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We just completed two of our most exciting trips this year.
The earlier part of September saw us once again bring Jill and Peter Hofman and their dental team from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to our projects. The trip started at the Podok Rahmat Children's home where Jill and her team looked after the children's teeth while the rest of the group, led by Lionel and Pauline Plant painted up a storm, brightening up the girls dorm and the main eating and meeting rooms.
John and Carolyn Ritchie (both accomplished potters) worked on a clay "rocket stove" that will burn fast and efficiently without smoke!
From Nias we headed up to the Banyak Islands for some fun in the surf and snorkeling the amazing reefs in the Bay of Plenty before heading to the village of Ujung Sialit for the next two days. Jill saw so many children here that we lost count, they were all so eager to have their teeth fixed...and extremely curious, that we had to have "bouncers" on the door of the classroom used as a clinic.
Andrea Bailey an intensive care nurse, recently returned from working on the Mercy ship in Africa and Ruby conducted our first FAITH (First Aid In The Home) workshops...we saw a total of 60 women over the two days and each went home with a booklet on basic heath care/ hygiene and nutrition and a home first aid kit.
After some crazy weather that changed our course of direction, we spent another day at the "Panti" ( Children's Home) and then headed south to Teluk Dalam for some culture, spending the day in Hilimaeta traditional village and being entertained by the traditional Nias dancing and stone jumping. We spent a fun night with Herman Waruwu and his lively youth group. From here we headed back up to the Hinako Islands for more dental clinics, FAITH Workshops and some garden inspections by Peter Hofman and Danielle DeLagadec both horticultural experts who were able to give us plenty of good advice for our garden projects...they even showed us how to stop the aphids by using biological control...and sticky fly paper!....
....that was just the first half of the month!
The second part of September saw us doing more of the same, as Jill and her team joined us for the second trip as well. Steve and Dior Mahnken and family also joined the trip, as a major sponsors of our fibre-glass canoe project they were able to see first hand where their funds had been spent. The family was presented with a Niasian warrior statue in a touching ceremony by the fishermen.
The trip ended on a high note back at the children's home with singing dancing and story telling...there was not a dry eye by the time we said our goodbyes........