Distributed lots of chubachop lollipops at the latest stop Tanjung Gudong. From the moment we arrived we were invaded by an army of little rascals – all wanting “candy”.
The boys came alongside in an array of leaky canoes (some with enormous holes in). I think they must have “borrowed” them as they had no proper paddles and some had nothing to bale with.
One canoe had four brothers in – the youngest a tiny five year old who was sitting almost chest deep in water, shivering! So after the lollies and pencils we distributed breakfast biscuits which the bigger boys ate ravenously and the littlest nibbled round the edge, cleverly making his last the longest time.
Not sure how they did it but they managed to fill their canoe with so much water that it would have sunk before it got to the beach had an attempt to go back been made.
Jonathan suspected it was all a ploy to get a ride in the dinghy and judging by their faces when he told them to hop in, I think he was correct!
There were steep cliffs to one side which were only a stone’s throw away from the boat and the beach was less than 20 metres away. All rather scary but we anchored without a problem and gradually adjusted to being so near to a beach in one side and sheer cliffs on another.
We had a glorious swim and the wandered up to the village which was supposed to be “just behind the tree line”. In fact it was quite a long uphill walk on a stony track – not the best when wearing your reef shoes but oh well!
We were invited to sit with a family group outside their house. Some of the ladies were winnowing rice to separate the husk from the grain. Others were sitting and chatting. One lady who looked quite old was breastfeeding a baby – she looked exhausted!
I later spoke to her daughter Jane who was 19 and met two more of her teenaged children. No wonder she looked so tired as I suspect there would be quite a few other children between the teenagers and the baby!
Jane asked if we had any cream for a burn – it transpired her mother had caught her ankle on a motorbike exhaust and the burn had become infected. We stated down the hill again and en route met Hildebrand and Marieke from the New Zealand yacht Carrie.
Marieke had been a nurse so I explained to Jane that she would also like to see her mother’s injury. While Marieke was examining the ankle Jane started to pull at her arm and said “sister, sister”.
So off we went to visit her sister who also had a swollen foot – this time with a suspected broken toe.
I had visions of Marieke being asked to visit every family in the village for some injury or illness but fortunately there were no other requests for help!
Fortunately we had antibiotic cream and sterile dressings in our first aid kit and Marieke kindly took them back up the steep hill and gave them instructions for dressing the wounds and basic hygiene.