour of the Mercy Ship's off-ships programs.  These are all the sites that we have on land that support the work of the ship.  We visited the eye clinic, the hope centre and dental site.  I'm glad we did this at the beginning because as the week progressed Sally and Dave started to see patients that they had already met, coming to the ship for surgery or follow up consultations and could see how everything came together.  They were able to sit in and watch some surgeries including a little boy having a cleft lip and hernia operation, which they found fascinating, plus they were able to "look in" on the eye surgeries.  I love it how God orchestrates things and made it so they "happened" to meet the same boy whilst out on the dock and then spend time with him at the hope centre.
(meeting and playing with the hernia/cleftlip patient)
(playing with kids at the hope centre)

We took trips into town to experience the randomness of life in the city of Conakry.  It was fun to see it through somebody else's eyes, things that have become normal to us made us realise that, yes, I guess it is funny to see a photocopier out on the street for people to use, or people walking around with trays of food on their head, road potholes filled up with old a/c units or tyres so you don't fall down them, fridges, tv's, sofa's, you name it for sale on the side of the street.
As the week went on it became clear that some of the demonstrations was starting again in town and so crew were advised not to venture out past the people's palace which meant that they weren't able to visit the orphanage, but we tried to keep them occupied with other things.  

Each weekend we have 2 local boats that provide trips to nearby Islands to give crew a chance for some down time.  So we all signed up to go.   We all donned our too small lifejackets and embarked on the 1 hour journey complete with bail out bucket for water that leaked in!?   Dave and Nathanael enjoyed swimming in the sea, Sally and Sharon enjoyed shopping with the local man who spread out his blanket in front of them and displayed all his necklaces.  It was a fun and hot day!
Our last drama was dropping them off at the airport because all the roads were closed to get to it due to the president arriving.  So we managed to get them in the exit with a rushed goodbye.
All in all we had a great time with them.  You can read a great day by day account of all they did at their blog, it really gives you a look into life here.

Thank you so much, Sally and Dave, for travelling all that way to spend time with us.  We look foward to the next time ?!?

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