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Cameroon 2017/18

Hi UK volunteers!

If you have been accepted for a position in the next field service in Cameroon, we would love to hear from you!

Do you have any burning questions you haven't been able to find the answer to?

Travelling alone & wondering if anyone else is on your flight to the Ship?

Need some insider information on some Africa Mercy Life Hacks?!

Reply to this post & we'll see if we can connect the Brits together!


  • SandraCampbellSandraCampbell Posts: 6
    My dates are from April 22nd to June2nd 2018. Any Brits travelling on these dates or who will also be on board then? Sandra 
  • AllyJonesAllyJones Posts: 99
    Hi Sandra Campbell‍!

    There will definitely be other Brits on board, we have quite a few long-term Crew who are British. There will be cake...
  • Hello. I'm from Wales and I'm going to be serving onboard Africa Mercy in Cameroon as an itu nurse March 4th - June 26th 2018. Just got to get my BLS update and physical in now and then it's official!
  • SandraCampbellSandraCampbell Posts: 6
    Nice to hear from you Gemma. What will you be doing
    on the ship? I work in Admissions. Have you been on the ship before
    or is this the first time? Sandra 
  • CatherineBrownCatherineBrown Posts: 8
    Hi Gemma,

    That's exciting. Have you been out before?
    I'm a theatre and recovery nurse in Edinburgh and I've been on the Ship a few times. I don't think I'll be going next year but if you want to ask me anything just fire away :)

    Catherine Brown
    [email protected]
  • AllyJonesAllyJones Posts: 99
    Hi Catherine & Gemma,

    Thanks for your replies!
    Catherine Brown‍ - if you could give someone ONE piece of advice, what would it be?!
  • Hi Sandra, Catherine and Ally,

    I'm an ITU nurse and that's what I'll be doing during my time on the Africa Mercy. I've not been before Sandra. Have you? It's great that we can connect with others we will meet onboard prior to going. I am very nervous!

  • SandraCampbellSandraCampbell Posts: 6

    Hi Gemma,

    I have been several times on the ship and have
    enjoyed it each time. To reassure you I find it an easy place to
    meet and make friends. Everyone is very welcoming to newcomers.

    As we are all there to serve the people of the
    country using our skills for their good and to glorify God we all
    have something in common.

    ?You bond with your nursing team, your cabin
    mates as well as others you meet throughout the day in the dining
    room, caf? etc.

    There are plenty of social activities to get
    involved in.

    There is a sign up book for trips off ship if
    you want to venture out on days off as well as other mercy ministry
    visits to orphanages, Hope centre etc.

    All that will be shown to you on your first
    day as they give you a tour of the ship.

    The one thing I have found most helpful is now
    we have Wi-Fi all over the ship I was able to video call home and
    speak to my husband and son via Whatsapp and it doesn’t cost

    They were able to see parts of the ship and
    relate to my life onboard and also meet my friends as well. It
    helped them feel part of what I am doing and stopped me being
    homesick half way through my term .

    Mercy Ships are very well organised and
    experienced in guiding us through the whole process but feel free
    to ask questions.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards



  • HannahMulvihillHannahMulvihill Posts: 69 ✭✭
    Thank you for your lovely encouraging message Sandra! I love that our volunteers are using this platform to its potential. Keep asking questions Gemma. Be assured that I am also here at the end of an email or phone if you would like to speak to someone in the UK office. It would be a pleasure to hear from you. 

  • Thank you all.

    It is very reassuring to connect with you and hear of your experiences and your knowledge of the ship and your times onboard. It helps alleviate some of my anxieties. I will certainly find it really helpful having wifi onboard. My family are scattered across the UK so I already use whatsapp/skype etc to stay in touch. It sounds as if it will be worth taking some form of tablet/laptop (a small one) with me to stay in touch. I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people and will find it helpful that I can get involved in activities which will make this easier. l am quite sporty and like to run so am hoping there will be some kindred spirits among the crew.

    Thanks again for being so welcoming and replying to my messages.

  • CatherineBrownCatherineBrown Posts: 8
    Ally Jones - I have been thinking but I can't narrow it down to one piece of advice!

    Gemma - by about 11th March 2018 you will be wondering why you were ever nervous about going :) Do you know that the ITU beds on the Ship are often not needed so it will be mainly more general surgical / maxfax nursing you'll be doing, I guess, with paeds. Though it's great you've got ITU skills. Everything is simplified for us newbies and it's ok to ask, and ask again.

    Sandra - Hello :) I'm very happy you're fixed for next year.

    Catherine x
  • SandraCampbellSandraCampbell Posts: 6
    Hi Catherine, nice to hear from you. Sorry you
    won't be there next year . Hope all going well. Sandra
  • SandraCampbellSandraCampbell Posts: 6
    Hi again Gemma, There are lots of runners on board
    and early morning fitness classes if you are inclined. Getting up
    and down the stairs is enough for me
  • Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for that information. I am so glad there will be these options and that there are like-minded running nutters on board. I'll definitely be joining them!

  • Sue BallSue Ball Posts: 2
    Hi everyone

    My name is Sue and I'm going to be on the ship in Cameroon from12 Nov to 18 Feb as a cook. I've only just managed to find this UK bit of Mymercy so I'm catching up by reading all the previous posts. I live in  North Yorkshire - anyone else going from that area? 
  • Hi everyone! I'm a junior doctor in Bristol currently and I'm spending the whole service period on the ship from August 2017- June next year, working as a Physician's assistant. I look forward to meeting everyone in person, British or otherwise! In the meantime I have a couple of questions seasoned Mercy Shippers may be able to answer:

    1. Weird question perhaps but is there a gym on the ship or other exercise facilities? And if we're exercising on or around the ship is it ok to wear shorts or should I invest in a pair of longer baggy leggings?

    2. I'm joining the ship in Las Palmas and sailing from there to Douala - I'm so excited for this part and bonding with the other crew members !how long will this journey take and what will we do with this time, e.g. Training etc. I'm happy to be briefed when I get there but people keep asking me and I haven't a clue!

    Thanks, Anna 
  • AllyJonesAllyJones Posts: 99
    Hi Anna Bleakley,

    Very exciting that you will be joining the Ship for Cameroon, thank you for applying & being willing to serve for the whole field service!

    Good questions, let me see if I can answer them...

    1. Weird question perhaps but is there a gym on the ship or other exercise facilities? And if we're exercising on or around the ship is it ok to wear shorts or should I invest in a pair of longer baggy leggings?

    Not a weird question, and yes there is a gym on board, but it is VERY small. There is a rowing machine, a treadmill & a couple of exercise bikes (all crammed in a small room), as well as an exercise area that can, at best, fit two people in.

    Knees MUST be covered when exercising on or around the Ship. Some people are better at sticking to that general rule than others, but it's what we ask of everyone. So baggy leggings with shorts over the top seems to be the way most women like to dress. The dress code is not as strict for men, as they can where shorts that are at the knee, not necessarily covering it.

    Saying all of that, we learn these things when we arrive in country, so best to cover more than cover less, to respect local culture & make sure we are going above & beyond to be respectful.


    2. I'm joining the ship in Las Palmas and sailing from there to Douala - I'm so excited for this part and bonding with the other crew members !how long will this journey take and what will we do with this time, e.g. Training etc. I'm happy to be briefed when I get there but people keep asking me and I haven't a clue!

    Sailing is one of my favourite things to do; you will most likely see dolphins & flying fish, as well as enjoy the peace & serenity of the ocean!

    You will most likley be doing some orientation for the Hospital, but depending on your schedule, you may be reassigned to a different department for some time on the sail. This is quite common for sailing, as other departments often need an extra pair of hands.

    The journey will take up to two weeks, maybe 12 days. Depends on the seas & what day we must arrive in country for all of the pomp & celebrations with the government of Cameroon.

    I hope that is helpful; please ask if you have any more questions!
  • CatherineBrownCatherineBrown Posts: 8
    Hi Anna Bleakley,

    Carron Meney has just come home from being Physician's assistant. Want to find her on Facebook or listen to her radio interview here, at 1min 22?

    Image may contain: 1 person

    Mercy Ships UK

    Check out this interview on BBC Radio Scotland with one of our brilliant volunteers, Carron Meney, who spent 9 months on the Africa Mercy in Benin. She's at the 1hr 22min mark!

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Anna Bleakley! 

    I'm Damaris and I'll be joining the ship in Las Palmas as well. I'm leaving on 1st August pm from Gatwick London. We might get to meet each other on the way there... =D
  • Val MuirVal Muir Posts: 8
    Hi Ally, 

    I will be on a flight to Cameroon from Birmingham 9.10 on 1st Oct - changing at Charles De Gaulle airport and then on to Yaounde and Douala getting in at 21.20. Air France  AF 982 from Charles de Gaulle. Anyone else flying at this time?

    Best regards,

  • Val MuirVal Muir Posts: 8
    Hi again Ally, 

    Do we have to book the gym - as its so small - and is there anywhere I can practice my yoga?

    Ciao Val :)
  • AllyJonesAllyJones Posts: 99
    HI Val Muir‍,

    No you don't need to book the gym, and there's plenty of space on deck to do yoga!
  • Val MuirVal Muir Posts: 8
    Good to go then Ally - I'm on my way :)

    Best regards 

  • CatherineBrownCatherineBrown Posts: 8
    Hi Val Muir,

    Think I'm right in saying that Mercy Ships will send you an "Arrivals List" at the end of Sept so you can see who will be on your flight. And you're quite likely to spot someone wearing the Mercy Ships logo at the gate in Paris. It's good to stick together and go through Cameroon Immigration "en masse" if possible. Just easier.

    Catherine Brown
  • Just a quick note to say hello fellow Brits!

    I'm Holly and I work in the Mercy Ships UK office with Sandrine Gamaury‍. We, with my fiance Tim Farquhar, are flying out on the 15th April for two weeks.  We will be in the operations team - which I think means we will be put wherever we are needed at the time.. 

    See you soon.. can't wait :)
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