"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29: 11

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Involoina Parc Zoologique

On Christmas Eve we had a ship holiday and visited the local lemur zoo with some friends - Tracy, Stacie, Davi and Roses. We were also blessed to have a local crew member - Charlie from the dental team - who works as a guide at the lemur zoo escort us. The boys loved him, especially Harry and Mark.

Some of the lemurs are in cages, some are wild but live in the park. There were all different varieties and the boys got to hand feed a couple of the wild ones.

There were also many radiated tortoises and spider tortoises. These are not native to the east coast of Madagascar and are animals that have been intercepted whilst being illegally exported. And of course there were chameleons which we got to let walk all over us.

After checking out all the animals we went for a walk to the small waterfall and had an impromptu swim which was very refreshing and great fun.

Lake at lemur zoo

Jack feeding a wild lemur

Stacie with chameleon

Charlie showing the boys the tortoises

Mark with a chameleon

Mark checking out a tortoise

Mick with the chameleon

Jack with the chameleon on his head


Charlie helping Harry into the waterhole

Charlie, Harry and Mark

Charlie, Harry and Mark

Mark and Harry showing off their balancing skills

Mark with a six pack

Mick cooling off

I can fly

Mick rode there and back

What you missed this morning...
While some animals were born in the forest, most of the animals at Parc Ivoloina were donated, exchanged with other zoos, born outside the wild, or seized by the Malagasy government from illegal operations. Parc Ivoloina has never been involved in animal sales or trafficking.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sunday Night

Whilst we were in Congo a film crew from Channel 7 Australia came to record a story onboard. They followed us, a surgeon - AJ Collins - and a nurse - Rinnah Fry - for a week. Anyway, the show finally went to air on the Sunday Night program on 14 Dec 14 - our 18th wedding anniversary. Neither of us ever imagined that we would be living and working as unpaid volunteers on a hospital ship with our three kids when we tied the knot 18 years ago. The story can still be watched online at:


Some screen shots.

Interview in our cabin

Teaching African crew how to rebuild a centrifugal sewage pump

Showing African crew how to remove old wear rings from centrifugal pump

In the workshop

Teaching African crew how to rebuild a centrifugal sewage pump

Tammy off to give blood
Jack in class taught by our friend Gretchen

Lunchtime in the cabin - Mark practicing sax, Harry playing in his box
and Tam in the kitchen

Mark and Harry

Interview in the cabin

Catching a bus to La Cite Supermarche

Au revoir

Thanks to Diane, James, Jeff and Jason for telling our Mercy Ships story so well.