Farewell Aneityium, fair winds to Futuna

8 May, 6:30pm Analgawhat harbour, Aneityium  (Mystery Island)

What a wonderful four days we’ve had, not only assessing eyes and dispensing glasses but treating injuries, pulling teeth, teaching dental hygiene and making mud bricks to boot.

And the friendships and people we have met.

There’s Jonathan the school principal with his wife and three young children, here on the island for just 3 months to replace the previous principal whose house burnt down last year and has been in hospital in Pt Vila for a very long time because of his severe burns.  There’s Colin, who embraced the idea of making mud bricks and building low smoke stoves, there was Nelson the medical clinic assistant who was eager to help wherever he could.  Helpful Natu who cooked all the meals for the medical team and is expecting a baby in a couple of months and cheerful Barry who runs the Cannibal Soup stand at Mystery Island when the big white ships come in.  He even gave us a T-shirt, it says, “Send more tourists – the last lot were delicious”

Just a wonderful place.  Tony loves the place so much he’s thinking of moving into the bungalow at the end of the beach, Scott thinks it’s got everything a typical, idyllic South Pacific island should have and the hospitality has been fantastic

At the moment it’s about 6:30pm and we have all the medical boxes aboard along with all the packs and bags of the medical team who are still ashore – at least until 9:00PM when we take them aboard for an overnight sail NE to Futuna. And guess what, the wind came in from the south this afternoon (with occasional showers) and it’s just perfect for our run north.   We were going to get started tomorrow morning around 3-4AM, but it was agreed amongst the medical team that they might as well get going sooner, so 9:00pm tonight it is.

The plan is to get the medical team comfortable in a bunk or on a mattress on the deck and arrive at Futuna tomorrow morning after a beautiful night’s sail!?  I think the medical team is hoping for the same thing.   We’ll then have the whole day at Futuna to relax and prepare for clinics on Monday and Tuesday.

I’m hoping to get some of the medical team to get a few words into the Ships Log which will provide an interesting perspective on proceedings.

I’d better go, we’re hoping to get an hours sleep before we have to pick everyone up at 9:00pm

Sooth seas, fair breeze and Futuna here we come.

Rob Latimer

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