Tuesday, June 30, 2015

06.30.15 Traveling news and frightening news

First, I will be leaving tonight for Bangladesh. Last year I helped with the examinations of the garment factory workers and we are doing the same now. Will also give a presentation at the Grant School of Pubic Health and meet with government officials. My dear friend Ruhul Abid has started a nonprofit called Health and Education for All and I am the VP and Global Health Advisor. It is hot off  the presses and we will use this to help the operations. Under this umbrella is Health on Wheels-USA which helps provide medical care for the  workers. More will be posted as we progress on the trip. Leave Yap at 1:30 AM, then have the opportunity to flew en ruote to Guam, Seoul, Singapore, and then Dhaka. If you look at the map, that is the long way there! But the price was right! Will be back home in 1 days and my friend Madeleine and her husband Erwin will be staying in my place.

And on the bad side news - someone tried to murder Shorty. I left the hospital to go to town and was gone for 15 minutes. People heard him barking and saw a man pull a knife out of his basket (that basket of wisdom) and chase Shorty and try to stab him. Good thing Shorty is a chicken little at heart - he hid under a car. But when I got back, he did not want to leave my side. When I got back one of the nurses took me around the hospital to look for the man but  he was gone.

To make matters worse (for me anyway) is that I had to leave him so I could get ready for the trip. When he saw me get in the car to leave he immediately went back under another car. Poor little guy. Before I left I took him to the park which he really likes and he stayed very close with one eye on me the whole time but otherwise had fun running into the water and playing with Buddy. Not the typical day.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

06.28.15 Cultural Stick Dance - Young men and women

These are high energy dances. We should have classes for adults who wish to be a little trimmer.

Entering the grounds  with the traditional  houses behind them. A senior person leads the group, in this case it is Henry, a member of the Behavioral Health and Wellness program of Public Health.

The young woman in the skirt with white ribbons (yellow, green and blue skirt) is Megan. She is the really nice school girl that likes Shorty.


06.28.15. Weekend. Green boat men. Men's dance video

It was a routine weekend. We visited Hope and the green boat men. They are all well. The UN refugee agency is here again and this time interviewing all of htemn individually and in detail. They will  be here all week, so I am told. Then we will see if they are officially offered "refugee" status.

Shorty has taken to the water and now goes up to his neck,  but no signs of swimming. So I decided to swim with him, but he wasn't interested. (Maybe because I tired to give him a shower and he was petrified! But he was a muddy puppy!) There were three dogs - Shorty, Buddy, and Chocolate. They would sit under a hibiscus tree and when I would swim far enough away down the side of the shore,they would then move to another shady spot. They kep moving with me, but none would venture into the water, except for the short distance that Shorty did. The water is perfect - no chill when getting into it, no getting used to it. How I am going to miss this.

Heidi and the kids were over Friday night. I don't know how she manages four very energic children. We had fun in the apartment and that little sweeting Honora asked if they could live here forever. What a doll.

Four of us expat women had a "girls lunch out" this week. Sheryl and Marie are from Australia and are volunteering here, Heidi is originally from Tasmania then Indonesia then the Philippines. It was fun and a good break from the hospital, dogs, and kids. We should have done this more often.

Men dancing at the Museum of Living Culture.

Honora, Reina, Tommy, Heidi, and little baby Theo. Yes, playing on and in my bed. Where else do you hide for a game of hide and seek?

Heidi and Theo.

Shorty's cousin, Brownie. Shorty is cuter. This one was fed by the Japanese volunteer. You see how this works!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

06.23.25 Paddling

Have started "paddling" in the outrigger canoe. This is great exercise, beautiful scenery, and really a lot of fun. The outrigger is designed for 6 paddlers and those in the middle are the strongest. Yap Sports Festival is in three weeks - maybe our outrigger will compete! And I also have my very own paddle, made by a local craftsman.

Here is my paddle and the very useful water shoes. They come in handy when trying to get into the water, whether going for a swim here in Yap or reef walking in the outer islands.


Monday, June 22, 2015

06.22.15 Fund for green boat men to call home

If you would like a call from a loved one and want to help, you can go to RocketHub www.rockethub.com and make a donation of any size. This will  be used for a phone and phone cards so the men may call home. Some of the readers have expressed an interest in a call, here is your chance to help make that possible.

06.22.15.Men's Health Week

Last month we had Women's Health Week. Now that Sunday was Father's Day, we have Men's Health Week. A moderate number of men were hear for the first day - am told the numbers increase in the middle of the week. Good to see all of the men here. We just finished our brochure on caring for the newborn - a brochure for Mom's and Dad's and I was very pleased to see the men who picked one up.

And Shorty has a new friend. Her name is Megan and she is 12 years old and wants to be a lawyer when she grows up. Her Mom is Deborah, a nurse in PH. She was here today since both parents are working and she very shyly asked me if shecould help when it was time to feed Shorty. Well,  you know, it is always time for a treat. Here is Megan giving Shorty treats and some pictures of the staff during the special clinic for men.

Megan is beautiful with a lovely personality.

US Navy is in town for community service. Here is a medic helping us.



Melissa and Carlos with hteir backs toward the camera. Hilda smiling. This is the vital sign station.

Alvin is on the right helping register a man and reviewing the testing options.

A nice family.

Men from Viet Nam (with police officer). They are from the fishing vessel caught illegally fishing. They are being deported at the end of the month.

Laboratory tests.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

06.20.15 Green Boat men

Shorty and I went to visit the men and Hope this morning. They taught me how to make roti and then made me roti with green vegetable curry. Very good. They are all well. The UN refugee representative did not travel to Yap last week, perhaps she will b e here this week.

IOM said it is unlikely that they will be able to have the men call home.

So in about 24 hours, we will see if  the crowd funding site RocketHub has approved   "Green boat men call home Fund".  For the famly and friends of the stranded men and who can afford it, and their friends in India who follow this blog, you may donate something  that would allow a phone and cards to be purchased for them. If the fund is approved, I will add the direct link, but you should be able to find it from the title.

06.20.15 Men's Dance

The program closed with the men performing a standing dance. They did it behind the platform and stone money, I suspect since women are not supposed to openly watch the dance. It was a very tame version of what is performed at night.

A lot of cameras. Seems like more than at the beginning of my stay.


06/20/15 Homecoming celebrations

Today started as a routine Saturday morning, walk Shorty, dolaundry, clean the apartment, walk to the bank and grocery store. I also had a mango- imported - and so sweet and delicious. What a treat. The mangoes here are small and very bitter. They are eaten with salt.
In the late morning the homecoming festivities began. There were speeches and then dancing. The "kids" did the stick dances, which are high energy and a real favorite of the audience.

Preparations for the dance. Headresses made, bamboo poles cut for the stick dances, coconut oil to make the skin glisten. Moms, Aunties and Grandmothers play an important role in preparing the dancers ready to perform.

Baby in a traditional basket.

Walking past the traditional men's houses.

Stick dance.

Bill Akers and his wife and granddaughter.

This little girl made a very favorable impression on the crowd. She tried very hard to keep up with the older dancers and did remarkably well. Her Mom should  be proud. And she was a joy to watch.

Swirling colors.

Feet off  the ground.

Next, will post pictures of the men's standing dance and some videos when I get the chance to edit.