A common way of transportation in PNG is dugout canoes and when making these canoes eyesight is a valuable tool. But while in the Gulf Province the ophthalmology team from the YWAM Medical Ship met a canoe maker named Morovi from the village of Mairipepea. The team found out that he was completely blind in both eyes and were able to preform eye surgery in one eye to have his cataract removed.
Post surgery Morovi was resting on the aft deck, and one of the team members, JP, overheard him having a conversation with another person from his village. JP noticed that as Morovi spoke that he had a huge smile on his face and seemed exceptionally happy, however she could not understand what he was saying because he was speaking in his own language. JP then decided to ask Morovi’s friend what he was saying to him. He explained to JP that Morovi was very excited about the eye surgery because he had been blind in both eyes for some time, and as the only person in his village that made canoes, he had learned to make them by touch alone. The thought of being able to see again to make dugout canoes excited him. The ophthalmology team was thrilled to hear the impact that Morovi’s cataract surgery was going to have on his life.
The next morning, when Morovi had his eye patch removed, the entire team came out to see his reaction. Morovi’s response was an instant smile and much joyful laughter. He was able to see again! The smile never left his face throughout his post-op check up and it got even bigger as he tried reading with the new reading glasses given to him. Not only was Morovi given strict instructions from the ophthalmology team to take care of his eye post surgery, but also to teach young men in his village how to make dugout canoes with his new gift of sight!