Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 2 May 2015 23:29
On 4/29/2015 Salsa and Chez Nous had reconnoitered two villages at the north end of Tanna that have no access by land. Lil' Explorers went to Lanekal the main port of Tanna to await the report from Salsa and Chez Nous and to prepare to carry food if necessary.
When the report came back it was determined that there was a need for a little over 4.2 tons of food. Working with Samaritan's Fund and World Food Program 4.2 tons of food was procured, and a plan for loading Lil' Explorers was hatched. The following morning two launches were appropriated, and the food was loaded into the launches from the concrete wharf. There were 3 foot waves rolling through the anchorage making the little boats toss as they were being loaded, and bounce everywhere as they were rafted to the rolling Lil' Explorers unloading! The 130 60lb bags of rice were loaded onto the main crossbeams and a few random other places. The Raman Noodles soup packages and the tuna were fairly light and placed throughout the cockpit and main salon.
Lil' Explorers took the load fairly well with the swimsteps just about at water level. The trip to the first village went very well with 20 knots behind us and a nice swell helping us surf.
We arrived at the first village to a rousing welcome, anchored, and I went to shore with the Doctors Shannon and Kim. After greeting the chief and enjoying a hearty welcome from the village we set up two hospital areas, one under a rock ledge on some rounded stones, and the Chiropractic doctor on one of the launches with some boards spread across to make her an adjustment table. The patients came quickly as the entire village was there to help with the unloading of the food.
Next came the unloading of the food. Chez Nous had arrived with the Samaritan's Fund people, and more fenders to protect Lil' Explorers from the delivery boat. An aluminum boat was launched and ten strong men were taken to help with the unloading. (Naturally they did not have enough gas to use their boat, so 12 gallons were donated. This appears to be very typical and was not unexpected). The 60 pound bags of rice were gently tossed over the life lines into the boat 8 feet below. By the time the villages food was unloaded the doctors had treated all the patients that had presented themselves.
Chez Nous remained at the village with Samaritan's Fund to ensure that the food was distributed equitably. Lil' Explorers pulled anchor and headed up to the next village as the wind was projected to continue to increase throughout the day. Upon arrival the doctors were landed again, but the village chief was not around. The food was landed without incident and the doctors were kept very busy as the village was suffering from YAWS and hence there were many sores and cuts that were not healing.
Overall the mission was a great success, with over 4 tons of food delivered, and many people treated.
We all thoroughly enjoyed Michael and Ray's company yesterday and appreciate all the hard work by your team in getting Lil Explorers loaded up and on their way in such a timely fashion.
The weather has certainly deteriorated as forecast so I am delighted that we were able to get the job done. Most people (except Ray!)even stayed fairly dry!
I understand someone will be coming back to Black Beach today or tomorrow to collect the remaining WFP supplies. We will be here.
There are many sick people here and several cases of Yaws, which our doctors can treat but we need medicines from Dr Moise.
Can your vehicle bring medicines to us if we arrange it with Dr Moise?
Dr Ellinor ran a medical clinic here all day yesterday and the other Dr's will join her again today.
As it looks like we will be stuck here for a few days, the Sea Mercy doctors are very keen to get out and about to run some mobile clinics.
May we take you up on your offer of a truck and driver for Saturday and Monday?
Cruisers are now starting to depart NZ and OZ for Vanuatu and I am inundated with "what can we bring?" requests.
Do you have anything similar to the Aneityum in depth report for Tanna that lists peoples needs / requests that I could base my answers on?
I heard that Ray got a little wet. The only loss was a local cell phone. Thanks again for your assistance getting the food to these remote communities. Please continue to liaise with Michael on arranging the timing for the trucks. We are glad to assist. Do you have plans for where your mobile clinics will be located or will you be mostly at the hospital? We are quite close to the hospital, so picking up medication from there is not a problem.
I do not have an in depth report for needs on Tanna. It may be a good idea if you could try and send someone again to the PDC or do your own assessments in the ports that you have visited. Building materials, and tools for shelters and agriculture work are in need almost everywhere. If more boats are coming it would be interesting if the timing lined up for doing taking the next round of food up to those communities.
Samaritan's Purse & Sea Mercy Team,
After the challenging NGO experience we encountered in Port Vila, it has
been such a joy to see our two groups truly "working together" to meet the
needs of the remote islanders in Vanuatu. No ego's, no positioning, just
great hearts striving to meet the needs. Very encouraging and inspiring. I
see an incredible opportunity for our two organizations to develop a
coordinated and effective SP/SM Disaster Response & Relief program (from the
top level) that is ready to respond quickly when (not if) the next natural
disaster occurs in the South Pacific.
Nick, let me know how Sea Mercy can help support your local Samaritan's
Purse efforts (current and ongoing) with supplies and financial needs.
Please email me what we can do to assist financially or medically, or if
there are any costs incurred as a result of our fleets efforts with you. Sea
Mercy Captains & crew... please advise where needed.
Great job everyone!