You may remember us describing our previous off-ship housing in the 'hospitality centre' in both Benin and Togo. This year we have an off ship facility just a couple of minutes walk from the Ship, they changed it's name from Obama City to the HOPE (Hospital Out Patient Extension) centre. The idea of this is that people who travel a long way to come to us can be housed off ship for a night or two while they wait for surgery or in between their outpatient appointments after their surgery. With limited hospital beds on board, this allows us to use the hospital beds for those who really need them, rather than having people stay in them for weeks on end. The HOPE centre has a/c sleeping areas with beds under mosquito nets and those who stay get to eat local food cooked on site. When our family went last week there was some basic health teaching given to the adults while we were playing play dough with the children. The boys found some other boys to play football with and they all had a good time (despite the combination of Toms competitiveness and his opponents being on crutches which we thought might not be the best combination).
A picture of Tom's summer programme group on the way to the HOPE centre on here:
Some pictures of patients at the HOPE centre by one of our photographer friends when he was here: