Kyle in the Congo!

If my friend was in the Congo on a hospital ship what would I want to hear about his life..?

This is the question i’ve been asking myself as I enter my second week aboard the Africa Mercy.  I feel like i’d want to hear about the amazing things he’s seeing in town, the people he’s met on board, how it compares to back home and maybe if he’s met any nice girls.  Well i’m here to deliver exactly that… except maybe the girls part.  Without further ado I present “Kyle in the Congo”:

Kyle in the Congo



We open the scene on KYLE, sitting at a desk and handsomely working away on a computer.  The room is small, the walls are covered with huge calenders and maps of Africa.  The camera moves to the window and the audience realizes that *gasp* this is not any regular old office, for through the window is the OCEAN.  The music swells to a beautiful crescendo and the scene melts into a scene of the sun setting over the ship’s deck.  KYLE is standing beside BEAUTIFUL GIRL and they are gazing out together at the horizon which looks as if painted with the most brilliant of reds and yellows.  Above them in the sky materializes a humongous bearded face… it is GOD.  He smiles down and winks at KYLE, who smiles and winks back.

Fade out to Black.

End Scene.

Okay hopefully you are still with me.  I’d like to apologize to all the more serious readers and say ‘you’re welcome’ to everyone else.  It’s tough appealing to multiple audiences.

Now I present to you pictures of things i’ve done and short easy to digest descriptions of what those pictures are.  Stay tuned next time for a more story based adventure.

The Congo

2013 Mercy Ships - Photo Credit Josh Callow - The port and streets of Pointe Noire

The mysterious congo.  A bustling city swarming with bright blue taxis that will brave any road no matter if it’s one long hole or ten feet under water.  Seriously it’s the rainy season and i’ve seen taxi’s that think they’re submarines.  There is one taxi that has been stuck vertically hood down into one particular pond for so long that it has become a permanent marker for giving directions.  They also don’t stop for anything, which makes jogging a terrifying experience sometimes.

Photo Credit Josh Callow

The skyline of Pointe Noire.  Personally i like the trees and umbrellas the best.

Photo Credit Josh Callow

The Eye Clinic.  This is where the screenings and check-ups are done for the eye patients.  When I was there they were doing a final follow up for a batch of patients who had their cataracts removed.  They have a quick surgery here that they do where they make an incision on the side of the eye, essentially reach in and pull the cataract out.  This is easily done because here in the Congo most people’s cataracts get so bad that they are completely solid and thus easy to pull out.  After they pop it out they just slide a new lens in and boom they are done.  Afterwords we had a little dance and song time (because there is always a little dance and song time).  Here is a picture of an old lady clapping.  Her eyes are still sensitive to the light so she’ll need to wear her glasses for a while but soon she’ll be able to see as well as you or I (assuming you’re not blind).


And how did we get these amazing skyline photos?  Our awesome cameraman Josh climbed to the top of the beanstalk.  The beanstalk being the rusty old watertower.

Photo Credit Josh Callow

Now to wrap up this particular blog post i’ll quickly recount an adventure into town we had this sunday!  Mercy Ships employs about 200 local congalese people on board the ship in various roles – 90% of them translators.  One of these guys – our buddy names Frances – offered to take us into town to one of his favorite hang outs.  This turned out to be a sort of outside bar with a band from the Democratic Republic of Congo playing.  Frances told us all these amazing and incredible stories about how the band had to flee the country because they were too famous and too involved in the drug scene – they were entertaining but i don’t really believe too much of them.  Until the end when a car pulled up, a guy tackled one of the dancers (a dude) and we never saw him again.  That was when we left.  Anyways!  Here are some pictures!


The band looked cool.  Too cool.  They all wore neat hipster clothes and quirky hats.  I predict they would be overnight successes in Canada.  They also all danced in union.  If the internet was at as quick as the flies here I would be able to put up a video of it… but that is a bit unlikely.


Wow look at how in union those guys are.  Yowzers.  Also i’d like to point out the main singer.  He’s got one leg and he makes up for it in sass.  He sang directly to our table for a solid ten minutes.  Then Frances told us that he was singing “white people!  white people!”  over and over again, punctuated by a clever chorus of “look everyone we have white people!”.  Apparently he meant it in kindness though.  In an unrelated note i’m working extra hard on my french. (So i can figure out what in the heck everyone here is saying!)


And to close I present my home.  Hopefully you all enjoyed this, i’m having a hard time writing for an audience, normally i can be silly and no one will care.  I’ll be posting more soon, keep on being excellent!



2 thoughts on “Kyle in the Congo!

  1. Very informational and well done Kyle – bet you wanted to be up there jamming with the band. Keep on keeping on. Love Grams

  2. I really enjoyed your blog today and the pictures are great!!!!!! I also liked your starting story.
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    Take care of yourself!

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