Towards Eromango 19:17.1S169:12.4E

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Thu 7 May 2015 19:27
Motoring towards Eromango, the closest island North of Tanna. We took up the anchor at 4 am this morning, now dawn is coming by 6.
It reveals another wet day, hopefully not as wet as before. Yesterday when I posted the blog the rain went from "normal" to far above normal...
We had to give up the clinic but we were communicating with Dr Robert Moise about supplies for Eromango.
Ellinor came back from the emergency call with the burned baby and she said it was quite bad. She used all our bandages for burns so now we hope we do not have any of that on board.
Morning for me was school and fixing the generator, on top of that I had to fix the outboard that does not like rain at all...
The afternon became quite exciting. As we heard nothing from Dr Moise we decided to give the crutches to Yoo and planned on trying to raise funds or anything through SM to pay back for the "piracy". So Courage took me and the kids to the reef outside their settlement.
Erika and Andreas went with me as they had been sitting in school all morning.
We got off at the edge of the reef, the waves washing in, with crouches in hands. The water has zero visibility as it seems that everything on the island is being washed out. Actually this rain feels like  natures will to clean after the cyclone. So once on the reef we had to use the crouches to feel our way to shore. About 150 meters away we could see solid ground. The reef is full of deep holes so it became quite exciting, the locals from the settlement sent out two volonteers to help us ashore and it all worked out.As Erika waited for them a bit in fron of us a medium sized fish swam by her and she caught it with the crouch, held it down to the bottom. The local guys picked it up, very impressed by her ability to "hunt". The fish was probably confused due to fresh water and bad visibility though....
BUT, on the way ashore a truck came on the road and stopped just by the settlement. I called to them and asked if it was the medical aid. It was, so I asked them to drive on to black beach where it would be easier to load the dinghies there.
The guy made some arms up and did not move the truck. As I came ashore first I realised it was Dr Moise himself that was there to deliver supplies for Eromango! Second it was pure luck that we came ashore at the same time, there would have been a challenge to cómmunicate from there. Third the road was gone in front of the truck! I mean gone! There was a canyon and water was rushing down from the mountains.
So the choice was to either try dinghy in on the reef and load, or cary stuff, wade through the river and walk to black beach. I decided the second would not put any dinghies or people at risk, so I used my handheld VHF and started to direct dinghies and people to Black Beach.
While that was happeing Dr Moise told me it was alright to give the crouches to Yoo, so we visited her and she was happy to get them.
Well to direct skippers is not an easy task, when we came down to the truck, crazy Courage was making his way with the dinghy on the reef!
With him were Ellinor, Shannon and Kim. Poor Jonathan who actually followed my directions went of course to black beach to find nobody!
So he called and asked what was going on, to make things worse I could not communicate with him directly, Cassidy had to relay from LilExplorer.
Once the dinghy was loaded and all had talked to Dr Moise, Courage met Jonathan on his wayout as Jonathan had made it  on the reef and he had to turn around empty.
I guess he was not to happy about it. The rest of us walked to black beach and were picked up there...
We got durado and fried yams with island cabbage on LilExplorer before going to ChezNouis for planning and sorting all medicines that just arrived.
Quite a few people ask us how the kids are taking what we see?
Andreas said yesterday, out of the blue, "I think when we say poor at home it is not the same as being poor here".
I think the kids are reacting very normally, I also think that being poor here is OK if you can grow your own food and catch  fish.
What we are seeing is a disaster situation, the kids can see all the trees and houses that have fallen everywhere, but as kids do, they
take it as it is.