Oh, Happy Days

Today has been an interesting day.  It’s been an interesting past couple days, but everything works out in the end. 

Before people start panicing, I want to inform eveyone that here aboard the Africa Mercy we take security seriously.  While things happened around us in the city, safty measures went up to make sure all crew were and still are safe.   Everyone is safe and accounted for. 

So, lets start from the beginning.  On Friday, a row of cabins on Deck 4 (mine included) started having trouble flushing.  Soon, they refused to.   In the end, about 10 cabins had toilets that would not flush. 

Throughout the weekend, the situation was worked on and isolated.  The plumber, Tom, worked hard on this issue and a number more.  Soon, the culprit was identified.  A clogged mainline.  Basically, someone tried to flush too much at once. 

So, as that was being worked on and fixed, some things happened off-ship that we had no control over.

Over the weekend, the price of gasoline was jacked up to 580 CFA per liter (about $2.25 per gallon), up from 505 CFA per liter (about $2.00 per gallon).  Due to this price hike, the local motorcycle taxis (Zemidjans) went on strike, blocking off some of the major roads in and around the capital of Togo. 

While some of the earliest reports included burning buildings and riots, none of these are confirmed and most of them have been exagerations.  

Because of these protests the ship was put into lockdown this morning and all shore leave was canceled.  Those that were off ship at the time were contacted and advised to proceed to safe locations in the area and to stay put until the situation settled down. 

In an effort to get the correct information (and to prevent the spread of panic due to unconfirmed information) the internet was shut down and we (the crew) were asked not to make calls off the ship.  This allowed the Captain and the Communications team to process information and get in contact with those who could provide correct and reliable information.

Security on the dock and in our immediate surroundings were not affacted.  From the ship, we did not see any roadblocks, fires or any riots.  The port worked on as normal, loading and unloading supplies.  We were not in any immediate danger. 

Late in the afternoon (ok, durring dinner) the Captain updated us on the situation off ship.  While shore leave has been canceled for the night, hopefully we will be able to get ashore tomarrow to resume normal activities.  We were also informed of the toilet situation.  Fortunately, I now have a working toilet in my room.  Now, we just have to be careful about flushing too much stuff down our toilets and limiting our paper waste. 

Dispite everything turning to chaos around us, we continued normal life aboard ship.   The dinning hall team that I am on had a team dinner, which was a blessing.  We talked for a number of hours, shared stories with one another, got to know eachother a little more and had a good time laughing in the open air of Deck 7. 

It was good to be able to experience community together, dispite everything going on around us.  It was a nice couple hours to relax and just enjoy one anothers company. 

God Bless and PEACE


1 Comment »

  1. Aunt Nancy Said:

    Glad you are ok! Thx for update, it is all interesting and great to read all about how you are handling things. Sending big hugs and lots of love,
    Aunt Nancy and all

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