After spending almost seven months in Liberia, the Africa Mercy is officially en route to the Canary Islands.
This week was more exhausting than I could have imagined. It was filled with cleaning, moving boxes, and securing any item that could potentially fall or be hazardous while sailing. Us ward nurses were responsible for cleaning, packing, and securing the entire hospital, which I assure you was no small task, but we had fun doing it.
For example, we had the ward Olympiad, in which we performed various jumps into large piles of green mattresses. There were several spontaneous cleaning dance parties. Also, there was the CT scan disco dance party during the power blackout that occurred when the generator's were being worked on. It was a very creative event. Carols, one of our biomedical technicians, provided the dance music with his cell phone. David, from central supply, grabbed two scanners and used the laser to provide a strobe light effect. My blingy watch even sufficed as a makeshift disco ball when we hung it from the ceiling with a magnet. It was a good time.
Today we played the ultimate game of man hunt, a.k.a. stowaway search. It's important that there are no stowaways on board before leaving for obvious reasons, so two ship wide searches occurred to prevent such a problem from occurring, one right before sailing and one right after. During the first search four crew members, as well as 26 hard hats, were hid throughout the ship. We were divided into teams and given designated area's to assess and search for stowaways. I was a little disappointed that I didn't find either a hat or a crew member. I guess I lost that game.
The Africa Mercy was originally built to move ferry's over a small stretch of sea and not for long sails on open water. So the bottom of the ship is very flat and provides an intense rolling effect when sailing. About every nine seconds the ship rolls to it's side and back. It leaves you feeling quite strange and tired. Many of our crew members are already sick. I'm hoping I will not morph into of those members.