Sunday, March 3, 2019

Week One Guinea

I love it here already!
I'm HERE!!
I worked with Tracey in Cameroon and she left the day I arrived but we got to wave at each other at the airport.
I arrived in Guinea on Sunday, thankfully I arrived around dinner time so I could eat a sandwich and go to bed. I woke up Monday morning and did a short orientation and spent my first afternoon in the rehab tent. Everyone in rehab is new to me, but they sure are great!  My favorite part of my first week was meeting the rehab team and working with such wonderful therapists. We have such an intelligent, skilled, hardworking, and fabulous team! Unfortunately two PT's left on Saturday, and two more leave this Saturday so the rehab team will be completely different next Monday! The women on the team have been so welcoming and inclusive and took us out several times. I'm so sad I only get 1-2 weeks with them!
All the Rehab Gals

With the Ghurkas, some of my favorite people from Cameroon. 
The rehab tent has been so fun, the ortho kiddos are almost discharged and we are beginning to see the plastics patients. There are SO many fun/cheeky/energetic/sweet/kind people here!

The location of Mercy Ships in the port makes it really easy to leave the ship and walk into town. So we have already left the ship several times. Last year the ship was so far within the port that we had to ride a shuttle out of the port and then take a taxi, so we rarely left the boat.

Wednesday night we went on adventure and had dinner out as a team. Per the usual, the traffic was unpredictable so we went to a nice little Italian place. Thursday night I went for a walk with a few girls that I met at orientation and tried to navigate Conakry. We made it out and about and saw some of our temporary home, but then hurried back to the ship to make it in time for dinner.

Friday night we went to an African dance class, with live drumming at the cultural center. It was SO fun! I was horrible at it, but it was a great workout and my calves were a bit sore the next day.        

In the Taxi on the way back from African Dance class, there were 7 of us in one taxi...when in Africa :) 
Saturday I went on an adventure to Roume Island with 3 other girls from the ship. We took a Pirogi over and the driver stayed on the island with us until four, when we were ready to return. Another group of Mercy Shippers had gone to a few islands and ended at Roume, they left before us but broke down so our boat had to try to tow them back. We towed them about half way then left them off the coast of Cassa Island. They had to wait until another boat came to rescue them. It was quite funny, and so typically Africa. Roume was beautiful and the people were so kind and sweet. The kids in Guinea are so gregarious, wanting to make friends with everyone. They all yell "Foté" when you walk by(Foté means white).We made friends with several people on the island, bought some local crafts, and even found two guys that had lived in the US.

Map of the Island

path marker

Our friends on Roume, excellent craftsmen. 

View from lunch restaurant 

Delicious Monkfish

Lunch with the girls after a swim.
Governor's Beach

Our boat

Towing our friends 

Towing selfie, we rocked the boats a bit taking this...woops.
Last year, I narrowly missed Mango season, but i'm here in prime mango season this year and I couldn't be happier :)

The languages here are even more difficult than in Cameroon. There are so many more languages, and I'm excited to learn as many new words as I can.

I am so excited for my time here in Guinea, I miss the good friends I met last year, but this time has been so incredible already.