Last day yesterday and lots to do to get everything done. The students put on a 'light' lunch for us (at 3pm) and there were speeches of warm thanks before they presented each of us with lavalavas and wished us a safe return in September.
In the evening it was La Le Ladies- a women's fellowship meeting - with wonderful singing and sharing of experiences. More lovely food for supper and then back to Robina House to finish packing for an early start this morning.
Solomon Islanders are so generous and it's hard to convey to them how much we appreciate their open hospitality.
We're now at Honiara airport, looking forward to hot showers and air conditioning, but sad to be leaving our friends at Munda.
Dr David Coman arrived on Monday and saw a number of children yesterday. The local community know him now and trust him to look after their babies. Emily and Marilyn enjoyed sitting in on some of his consultations, and are doing rounds with him this morning.
Wendy taught research yesterday, a laborious subject, and although the students managed to stay awake through the class, it was touch and go for Wendy "I was so bored with the sound of my own voice" !
I had discussions with some of the national leaders of the United Church of the Solomon Islands, who were warm in their gratitude for the ongoing UCH support for the hospital and college of nursing.
The weekend was a little less hectic thank goodness. Wendy, Emily and Marilyn taught epidemiology to the 3rd year students on Saturday morning, watched by Terence and Mr Michael Larui, the chairman of the Solomon Islands Nursing Council. They were both very impressed by the quality of the team's teaching. Saturday afternoon, with Terence, we visited a war 'museum' - basically a large shed, jammed with artefacts left on the Island following WWII. Guns, plane engines, helmets, first aid kits and dog tags..... Left behind by Japanese, British and Anzac troops. It was very moving.
On Sunday, Terence flew back to Brisbane, while the rest of the team, after a 2 hour church service in the morning, spent the afternoon doing as little as possible on a small offshore island. Just us on a beach, with palm trees, a few birds, and lots of sunshine and sea.
It only rained for one day. But it was very heavy and has left the place very very humid. It was a lovely sunny day yesterday and The graduation went off well - - - although it started nearly 2 hours late while they waited for the guest of honour, the Minister for Public Services to arrive. The. Graduating students were very nervous but looked extremely proud and smart in their blue academic gowns.
One of our sponsored students Elijah Melylo, received the award for top student.
Terence was struck by how emotional the students were after the ceremony, it seemed as if they were very relieved to have made it to the end.
The ceremony was followed by a Feast with long trestle tables lined up in the shape of a canoe, and laden with pork, fish and vegetables
Wendy, Marilyn and Emily have been busy clearing out some storage space over at the College and setting it up as a simulation room - to help them meet accreditation standards. They have been moving junk and furniture, scrubbing shelves and painting walls. Staff and students have been busy getting organised for the Graduation, as well as fundraising for new buildings for the College.
A Solomon Island doctor has been appointed to the HGH for a year. So at last the nurses and patients have a doctor to look after them. Dr. Richard Hapa was trained in PNG and had worked there for some years, so he is very familiar with the tropical illnesses and injuries that present at HGH.
A middle aged woman came to the hospital yesterday following a stroke. It was confronting to realise how little is available for her rehab and ongoing care in the community.
Terence arrived safely and we marched him 6km to the hospital to watch a cultural show put on by the local community.