Thursday, April 30, 2015

04.30.15 Canvasback visiting urologists

Yesterday a team of urologists, nurses, anesthetists and staff arrived for two weeks and the hospital has been hopping. The waiting areas are backed and they are busy. It is nice to see all of this activity here. They had shipped many large crates of materials for this visit.

My two shadows. Where I go, they go. Here we are at the park behind the hospital.

Buddy's left eye has healed well. It was such a nasty wound.

My little Shorty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

04.28.15 Working day

This week has started off being very busy. Am working on the school health data set, so lots of numbers to crunch. A urology team was supposed to arrive but missed the flight to Yap due to delayed arrivals. And today I was asked to go to the airport to examine a shipment of medications from MAP International, a great organization. They shipped 7 boxes of much needed medicines and all can be used. So a very special thank you to MAP International. BTW, this organization helped sponsor my very first trip as a medical volunteer. I went to Bangladesh as a medical student, so I am very fond of them. PMA has been very busy flying people and supplies back and forth.

Was then asked to attend the Emergency Operation Center meeting, where I presented our health assessments and plan for continued surveillance. This meeting took about three hours. There are concerns that an assessment report has not been sent to the Governor - and that translates into money.
My reports have been done. So there is a task force created to get the rest of the assessments into one report. I was able to state not only what we found, but what we need to prevent diseases so the chair was taking notes and I gave him my folder with the reports and list of needs. I really enjoy doing disaster relief work.

The rest of the day was spent chatting with two nurses who have a wealth of  information. That was fun as we are usually busy withour own projects.

Shorty, Blondie, Buddy, and Scarback are doing well. I am trying to get Scarback adopted - today he let me rub his tummy and rub his paws - a major feat for a dog who has been terrorized by people.

No more news on the men from the green boat. I did stir the pot and IOM was supposed to be asked to return to the table and help take care of them. Too much politics - all I know is that they need help and attention. Who said - "I'll be back"? which is how I feel about monitoring the situation. I'll be back to see how things are and keep bringing it up at meetings. Now that there was a devastating earthquake in Nepal, there could be no plans to return anyone there.

Today was Cute Baby Tuesday. Here is Roxy with a little one here for the immunizations.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

04.25.15 Shorty meets the Vet; and so does Bandit.

Yes, Shorty had an operation today. There is a vet here from Australia who is donating the neutering services. The dogs had to  have a collar and leash, well Shorty has never had a leash. So I got one that was made of cotton and put it on him in the morning sohe could get used to it. Well he did. As he sat behind my car Icould tell he was gnawing at something but that usually is his paw or coat. When I lifted the leash to  lead him out, there was nothing at the other end! He chewed right through it! O, but it did have a loop and I was able to get him into a car and to the clinic. He did well, and now he his home recovering on my bed. They said the dogs should stay indoors and not jump. I carried all 34 pounds of him up the stairs, only to have him jump on the bed as soon as he was inside. Hope the stitches hold.

The vet, and Rachel, and Shorty.

Brandy is in the 8th grade and is watching Shorty as he recovers. She is here with her father and brother and their dog "Nutsy". Whileshe calls him that, her Dad said his name is Nuts as he was part of a Nuts and Bolts duo.

And here is Nutsy. Medicated and waiting for his turn. They do have a very nice process - smooth and efficient.

No jumping, right? Jumped right up on my bed. The white sheet  is his space and covers at least 3/4th of the bed. Lately hehas been putting his head on my pillow or chest or cuddles right next to me when he sleeps. He slept all afternoon. I left him to come to the office and do some work. He was not happy to be left but I cannot risk him wrestling with Blondie today. And they do wrestle the entire way from where she lives to the hospital. Neither has a fear of cars, unfortunately.


Remember Bandit? She was the little puppy I rescued from a near certain death (either malnutrition or an accident on the road) and Angie took her. We thought she was a he, but she is a she! She looks great, she was running and playing with two other dogs when we went to Angie's house to pick her up. Here she looks frightened and she was. But she comforts easily and I held her until we had to leave her. She is wearing her new collar as she outgrew her puppy one.

Angie and Bandit at the Palau House being used for the Animal Clinic. She still has her white paws and white tip of tail.

This was a really good match. Angie really likes Bandit and she cooks extra food for her to eat. She is a healthy puppy.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

04.22.15 Asylum seeker update

The immunization team went to see the men today. We immunized all 34 against the flu and tetanus and pertussis (Tdap).The skin lesions STILL have not  been adequately treated and they are still living under a leaky roof. I bought them some mosquito coils and the insects are becoming annoying to everyone and they have no protection. In addition, we have some rather terrible mosquito borne outbreaks here, so protection against bites is needed. Yap Catholic teachers Kate and Lupo donated some clothes - that will help so they can wash and wear and maybe use the big shirts as a sort of shade from the sun.
And little Hope was running around, he follows the men, tugged at my pants and slept on my shoes as I worked. I put a cute collar on him and gave him some dog food. He looks better today than he did on Sunday. Father John is also going to visit them tomorrow.
So far, no human rights activists have responded, but IOM  is being contacted again tomorrow. In my opinion, they are a very good organization, but must work with governments, they cannot act alone. And I know this is a delicate situation, but that does not mean it can go on indefinitely. Something really needs to be done before we have a major health outbreak.
The boat was pulled out of the water yesterday and I do hope that it is not the intention  that they sleep in that dilapidated ship.

Introducing Hope to our blog.  He's a cute puppy and the men like him. He looks good with the collar, too!

He is another powerful tail wagger like Bandit and Shorty.

Salvaged "green boat". The crane that lifted it out is  included. See the ladder along the port side?

Looks idyllic, right? Palm treess, thatched roof on the house, next to the sea. But it is hot as the dickens on the dock and the roof leaks. And the shelter is a men's house - without walls.

Martina and Carlos immunizing the men. Daniel and Melissa also helped.

Nice mosquito breeding grounds. Still water is the ideal place for breeding.


Monday, April 20, 2015

To Sombar Thapa; green boat asylum seekers

What is your brother's name? I can carry a message from you to him if you wish.

You should contact the Yap State Office of the Attorney General on his behalf.
Phone: (691) 350-2105/2106
Fax: (691) 350-3922

04.20.15 Canine update

Shorty has had some separation anxiety. I was gone three times between the end of March and April and now he won't let me out of his sight. He has unofficially been staying in my apartment,, and I must admit, that has been fun. He really is a good dog, and he will nudge my leg when he wants to go outside, and he steps on my foot when he wants me to walk with him.

He knows his way from my house to the hospital and back on his own. One late night I sent him out as he wanted to play and I was really tired of playing with him. The next morning I learned he went back to the hospital where Daniel and his Mom feeds him, ate breakfast, then came back to my apartment to wait for me. Now, if I could somehow teach  him to stay off the road, we'd be OK. But when he walks he is looking for his canine pals - male and female - and pays no attention to the traffic. He is also a bit of a night owl.

Blondie is looking as cute as ever. She waits for me in the mornings to give her a treat. She is not camera shy as you will see. And Buddy is just a big lovable dog when you get to know him. His mangled eye has healed and you won't know he had a large infected wound. The miracle of antibiotics. I'll have to get an update of him soon. He, too, eats at Daniel's house.

And I still look after Judith's dog Scarback (Judith was the PC response volunteer who left last month). Her other dog is gone, I sawher once and fed her, but she hasn't been  here since, so I think someone took her. She was lame and could not walk far, so I doubt she wandered away, especially since I was feeding her.

I am coaching one of the PH staff to feed and manage Scarback. He is very skittish since he has been abused a few times and been in fights with other dogs and has battle scars. Earlier he used to bark at me but no longer. So I am having Vanessa come with me and feed him so he gets used to her. Then  she will take him to her home and feed him and take care of him. I have another outer island trip and I don't want him to starve while I am gone. I don't think he ate much at all on my last trip, so I hope she is comfortable enough to take  him home. Getting him into a car should  be interesting.

Here are a few new photos of the Shorty and Blondie. I'll  have to take some of Hope (the green boat men's puppy) and Scarback.

Shorty is really a well fed dog. And he runs like the wind. Never expect to see a dog with such short legs and long body run with such speed and grace. He we are going to work in the morning. He had a sleep over. He always walks and runs with his tail up and wagging, unless being chased by big dogs. He is one happy dog. He still will not willingly let me brush him.

This is my favorite place to watch him walk and run. The color of his coat and the green grass makes for a nice scene. He usually doesn't keep looking to see if I am still behind him, but these last two days he runs a little then looks back often.

Blondie. What can I say. She used to cavort with Chocolate, but now she plays with Shorty. She is wearing a nice purple collar which someone later stole! Imagine stealing a dog collar. I had been warned about that. So now I gave her a plain blue one. Someone also stole Shorty's water bowl that I bought him - stole it from Daniel's porch! Petty theft is a real problem here and sometimes not so petty.

Shorty and Blondie. Pals. When they run together on the road it makes me wish I left him at the hospital or her in her backyard.

She likes to jump and  I don't mind except when she has dirty paws and gets my clean shirt messy. Here she is looking right into the camera. She is cute and fun and loves her treats.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

04.19.15 Asylum seekers

Yesterday I went to visit the men from the green boat. They are still doing well. I took Shorty to visit as dogs do have a positive effect on many people. It did work. And they showed me their own puppy - a starving stray dog about two pounds soaking wet. They are doctoring him with rice and baths! They did not name him yet, so I suggested "Hope". Now I know that is a girls name, but I  think hope is all we have to offer them. They jumped on the name and started calling him Hope as I  was leaving. I did not have the camera but will go back with some food and take a picture of this little puppy. They made a makeshift collar for him and a leash. I will bring htem a puppy collar soon.

But we cannot minimize or ignore this serious issue. As I saw the much needed aid being delivered to those affected by Typhoon Maysak, I could not help but think about the dire straits of these young men who paid $7500 for a better life. This  money probably amounted to all they and their families had worked hard to save. They are safe, fed and have bathroom facilities and clean water, but this situation is far from ideal. And they have been here since November 2014. Does it really take this long to find them a place to live?

Several of us are deeply affected by the lack of evident progress. We hear comments like "they are spoiled" - really eating rice and salt is being spoiled? They had yet another outbreak of scabies and I am mocked everytime I ask for hygiene items like soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Comments are made that they should just jump into the sea if they want a bath - but some of these men do not swim. And I doubt anyone would be happy living as they do - their boat was sunk from lack of fuel to keep the pump running and that is where some slept, they now live under a tarp or under an roofed but open men's house.

If any of you who read this blog have any connections to human rights lawyers or any one else that may help, please ask them to get involved. Thank you.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Video - from Fais.

Moving water tanks.

And supplies.

And kids are having fun.

04.17.15 Fais

Fais. What can I say. As much as I enjoy Ulithi, I really like Fais. It has warm and lovely people and a beautiful shore line which is treacherous to navigate and cliffs to climb to enjoy a spectacular view. It is also as hot as the dickens. And they continue with the nu-nu tradition (leis) which I also enjoy. A garland of sweet smelling flowers is such a treat.

This island  had sustained less damage, but is poorer than the Ulithi atoll. They remain in reasonable good health and I ate very well here. We had rice, pork, tuna caught that morning marinated in soy and a spice, and luncheon meat and sweet potatoes. They also prepare a drink of pounded coconut that is refreshing in this heat.

The water tanks were donated by the EU as a separate project. They must still be installed to a smaller tank (? I was told) and rain gutters are to be placed that will connect with this system. Hope I get to see the finished product, but this step was a long time in coming.

Sunrise near Fais.

Large water containers. I am always amazed at the resilience and resourcefulness of some people and places. The Micronesians, just like others that I have known, do not complain and simply get back to work. These containers are heavy yet the men just lifted them from the water and carried them to where they needed to be placed. And they still walked really fast when they carried the containers.

Melissa and Carlos.

Baptist Church from Yap volunteering on each island. They brought three chainsaws. This helped a lot. The islanders would have one very difficult time using a machete on these large trees.

Fresh tuna. Lunch.

Trees starting to turn green. This is a breadfruit that survived.


Clay showing his pictures. He came on the boat with us. As he is a local, he helped with everything.

Eli and Joshua cooling off before we head back to the ship. Yes, I was in there in all of my clothes. We were wet from just the boat ride, so why not?
 A pet bird.

Solar panel goes for $300.00.

Madeleina. She is a school teacher who helps me and makes sure I get fed and enough to drink. She is lovely.