Ben was not well.... high fever 104 and a cut on his leg.... I was panicking about leptospirosis ... we went to the hospital manned by hospital staff from all around the region, not just Dominica. While we waited, as a distraction, we tried to identify the different speaking accents. Finally, Ben was diagnosed with strep throat. There was a room set up with a generator powered air conditioner for those with high fever, but no bed was available. So, I put him on four chairs in the foyer; we could see the stars through the broken roof. Two bags of IV drips and antibiotics later, I took him home before he could something else.
Soon, I again found myself the acting tour guide and we traveled t to Soufriere by boat to look for British passport holders whose children in the UK had reported them missing. We went to look for four and found, 31!
Our next stop was the village of Grandbay. This town is on the Atlantic side and the genteel little boat and wading to the shore that we had done at Soufriere was not on to be done here. We were bundled into life jackets and climbed into an inflated raft which shot down a ramp into the sea only to be flung back on board by an energetic wave. On the second attempt we slid fully into the sea.
When we got to shore I left the soldiers with their guns on the beach and went in search of friends. Many people were sitting on the seawall hoping we had brought food and water. Fortunately, I was able to find the owner of a bus and, by promising that I would pay him if the soldiers did not come up with fare. With help from the transport we made it to the Parliamentary representative’s house where we found the 12 reported missing Brits. The next day we found 70 more!. Several were taken out and the high commission contacted their relatives to arrange tickets back to the UK.
However the helicopter landed on a patch the size of a handkerchief and I was given the command: "Go. Go. Go.” ...and I was out the door, wading through matted grass and falling over broken tree limbs and getting up every few steps. I must have looked like a mixture of Darth Vader and Michelin man!
The couple were waving and shouting and, when they realised it was me, possibly from the way I was shouting out... Is the kettle on?" ...we had a rapturous meeting. They were amazingly untouched and there was evidence of wine drinking and bread baking and she gave the rescuers samples of her art work.
Before leaving them behind, their being secure enough to stay in their home, they showed us a solitary ginger lily that had not been broken. ...a sign of hope!
We scrambled back to the helicopter and left. I was deposited back on the port where I received twelve boxes of Pampers to deliver with love to families in need, from the Navy.
Lifeline Ministries Dominica
3 Munro Street
Goodwill / Roseau
Commonwealth of Dominica
Tina Alexander, Director
Tina Cell: 767-235-8367 (also What's App)
Office Cell: 767-275-8367