Day rises at Homo Bay…

Tuesday 13 July 2010 Pangi Village, Homo Bay, (15 57.16S, 168 11.49E)
By Cub Reporter, Mike Clarke.
It’s just after 6.00am and the day is commencing with bread making.  With the bread now in its second rising, it’s time to look around and view the morning after a peaceful night aboard.
It’s time to go on deck and look around.  From the port side of the boat we face the shoreline with the lush trees meeting a thin strip of white sand to the water.  The sun is starting to filter its rays on to the ground through the broken clouds.  About ten minutes ago the sun was just a pink glow from the top of that cloud.  The village of Pangi is well hidden and about a kilometre down the beach.  At this stage there is no ‘tell tale’ smoke from their kitchens – usually the best guide of where the village is located
From the starboard side we see the island of Ambrym about ten miles away covered in a volcanic mist – a classic volcanic shaped island and one of the most active volcanoes in Vanuatu.  Fortunately, the wind is light in the other direction and not blowing the ash towards us.
The day of the week does not seem to matter unless we have to have contact with the outside world – catch a plane or be at a certain place on a specific day or date.  I asked Matt yesterday “What day is it?”  After some thought, we both agreed, it was Monday – as we had been to church the day before and that must have been Sunday!
All is still pretty quiet, although I do hear some rumblings of activity further down the boat.  Captain Robert is still asleep as he is often up until 1.00am to 2.00am to bring you the daily blog.
With Gibson, Bob and Dr Robyn now having left the boat to be part of the land based teams, the boat seems somewhat empty after their great company over the past week. We’ll have to get Lanie to make more noise!!
Gerhard is now up on deck and doing some light morning reading of the Xantex Battery Charger Manual.   Section 3.2 was the latest page for study and discovery!  He will be tested on this section after breakfast.  (He is actually checking for the voltage settings to ensure our batteries are being charged efficiently).
Today is the start of the larger clinics with the medical team now in place.  Mud-brick making is scheduled to commence around  9.00am (that means sometime before midday). It’s always interesting watching the local villagers reaction, somewhat skeptical when Rob asks for ‘sticky mud’ but prepared to go along with it to see what happens.  This, of course, seems to change quite dramatically when the first brick is gently eased out of the mould.  Additional enthusiasm ensues, and very quickly the twenty of so bricks required for a stove are soon made.  Have a look at the mud-brick making ministry photo gallery for examples from previous missions.  I wonder if today will be the same?
The second rising of the bread is now complete and the two loaves are in the oven.  Thanks Linda for the great preparation, we have lots of requests for the recipe.  We tell everyone it’s a secret – just like the Colonel’s eleven herbs and spices.

It’s now 7.30am and the smell of freshly baked bread is starting to waft through the cabin.  Captain Robert is now up on deck making a mud-brick mould to leave in the village for more bricks to be made.
Breakfast is now up and we are gathering everything we need for the day.  Will expectations turn to reality?  I’ll report later!!

The day’s events, by Robert Latimer …
So here we are back on board, it’s getting onto 10:00pm and we’ve just completed a lovely dinner ashore with the medical team at their bungalow accommodation.  The trip back in the dinghy was in complete darkness, save for a sky full of brilliant stars, which seemed to create just enough light for us to make our way.  The light at the top of the mast helped too. It’s a very safe anchorage, with light breeze and flat sea, so we felt confident in leaving the boat unattended for a few hours.
It was a big day in the clinic, with around 80 people seen.    Not just eyecare but general medical as well, with doctors Robyn and Graeme addressing a range of medical issues and Bob getting stuck into filling holes in teeth.
Back by the beach  a mudbrick clinic got into full swing with Chief Clement and a few other enthusiastic souls getting stuck into the mixing and moulding. A total of 33 bricks were made -enough to make one stove with 13 left over. At the end of the day we noticed that a pretty solid bamboo and tin structure had constructed around the bricks with a roof no doubt being knocked together pretty quickly in the event of rain.
We met with another chief, Chief Luke, who is the son of Chief Willy, who is quite famous in these parts.  Sadly, Chief Willy died about 3 years ago, but Luke continues on the family chiefly tradition welcoming visitors and showing them around    And being one of 6 kids I figured he’d be the oldest, but not so.  He came about three in the family pecking order but nonetheless got the gig as Chief with his father’s blessing.  “How so?” I asked, and it seemed it was because he had stayed at home with his father, while his siblings had moved away – not far, but obviously further that Luke.  We brought Luke out to the boat and he spoke of different characters he has met, including a Canadian fellow who was determined to have a go at the land diving from one of the high towers.  Whilst it’s illegal for us white-folk to do the jumping, Chief Luke reckoned he managed to facilitate the fulfillment of the Canadian’s dream – a jump which looks very much like a suicidal proposition.
After a morning clinic tomorrow it’s up the coast a bit to Melsisi, with founders of the program Don and Meg MacRaild flying in nearby to join the team.
With so many people and gear packed into the medical team’s 4wd, for the rugged road up the west coast, who know we may get s few back aboard for the 25km run up the coast.
Smooth seas, fair breeze and off to bed

Robert Latimer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.