We have finally made it to Auki yaay! (well a couple of weeks ago on 26/10!)
A beautiful town whose main street, as others have previously commented to us, would be an ideal setting for a Western gunfight. Shopping reminds me of ‘little house on the prairie’ where entering you’re surrounded floor to ceiling with a massive assortment of items from tinned food, pots, hammers to toiletries in no particular order. Great figure-ground perceptual practice! Everything is behind the counter and after being served (there are no perceived queues) you load up your bags, the locals cleverly recycling rice sacks. The bus system is great here where you pay $2 for as long as you like. Wonder if it’ll work in Auckland?
We are slowly setting up our home in the new yellow house on the hill, (our address!) everyone seems to know it so if you are in the area, feel free to visit! Being so new our first weekend was spent on a single mattress and sofa cushions before we entertained the locals by buying a double mattress and carrying it home on our heads!
The battle of the ants has begun! They have fierce red ones that bite through paper packaging to attack food and people. After a few skirmishes we now have the upper hand resulting in a reduction of ‘Solomon seasoning’ to our food. We do have a long term plan that hopefully will result in domination of our kitchen, but we await time and resources prior to its execution.
Our first two weeks at Kilufi Hospital have been very insightful. In preparation for their 40th Anniversary all the staff (including doctors) are beautifying the grounds by designing and planting gardens and paths. It is looking great.
After being there for two weeks we are starting to get the picture of how much strain the hospital is under to even come remotely close to functioning properly. There are approx 160,000 people on the Island of Mialita & only four doctors. 95% of the people live in remote villages and can spend up to 3-4 days walking or going by boat just to get to the hospital.
If we had to hand in stats for work, Lara’s would look appalling. A lot of observation on culture, how things work in Solomon’s and CBR (Community Based Rehab) and rehab team, but extremely little hands on. In contrast Rob has been identified as Mr Fix-it with following projects completed: toilet repair, lab blood testing machine, dentist sterilizer machine, quote for painting all the hospital roofs and removing a water tank, just to name a few.
Everyone here has been so friendly and helpful. When our boxes arrived on the ship, a group of hospital staff and neighbours helped load and drive them to their destinations. Very overwhelming. Best be going to enjoy our downpour of rain.
Take care, Rob & Lara.
Who doesn't like to be on camera? (Rob down at a remote village)