Friday, May 25, 2012

twins update

Remember the twins? Atsou is much fatter now, weighs 6 kg and just got his surgery for the cleft lip.

Atsou gained 2.5kg (5.5 pounds) in 12 weeks, quite a feat for a little guy. He still hasn't quite caught up to his sister Obey yet but that will take a while longer.  Unfortunately their father died last week leaving their mother with these twins and her other set of twins who are older.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

not the only ship in Togo

Recently the US Navy HSV-2 Swift docked behind our ship for a night. It's a hybrid catamaran used for support/humanitarian missions. The initials HSV stands for High Speed Vessel (and according to Google also Herpes Simplex Virus). Since we are a ship of mainly nurses; single, good looking nurses at that, the prospect of Navy guys caused quite a stir. Unfortunately for them, they were only here for a night and only a select few went for a tour. 

Across the port there was also a cruise ship docking for one day, the Ocean Princess. Yes, apparently people do take cruises to Africa! This one had started in South Africa and was on its way to London. After Togo it was stopping in Ghana and then continuing up to Morocco and Spain. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

surgery and saying goodbye

Every time one of the babies in the feeding program receives their surgery I have to admit it's bittersweet for me. I'm overjoyed they are getting surgery. It's amazing to see the moment the moms have been waiting for, when they get to see their baby with a new lip. However, it's then I realize it is now the end of the road for me. My job is done. I might see them a few more times to make sure they're still gaining weight, but afterwards I'll be saying farewell. The 2 or 3 months I watched them grow and gain weight is now over. Realistically I'll probably never see them again or even know if they make it to their 5th birthday. I can only pray they stay safe and healthy. While I love the work I do and the life changing transformations we see every day, there are times I wish goodbyes were not a part of it. 

Today Baby Komlan is getting his surgery for a bilateral cleft lip. He has been in the feeding program since February and after his mom learned a few different techniques he's been able to do really well breastfeeding. His mom is only 18 and not so confident as a new mom, but his proud grandma picks up any slack.  He is now a fat, happy 3 month old and will soon have a new lip!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I always forget how big Africa really is....