Monday 26 March 2018

Hello everyone!

Last week proved to be as busy as ever. On Monday I went into theatre for the morning to observe the cataract surgery being performed. It was really enjoyable – but not for the squeamish! We have a new surgeon with us – Dr Guy Chevally from Switzerland – he has been to Mercy Ships several times before, so is familiar with the way of doing cataract surgery. He was up to speed very quickly, and our numbers of patients increased by 5 or so per day. Had our usual medical issues of uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure, plus a suspected TB case. This past week was the ‘urine’ week – several times during the week patients decided to ‘relieve’ themselves in our eye room, in full view of everyone else, and a memorable moment at the celebration of sight where those sitting in the front row got very wet feet!!!!!!

We are now in the final week of operations. We have completed 17 surgeries today, tomorrow and Wednesday we will have (potentially) 23-25 daily. It will be an exhausting week. Rachael is working alongside me and we are still pretty busy.

On Wednesday I attended the Alpha Course and Taize prayer group as usual. The medical inservice talks have been cancelled for 2 weeks over the Easter period.

Friday was the weekly celebration of sight, followed by the childrens celebration of sight in the afternoon. Plenty of noise, activity and singing – (I had a headache) but think THEY had a good time. The Eye Team played Dental Team at football in the evening. We won 6-0! That means we are in the semi-finals due to be played on Wednesday of this week.

On Saturday I went to the local craft market with another crew member who was collecting a dress from the tailor. Saturday was a very hot day and looking around the shops and being pestered by the shop owners to buy things, made it an uncomfortable experience, really. Got another headache!

Sunday was Mass. The cathedral looked lovely decked out with massive palm branches. A small group of us went out for bunch after Mass – Ali who was here before Christmas, has returned for 3 weeks to do a small project, so she signed out a vehicle for us. Later in the afternoon, several members of the Eye Team went out for Ice cream, because at the weekend many team members are leaving. It was a good afternoon, had a couple of scoops of mandarin, passion fruit and mango flavoured ice cream, but unfortunately felt very unwell during the drive back to the ship, and consequently fainted in the back seat. I think I gave everyone in the Landrover quite a fright!! Still not feeling 100% yet. Hence this email being a day late.

I am in my final 5 days now. Due to return to UK on Saturday 31 March. This week will be full with finishing work, exit interviews, collating paperwork, doing all the necessary ‘signing off’, there are also many things planned on the ship to celebrate Holy Week.

I will try to send a short email prior to leaving on Saturday.

Take care

Melanie x