Full house 18:49.062S169:00.64E
Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 9 May 2015 20:18
A very rolly night, again. But at least you can start the morning with a swim, as the river flows out the fist decimeter is very cold fresh water and underneath you find the saltier warmer ocean water.
While we were eating breakfast LilExplorer and ChezNouis came from east and west and it all looked like choreography when they came in and anchored in the bay. As ChezNouis came in we saw the mat and bows covered with children, as they came into the bay we heard cheering from ashore. These children were at school while Pam striked and have not been able to go home until ChezNouis brought them from Dilons bay!
Might give you an idea on how hard it is to move around the island. LilExplorer had also passengers from Southern Bay so first thing in the morning was to get them ashore safe and hopefully dry. To land with the dinghies here is a big adventure, the surf goes all the way into the bay and as you approach the landing rocks the water takes you around with the current, so first you try to get there and when the water decides to help you it throws you at the shore, so you put the engine hard into reverse but still have to wacth another rock underneath you, and well, when you get the reverse in, the current changes direction and makes you spin and back into some other obstacles...
On top of that the village has put an aluminum ladder to climb from then landing rock to get up. That ladder is thrown off its position by the waves, then the person you just thought would hold your dinghy lets go and turns around to save the ladder from being washed away. This is reapeated at almost every landing....
Time to go ashore...
But before starting a clinic or any activity starts the chief wants to get everybody together and welcome us. We are all standing by the church waiting and it takes time to gather everybody, including ourselves. The kids have left us and are playing by the river, they can swim with he local kids as they are off from school now.
The chief welcomes us and we get garlands around our necks! Very nice! We thank them and tell them who we are why we are here and are welcomed with an applause.
Time to move into the church that is an empty space with all chairs gathered in one end. We get the message that the guy with fever has only made it half way from Happy land, they will go and carry him down.
When he arrives he is dizzy, cannot focus with his eyes and they lay him down on a madrass in church. People are gathering outside and look through the broken windows. After some analyses, the doctors thinks he has pneumonia. His fever is high and they give him antibiotics to fight the inflammation, he lays there on the madras floor and is sweating.
Shannon does not feel well either but takes on some patients before she retires to the boat. She has an infected wound that has developed to fever etc.
So Ellinor and Kim were alone with patients that kept pooring in from the mountains. The sight was different, you have a patient, you have an interpreter (Ellinor had a very good aid worker from Happy land that helped her), you have a group of other waiting patients listening, you have spectators looking into the windows, and you have kids crying, people talking and at the same time you have to concentrate on your patient that does not understand english very well.
Out hanheld vhf radios were used like crazy to gather material, unload boats, bring medicines, organize food etc. I went on board to unload our supplies to LilExplorers dinghy, driven by Cassidy, the top driver and our Tallyman Donna was going along to check the amount of supplies being unloaded. After that I arranged lunch for the doctors and for our kids (plus some extra), sent off the lunch with our courier dinghy (it could not be parked by the landing place, you always had to have somebody drive in and away, the surge was to violent).
After a while I heard on the radio that the situation was growing and nobody really knew how many patients they had.
So I went ashore, outside the church they were dividing the food among the villages, in every window you had five people looking in, by the door there was a long line and inside you could hardly walk though, there were people everywere! The guy with pneunomia was sitting up getting some food from a relative, a good sign!
As I suspected the lunch was untouched so I raised my voice and told everybody that the doctors needed a break for lunch. They went out and sat in the grass and had it while I took help from the aidworker to organise so the ones that had gone furtherst came in first so we could run a second clinic next day with those that live close by. There are very very few that are seriously sick, most of the people are taking the opportunity to be checked. And to do so they claim something that the previous person had. For instance, Ellinor had 14 ears in a row... The first patient could not hear well, Ellinor found a lot of stuff that she got out and after that her hearing was good! The problem was that the other 13 had clean ears, so Ellinor poured a few drops of peroxide and believe it or not, they could hear much better! But there were more serious matters in between, but you had to work you way through the crowd and by four they left anyway, the reason was that nobody wants to walk in the dark back home.
By five we were back on board, an exhausted doctor and kids that have had some fun! The wind had turned into the bay so Salsa was dancing like crazy. LilExplorer invited us for Lasagne and Ice cream, how could we possibly say no?
A fast game of UNO while the doctors looked at Shannon, she does not feel well.
The ants are swarming the island so LilExplorer having lights on suddenly got black with flying ants...
We went back to our boat and took off in the dark, following our track and radar we made our way out in pitch darkness, also attacked by a dark cloud of water and wind. Took us 2 hours to get to Dilons bay for protection. Last miles directed by ChezNouis we made it in here for the first time.
As I send this email I will see if we have to go back and relieve Shannon or if she can have a clinic in the morning....