What a day!!

On one of his visits to Lissenung, our good friend Andrew Bowes from PNG Holidays  and I talked about how Lissenung had bought some school chairs for one of the schools at Enuk. Well, we bought the chairs....our guests that had visited Enuk Island during their stay at Lissenung had actually paid for them.
Anyway, a few weeks after he went home to Cairns, Andrew skyped me and asked whether we would be interested in some school desks to go with those chairs. Is the Pope catholic? I asked. Of course we are interested in those chairs. How to get them here, though? How many chairs are we talking? Oh, about 55 or 60.... Well, we'll need a container for that, so lets see if we can't get other stuff as well.
Cue Peter Mc Ewan, our friend here in Kavieng and president of the Kavieng Rotary Club. He got onto the internet and through a friend of a friend got in touch with Jennifer from QLD Health. Another friend of ours, Greg Parr, got me in touch with the Calvary Hospital in Cairns. Last but not least, Andrew Bowes has friends at Wicked Campervans, who's storage room we also raided for pillows, sheets and blankets. Funny that, the backpackers don't want to use the pillow of another backpacker, they want to buy new stuff. Never mind that no hotels throw out pillows after each use..... Never mind, though, we are happy with this attitude, it netted us enough pillows and sheets to kit out the hospital in Kavieng and have some left overs. Mike Ball also came to the party and donated a bunch of sheets and pillow cases, all still in the plastic wrapping from the laundry service!!
After a week of picking stuff up, packing it strategically into a container, having said container road-delivered to Townsville where it got trans-shipped to Port Moresby and eventually Kavieng, customs got in the way! Of course they were trying to charge import duty on the donated goods, but eventually,

Yesterday, I went to Kavieng town and delivered 3 hospital beds, a gurney, 4 physio beds, a weight chair (for people that need to be weighed, but can't stand) and a box full of blood pressure cuffs to the Kavieng Hospital today. The three hospital beds are the first ones in our local hospital that can be raised and lowered semi-automatic. Most of the hospital beds in Kavieng are just standard beds, like in your bedroom, but much more basic and uncomfortable. Imagine having an op and having to sit yourself up, without the help of the bed. The gurney that takes patients from surgery to the ward doesn't even have a mattress!

It is truly humbling to see Dr Watt (head doctor of the hospital) and the nurses so happy with new beds for their patients! Kenji, who is our Japanese Physiotherapist friend (those of you that have enjoyed the magic of his fingers will remember him), was jumping up and down with joy over his physio beds. It puts life into perspective, makes you wonder why you were so upset about who left the toilet seat up. And it also made me determent to get more stuff up here. So, if anyone lives in or near Cairns and has access to hospital stuff, please let me know. We need the following items urgently, plus more, of course:
  -   wheelchairs
  -   walking frames
  -   crutches
  -   a couple of corsets for spinal injuries, such as spinal compressions fractures etc.
Photos of the delivery yesterday will follow as soon as I have time to go through them all.