The past several weeks our ship crew have been literally dragging the chain. The sounds of sawing, drilling, hammering and clunking of anchor chains have filled our ears. On board the medical ship, clinic refurbishments and ship maintenance are well underway in preparation for outreaches this year.
We are currently modifying the ballast carriage on the ship which required removing and weighing old anchor chain. The chain had been placed under the engine room deck after the ship received new chain in 2010. Weighing in at 2,880kg and a length of 320m, this was no simple accomplishment. The crew pulled their weight, probably five times their weight, to help maximise the ship’s service capabilities.
Along with the anchor chain, we have been focusing on refurbishing the clinic. Since 2010, nearly 10,000 dental procedures have been performed in the remote areas of Papua New Guinea. Currently the clinic is being fitted with new cupboards and fittings, improved storage solutions and a new, durable, hospital grade floor. We are also putting a window in the operating theatre to give those working inside a glimpse of the amazing Papuan coasts and rivers.
As we look back over the services provided, the faces of so many beautiful people flood our minds. This is what spurs us on to not only improve the functionality and patient flow, but also create a place of life and hope.
One of our crew, Pete Moody, shares his heart for the renovations. ‘As we improve the clinic, we want to see it as a place where people’s health can be restored and lives changed. We want an efficient and comfortable environment for our dentists to work, and a clinic facility that reflects the importance of the work that is done there.’
There is still more to be done in the coming months, but we look forward to seeing the renovations complete and the ship ready to sail into its next adventure.