Nine days preparation in Port Vila
Date Tuesday 2 June 2015
It became very quickly apparent that any thoughts of a quick in and out Port Vila firstly would not be possible and secondly would mean that we would miss out on getting to know those organisations that were able to supply us with further supplies and ongoing support. Our friends Jonathan and Donna from the catamaran Chez Nous who have been working with the charity Sea Mercy were our 1st port of call and a great source of introductions and advice.
Lynn and Dave Colbert of the Butterfly Trust, under whose umbrella we are operating in Vanuatu, were quickly on hand and were an enormous assistance in liaising with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation and other organisations. They also finally extracted Elizabeth’s official accreditation to practice in Vanuatu; a triumph on E’s side of persistence and perspiration over bureaucracy. Elizabeth was able to acquire additional medicines, dressings and other necessary bits and pieces from the Central Pharmacy, the WHO, the Vanuatu Women’s Federation and the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. Inevitably there are many common use items that are just not available at the present time.
Elizabeth with Lynn from the Butterfly Trust
Lynn and Dave have been working in the Maskelyne Islands for some years, know the area well and are respected by the local people throughout south Malakula. They have been providing support for educational facilities, school fees and assistance to the medical facilities including organising visiting doctors and dentists. It is great to be working with them. Their website makes interesting reading at www.butterflytrust.org .
Elizabeth with Jonah from the WHO who had kindly delivered her back with her latest haul
Jonathan introduced us to Cassie Phelan, born and bred in Vanuatu with expat Australian parents, who has masterminded the charity in Australia called Aid Vanuatu which has been bringing in container loads of goods donated in Australia for Vanuatu. She gave us free reign to browse through one of her containers and with the aid of a very full taxi bus returned with an eclectic collection of food, torches, batteries, tools and even some schoolbooks. The problem we had was actually fitting it on the boat. We ended up with 90 kg of rice under the saloon table and 200 tins of tuna in large plastic buckets spread around the seating.
Some of the haul from Cassie - stick it where?!