A visit from Steve Pearce (UK Methodist Church representative for SE Asia & Pacific) allowed a small team to make the crossing to Choiseul on Tuesday. We left at 6am and made good progress with the 75 H.P. engine on the Helena Goldie Hospital’s sea ambulance. We arrived on the beach at the place where the pioneer missionaries , Rev Goldie & Rooney, landed in 1905. We had a traditional welcome by two warriors brandishing spears. Our party then went on to have refreshments at a hospital house, before lunch and a small choir who sang a song of welcome to us. After lunch there were speeches and then a tour of the hospital. It is just a year since we (J & G) left to return to the U.K. and in that time there has been tremendous progress at the hospital, beyond our dreams!
The hospital secretary Kaleb Kotali has done a wonderful job, and he was pleased to show us round the hospital, after which we had a short meeting to discuss the plans for refurbishment this year. After this we had dinner prepared by the community, more speeches followed by an early night. At 1am an ante-natal patient arrived with some bleeding requiring antibiotics & IV fluid prior to transfer to Gizo.
The following morning we had devotions on the veranda of the new maternity unit, followed by exchange of gifts. We presented 3 donated items; a lap-top for the hospital treasurer, a haemoglobinometer for the medcial laboratory and a microscope for the clinic in the village of Panarui down the coast. We also presented a pulse oximeter purchased in the U.K. with funds raised by the young people at Wilpshire Methodist Church in Blackburn. By 10am we were back in the canoe with the ante-natal patient ready to make the crossing to Gizo. We were there by 2pm and were able to look round the new hospital (built by Japan), visit the education department and have some lunch before returning to Munda.
Jenny remained at Sasamunga with RN Darity from India,a mission partner supported by the Council for World Mission. They plan to stay for 10 days to continue discussions with kaleb and also to do some clinical work.