Never compete with rice

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Mon 4 May 2015 19:20
Monday the 4th of May:
Problem Nr 1
All the truckdrivers got paid the last friday.
No one showed up for work on Monday.
So our team of doctors and Jonathan were waiting for 2 hours here in the bush.
They called me on VHF and I made satellite calls from the boat to get things moving.
Finally the driver came and they took off towards Lavis.
ProblemNr 2
It is raining and raining.
The so called roads are just a mess of mud and water. Unfortunally even a four wheel drive cannot make it.
Especially if the drivers theory is that if you are stuck, the more gas you give the better is the chance to get going.
Press the pedal to the medal!
To be serious I have been told by our doctors and Courage who also was with them that they were scared.
By lunch they returned all muddy and without having acomplished anything.
BUT nothing stops a SeaMercy expedition.
Next try was made by sea.
We all jumped onto LilExplorer and took off to the more northern part of Tanna. Intention was to anchor close by a beach and then dinghy in, land and walk up to the village.
Well it all worked out, but it was not a walk, it was a steep climb on rocks and mud. So we were not a beautyful group when we reached Lavis.
Problem Nr 3
Distribution of rice.
As we had promised the villagers since we came, there would be distribution of food Saturday or Monday. This was the second distribution since the hurricane. People were keen to get the food and the rule is that all households have to be there to get their own food.
If you have trucks stuck with food in the bushes, well people will go to the trucks. So once we got to Lavis the village was almost empty.
Mary was there, the aid post worker, and we learned a lot of good things that might get changed with our aid.
Problem Nr 4
No house, no medicines.
Since the aid post station is blown away (there was just one shadow on the ground left) Mary does not get any medicines from the goverment. All she has is what she got from us through the landings on the north side of Tanna.
So now we have planned to run a clininc with her on Wednesday and hopefully we can convince Dr Moise, the person who is responsible for distribution of medicines here in Tanna to let her have medicines in a container. As Samarithan Purse is moving on to building aid we might try to convince them to help building the aid station.
She has a lot of wounded people a really need things going.
After a day of adventures and nothing gained, at least not in the bush (havent got a report from Jonathan who was in Lenaka all day to discuss further actions and also discussed with Dr Moise about the medicine situation), we were invited to stay on LilExplorer for dinner.
And they had ICE CREAM!!!!!! What a treat!
That boat is like a floating island, it was interesting to go with her and anchor on a different place. She is 60 feet long and as wide as Salsa!
There is so much room in her that it feels like you could run a small cruising tour on her.
The plan today is to run a clinic together with Samarithan Purse at the place were they distribute food. See how that goes. It is raining and raining but the wind is easing now. We should probably move on wednesday night after the clinic up to Eromango. Our last island before the mission is over.
By the way, we met 4 brave tourists that had made it here from New Caledonia, they had booked "bungalows" at a very small local resort nearby. The local guys that run it have made a big effort on repairing 2 of the houses to be able to accomondate guests.
We asked them how it was and they answered that it was OK, but they could not get any food. But they did not complain, one of the guys took a grip on his belly and said he had reserves and they were only staying one night....
One more thing:
All morning I had school with the kids, and Andreas is starting to get the reading now, he knows the entire alphabet and he can read out three letter words. He is also getting good at sitting and have things made with concentration. Must give him credit for that!
Erika is now almost done with all the math that has to be done this year and we took a test, she did great!
Just some bragging about the kids for the family....