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Outreach - Cameron and team

PCV Health Medical Mission to Pentecost Island 2014

Thursday 24 July 2014

Port Vila TO Australia

Our flight down from Pentecost to Vila on Wednesday night was delayed, so didn’t get to our rooms in the Melanesian Hotel until about 10 PM. The hot showers, comfortable beds and great buffet breakfast were worth every cent. Thanks Rob!

After breakfast we met for a debriefing with Richard Tatwin our boss at PCV Health.

Richard was delighted at what we had achieved and helped us to understand the impact of our efforts. The team of twelve with seven Aussies, guided and assisted by three Ni Van health workers and the two Fruit of the Pacific dental health and hygine educators, proved to be a great combination. The team was small enough to be sufficiently portable yet had the capability to bring significant change.

Over the years I have led a few teams, in work and other areas of life, but this one was outstanding on several fronts.

For starters … everyone got on so well, was unselfish, uncomplaining and cared for each other. The challenges of the environment were viewed through a “task focussed” outlook, so that nothing was too difficult.

Bob Natuman and Dick Naket, our PCV dental and eye workers, were great.

Tamie and Chris our dentists and Pat our optometrist were full of praise for Bob and Dick’s skill and knowledge. In many ways Bob was my right hand man and the bridge over the culture and language differences. Bob is a leader and I look forward to the day when he fulfils his dream of becoming a fully qualified dentist.

We had a great farewell lunch at a waterfront cafe and then all too soon the six Melbournians were off to the airport and home. I flew out the next day. By then Mary was back at work in Santo, Marcel working on Maleluka, John was still at sea on the barge heading for Vila, Bob back at work in the PCV clinic and Dick was preparing for the next outreach to Maewo Island in August.

So in closing, to my fellow team members – Andrew, Chris, Pat, Tamie, Holly, Mee San, Bob, Dick, Mary, Marcel and John – a very big and heartfelt thank you !!

Thank you for great attitudes, hard work, and simply being the delightful and fun people that you are.

Lets do it again sometime.


Cam Heathwood

(Team Leader)

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