Wellness Fair – Part 2

S.Eleuthera Wellness Fair

Today was the day that this whole trip has been leading up to, and it was a great success! We set up a wellness fair at the marketplace in Rock Sound, and we have been handing out fliers and getting the word out to the community whenever we talked to the students at the schools or went to any meetings. Our hope was to have at least fifty people turn out, which I was worried about because as the time neared, we kept hearing about other events going on at the same time in a different settlement. As soon as we set up though, there was already a line of people! The initial rush of people trickled off after the first hour or so, and then it picked back up toward the end and we stayed longer than we planned because there were still people who wanted their blood pressure taken or their blood sugar checked. So many people were scared to get their blood sugar checked because of the little poke. We had to try different methods to distract the person during the poke, but afterwards, it was never as bad as they thought. Paulette was there, and she taught us all to sew little patterns and piece the little things together to make drink coasters or if we keep adding the pieces to it, it can turn into a big quilt. Paulette made one and it was beautiful, it was a queen size quilt and she said it took a year to make, but she did it in her spare time, on and off. She was really good at what she did, I was struggling with the needle at first. I told some people who were scared to get their finger pricked for the blood sugar test that I have more painful pricks on my finger from trying to sew, that usually helped. I got a good start on it though, and Paulette gave me the pattern to cut out so I can continue working on it when I get home! The station that I worked the most was the body composition station, where I use a BMI machine and estimate a person’s body fat percentage. The hardest thing to do was to tell someone that they had an unhealthy amount of body fat without sounding condescending or really negative, but still explaining the health risks and not brushing it off. It became a common talk, though, and I got used to it pretty quickly and people seemed to take it well. I heard a lot of people saying, “I should do this more often, its good for me!” while they were going from station to station, and it was nice to see that the whole fair was received so well!

After the fair, we came back and immediately started packing for our kayak trip starting tomorrow morning! We will be gone until Tuesday afternoon, so we had to collect supplies and food and everything we will need for a 3 day trip. I worked with some people and checked the tents that we would be using to make sure there were no holes in it and that all of the pieces were there, while other people were in charge of getting the food together and packing them in dry bags or getting all of the kitchen/cooking things gathered together. It was a lot of work, especially the water bags because they are really heavy, and we brought over 50 of them from the kitchen to the boathouse! I only made a few trips so I don’t have much to complain about. Next step is packing all of our own personal gear, which will really only be dry clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a blanket…The water is going to be so bright while we canoe that everyone has to wear a long sleeve and sunglasses while canoeing. It is going to be quite an adventure!

In the evening, we made a trip to Tarpum Bay to go to a fundraiser for a local boy who had a firecracker blow up and damage his eye. The chances of him seeing out of that eye again is pretty slim, but the fundraiser was to help him get surgery on the eye. There was food and drinks, and it was a pretty good turnout! I bought some water and two chocolate chip cookies that were delicious. There were lots of younger kids around, and our group somehow turned into the designated babysitters. The boys played basketball, while the girls danced with the little girls and started a piggyback trend. Everyone wanted a piggyback by the end of the night, and I think all of us got pretty good workouts from carrying everyone around. My trachea is a bit sore though, those girls kept a good grip while we had piggyback races across the court. The music was great, food was great, and I talked with someone about the differences between Nassau and Eleuthera and got some insight into why people prefer Eleuthera who live here. His main reason was less crime on Eleuthera, and I asked if it was because it was a small island and everyone knows everyone. He agreed, and said “There’s nowhere to go, and everyone would know!” It was definitely a local event, and I’m really glad we were able to go and hang out with everyone, especially the young ones. It was such a good feeling to have a lot of the kids that we came and spoke to in the classrooms come run up to us because they recognized us! Such a fun day overall.