logo Salsa af Stavsnas
Date: 17 May 2015 00:16:42
Title: Fot those that follow

How we organised the group
1. Coordinator / Planner- Jonathan did all the political work and prepared in advance. A lot of times they went ahead to prepare the village and to check the situation.
2. Logistian / Tallywoman – Donna kept track of our stores and what had to go where. When loading for others she would keep track on the supplies.
3. Documentation / photography – Staffan was allowed to chase pictures for documentation and a possibility for SM to show what we actually are doing. But there was also an extensive documentation made by the doctors and Jonathan filing reports.
4. Skills group / depending on skills – in our case the group was the doctors. The reason we bring this up is that in a fleet it is easy to think “skippers meetng” only. Well there needs to be a link between the skilled people that need to accomplish their work and the safety of vessels and weather routing.

Reports etc
Communication is a challenge when there is no cell phone coverage. As only Salsa had satellite phone/router we had to communicate via VHF or/and HF
LilExplorer and ChezNouis used sailmail with an extended time allowance on their HF (short wave radio).
When the boats were separated beyond VHF range HF was tried with less than good communication possibilities.
The NGO:s all use satellite phones and text, maybe SM should try to work out a deal with a provider and supply every ER with at least one sat phone? Or make a deal for the boats that already have…

Supplies for distribution
Lesson learned; we should carry the same food as the world food program. Then it will be easier to coordinate deliveries. On ER1 we experienced the hassle of loading World food supplies on top of our existing supplies because they would not exchange our food for theirs.
Medical units will be reported by the doctors.

What makes SM unique
We are amateurs, in French it means we love what we do-
As we are not paid to do the work so we do not chase headlines and we can take our time.
We are small, a disadvantage in many ways, but an advantage in others.

What should make us unique from what we have seen on the field-

We are curious
We ASK before we act, we want to learn

We are empathic
This means we know that we are in a village for a moment only and that the people we meet have to continue their lives without us.
We understand they have no insurance but themselves.
Most are not entirely comfortable with receiving help for free

We show respect
We follow their customs and rules.
We make sure to get approval before we do anything.
We understand that they know more than we do when it comes to their environment, networks and ways to do things.
We also understand that we can cause damage by introducing food or materials that destroys their health or environment
Our yachts should use as little local resources as possible and not let out chemicals or waste that can destroy their reefs
As we have time to check things out we can also trust the people we meet.

A word to the next ER
Remember to enjoy the environment, the people, the interaction, the challenges and the differences.
Create a generous atmosphere within the group, be the first to make sandwiches for the people ashore that have been working on some solar cells for 7 hours.
Be the first to invite the boat that just made it against the wind on board for a soup and some stories.
There is no reason to believe that disaster relief means you will meet people that cry or are sad, quite the opposite, you will meet smiles and good temper, learn and adapt.
Have fun!

Jonathan, Courage and Staffan
Skippers in the ER1

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