Keith R. Brinkman serving with Mercy Ships. This is another way for me to communicate with you all what is happening. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos and entries.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tour of central Las Palmas with Ken,Ann,Jean&Jean

On Sunday, I had the day off and was invited to go on adventure with my friends Ken, Ann, Jean and Jean. We headed to the mountains and the former volcano in the middle of this island of Gran Canaria. We drove up to 6,500 feet, though when we got there, we could not see anything but the cloud. We stopped along the way in small quaint small towns and just enjoyed the day together.

Drydock 07 Under the AFM @ Bow

During our tour of the ship on Sunday morning, I took this photo at the bow (front of the ship). Since she was a ferry in Denmark before the ship actually had two rudders - one in the front and one in the back - we don't need the one in the front and so we welded it closed. So far things are going good with the inspection and certificates that we need to continue to sail.

Holding the weight of the Africa Mercy with help

Drydock 07 Under the AFM
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Sunday morning we had the opportunity to have a tour under of the Africa Mercy as we are in drydock. Here you can see the middle bottom of the ship resting on these platforms with wood on railroad tracks. That is how they move us around the shipyard. It was very interesting to see the bottom and the different parts that are normally always under the water line.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

View of Las Palmas de Korean Church

This lovely view is of Las Palmas from the hillside where the Korean Church has their building. They hosted 55 of us crew on Sunday for service which was translated from Korean into English, Spanish and Chinese. Then they enjoyed bulgogi, my favorite Korean food and then went for a short bus ride to the Botanical Gardens and the Calle de Colon - Street of Christopher Columbus.

Africa Mercy High & Dry

Going into Drydock
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Photo of the Africa Mercy in the drydock here in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for our annual inspection. This is required for our passenger status for the ship and our options from West Africa are to go to South Africa or the Canary Islands. Soon I will post a photo of me standing down below the ship on dry land!!!

Entering into Drydock Las Palmas

Drydock Entering In
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
I am standing on Deck 8 - highest deck on the Africa Mercy as we watch the ship being raised and on placed on platforms with railroad like wheels as they pull us into our 'parking spot'. You can see 3 of the bulldozers pulling us. I have been in many drydocks, but this is the first time usually a system like this.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

At the helm, heading north

Sail to Las Palmas (20)
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
The helm (steering wheel) on this ship is much smaller than on the Anastasis and Caribbean Mercy (ships of the past). In case any of you are wondering, the officer on duty had the ship on auto-pilot - I just stood there for the photo.

Checking the charts for the sail

Sail to Las Palmas (28)
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Even though most things are not electronicized/computerized on board the ship, we still make use of the charts for our voyages. Here we are checking out our route to the shipyard in Las Palmas.

Great View!!!

Sail to Las Palmas (24)
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
On the Africa Mercy bridge, there is this section on both side that has a glass bottom, so the capitan and officers can see when docking the ship. In the photo, I am standing on the glass looking down at the ocean as it goes by. When the orphans came to visit the ship, we got permission to take them to the bridge and I would ask for a brave one to volunteer to stand on it first, usually I got one, but even afterwards, some of them would not stand in this spot.

Alieu Swaray School Tenegar

The area of Tenegar is a possible location for agriculture, water & sanitation and community health education. Jeff and I visited this school, Alieu Swaray School, spoke with the principal and teachers to learn more about the area. All of our photos and information in our reports goes to our Programs Director and the leaders at our headquarters to be considered for a community for our '08 field service in Liberia.

Ministry of Health clinic in Artington

As part of our assessment for our community-focus activities for next year, we visited this Ministry of Health clinic in Artington. Regretfully, it is not fully staffed and only offering limited services for the people in the area. Artington is north of the capitol city of Monrovia, Liberia.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Assessment in Royesville

Blamacee Charles who is a teacher in the school showed Jeff and me around northern Royesville, which is a hike as the bridge was destroyed by an UN tank. I believe this is William Town or Besi Town in this photo. We asked alot of questions, but were careful not to raise expectations as we only did assessment. Others will take our photos and notes and make the appropriate decision.

Assessment in Royesville

With our return to Liberia in '08, we needed to do some assessment to find appropriate communities. I went out to some recommended locations including Royesville, which is a community the Anastasis crew worked with in '05-'06.