|Art in the Orange Hospital|
After leaving the boat I did the rounds of family and friends in New Zealand and Australia then signed up for a weeks work at Orange a small inland city in New South Wales, Australia. The hospital is brand new and quite a marvel of design and modernity, with wide clean corridors decorated with original artworks, computers screens in every room, the latest equipment in abundant supply and everything running efficiently and smoothly . A place like that must be tremendously reassuring to the sick and the injured, but for women having babies, most of whom are perfectly healthy..- well I cant help wondering how reassuring it can be when you feel fine and believe youre in perfect health to walk into a sterile room full of high tech equipment, a computer, a device for babies to be resuscitated on that must have cost more than an expensive modern car and a bed that resembles something from a Space Shuttle?
|One of several Operating Rooms at Orange Hospital|
I couldnt help being disappointed to note how many women were seriously overweight, how many smoked, and how many werent planning to breastfeed their babies. One woman swore repeatedly at me and demanded to see a doctor who knew what he was doing, when I wouldn't induce her labour a month early because she was sick of having to take painkillers for her back pain.
And then the Olympics started. I heard the cost to the UK was 14 Billion pounds, and not withstanding the brilliant performances by Mr Bean, and by James Bond and the Queen this seemed an outrageous expense. At times I wished I had never been to Ethiopia, or at least could just forget about it - it seemed I couldn't enjoy living in the modern world anymore. Life in the "West" seemed to be characterized by extremes of excess and by a paradoxical lack of appreciation of how abundant it is.
|Images of Motta|
I emailed Raiatea : Not a single person had enquired about Sapphire. I felt quite depressed about everything, about work, about the Boat, and about what I was going to do for the next three months till I returned to Darwin. I re-read on my Kindle the story of Webb Chiles battle to sail solo round the world on his yacht "Egregious", the one he had to bale tons of water out of every day to keep it afloat. Eventually he succeeded and he became the first American to sail solo round the world via Cape Horn. Its a terrific read, and it reminded me how extraordinary it is just to be out there.....
By now my shoulder was completely normal again. I had two months with nothing to do and an unsold boat in French Polynesia that only needed a couple of bolts to be completely sea-worthy.
|Images of Polynesia|