June 8th, 2009

Medical Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

June 8, 2009. Palm Coast, Florida

Today was a great day…if the Southern Wind had been a human being, today it would have been body-tackled by all of us! SO MUCH got done today! As we have found ourselves saying at the end of every day, ‘Another good day on the boat, a lot got done.’ The day of rest on Sunday made a huge difference; on Saturday everyone strove to work as hard they could and a lot still got done, but I could see that another 6 straight days of hot-weather, heavy work had taken its toll. Although it took us 5 hours to get there yesterday (and 2.5 to get back, we got a little lost on the way out) we managed to (for $5.00 apiece) rent an inner tube and float down a section of the Ichetucknee Springs National Park in central Florida. We rested in the cool clear spring water, drifted by turtles (called ‘Cooters’), looked at mullet and catfish below us, and let the tiredness drain out of us into the water. Plus we snorkeled and splashed around a lot.

Most of us rarely stay up past 11 here; after a full day on the boat and dinner, we are usually DONE. Heatstroke is a chronic, but minor (so far) problem. More Poweraid was picked up tonight to stave off dehydration and tomorrow I’m going to nag everyone all day to drink more water (as everyone should! Practically no one in the developed world is adequately hydrated; now go get a glass of water!).

Seriously, if a patient is not allowed any food or fluids by mouth, I have to give them 2.5 Liters of fluid by IV every day JUST to maintain what they lose lying quietly in bed all day. Imagine how much more you exert yourself every day, or how much we lose when we have to work in hot spaces down below decks…we have our own sauna in the medical supply compartment; seriously it must be about 115 degrees in there because it is not yet insulated (tomorrow for sure we have to get that finished!).