Thursday, October 15, 2009

time flying

The last week has been full! We sailed to Musket Cove, a cruiser's mecca on a nearby island. We relaxed, met up with another sailor we'd met before, met a new couple that are former YWAMers, took a hike, barbecued at the large outdoor pit on a tiny island, and Brian kiteboarded. Since we're both introverts, it was good to get away from the many people-oriented activities we've been doing. We sailed back to Lautoka on Monday in intermittent rain. We caught about 25 gallons of rain for our water tanks.
Tuesday, Brian finished working on the cupboards at PTC, we had lunch at Marine Reach and we learned more about what they're doing. Wednesday we had our dental hygiene talk at Naviyoga village (same place as the women's group). Hmmmmm. How do describe that. We brought 50 toothbrushes and there about 80 kids. There were about 80 kids. All hyper, not all understanding English. We had a lot of shushing sessions. Even Doctor Rabbit, the toothy bunny puppet wasn't distracting enough to hold attention. But we pushed through. Proper brushing, flossing and nutrition were our topics. When I asked for 'one more thing that helps your teeth stay healthy' a chorus of "gum" was heard. GUM? Where did they hear that? When the presentation came to an end, it was time to hand out toothbrushes. We decided to give 2 brushes per family. So they were told to sit in sibling groups. We were to give two per seated group. This only worked for the first 10 groups. When the other kids saw groups getting stuff that they weren't getting, the groups dissolved into thick clumps standing around myself and Brian. Toothbrushes gone, I decided to take pictures instead. It seemed to make them happy. All in all, not a totally rewarding experience. We learned things we wouldn't do in the future, though and realized first hand the frustration of not being able to solve all the world's problems with THINGS.
My favorite part of the evening was when a little girl was brought to us. The aunt showed us the girl's wrists covered with pimply sores and scratched bumps. They itche her all the time. I didn't know what to say at the time but I went home and read my book, "Where there is no Doctor" which has a skin condition diagnostic section. Scabies. I bought the ointment to treat it yesterday and we brought it out to Ben and Keba (pronounced kambah) with instructions. It is a relief to have the information to help people take care of themselves.

We spent 4 1/2 hours at their village with them, going over the "Where there is no Doctor" book, telling stories, asking questions, eating cassava and delicious homemade buns. We saw their cassava farm, with bananas and sweet potatoes and pineapples planted in between the cassava patches. A truly cross-cultural experience.

1 comment:

Hesperian said...

My name is Ingrid and I'm writing to you from Hesperian, publishers of Where There Is No Doctor. I'm so glad the book was helpful! Do you already know about Where There Is No Dentist? (We also have it in Spanish.)

Feel free to email me at - if you happen to have any pictures of the work you're doing and you feel like sharing them, we'd love to see them!