Wednesday 14 August by Denis

The medical team was greeted on arrival early (7.30) this morning by Justin the senior nurse. He led us up the hill to his clinic which proved to be a small hospital, with three beds and a birthing suite. He had running water and a gas fired camp stove so setting up and running the sterilization process for the dentist was straightforward. The team saw many patients throughout the day, including some young boys with Yaws disease. Megan saw a six year old boy who had a stick poked in his eye some time ago and had surgery but this resulted in a cataract. Megan provided a pair of sunglasses for him as a respite.


We saw the usual parade of men women and children all ages and varying degrees of illness. Gary managed to see over 30 patients yet again. There were two unusual features of the village this time. The church (Catholic) was quite grand with a wide aisle and a beautiful view of the beach. The other point of interest was copra storage shed which was the centre of much activity, delivering, counting and storing large sacks.

By 4pm the work was done and we loaded our gear onto a ute and drove to Unmet, where we were to link up with the boat. Please try and picture an ancient Mitsubishi ute loaded with dental and medical equipment, 10 people holding on for dear life in the back with me in some degree of comfort in the front because of a wrenched knee earlier in the day. At one point we crossed a river only to emerge with a damaged sump guard, dragging along the road. The driver drove forward and back trying to dislodge the offending article but eventually stopped to have a look. Both dentist and doctor jumped out to investigate and Helena was soon on her knees with appropriate bandages tying the bits and pieces together. This worked a treat and we were soon on our way much to the astonishment of the locals who had come along to see this magnificent piece of surgical compromise.