Toki Sio! See You Later 2017.
Updated: Jun 9, 2018
After four and a half months of research, medical training, boat life, challenges and triumphs, our 2017 expedition has drawn to a close. 2017 has been our biggest year yet.
Our motley crew of volunteers took on an amazing challenge. We trained over 60 Island Medics in 10 different villages, where we also gifted medical kits to allow the medics to triage and treat patients in their community.
After we completed training in 10 villages, we returned at the end of the expedition to see how the ‘Island Medics’ were getting on, and we were thrilled to see they had adopted our training with zeal and enthusiasm, with many great successes already. Medical incidents and accidents were recorded in the logbook included in the manual we had given the medics, giving us a fantastic insight into the effect our program had on the villages we had trained. It was an honour to live and learn with these communities.
Toward the end of the expedition, we were joined by a highly accomplished pediatrician based in New Zealand. The doctor started an initiative to assess every child in the 10 outer island villages, checking for signs of skin infections, pre-diabetes, heart problems, and dental problems. This assessment allowed us to more accurately plan and prepare for next year’s training and supplies, ensuring we are targeting the most vital issues affecting the next generation of these villages.
Alongside our medical outreach work was a three-month long micro plastics project led by Ana Markic, a Leigh Marine Laboratory researcher. We provided Ana with a team of volunteer research assistants, and together they collected enough data for Ana to complete her PhD, which will be released in 2018.
During this research project our team became highly aware of the problems and prevalence of micro plastic in our oceans. We were astonished to learn the impact of our daily lives on the ocean, and adopted practices to reduce our imprint on the ocean, such as purchasing stainless steel straws in lieu of plastic, using wooden clothes pegs, and wearing cotton, hemp or bamboo clothing as much as possible.
Studying micro plastics and reducing their effect on our precious marine life has become one of the Floating Foundation’s core objectives, and we look forward to announcing a major collaborative project to address this issue.
When the expedition officially ended in late October, the team said a heartfelt goodbye to Infinity, our home for the last five months, which was generously loaned to us by Captain Clemens and his family.
The Floating Foundation would be nothing without the support, dedication, and enthusiasm of the people who leave their lives for weeks and months at a time to come on board and make a difference in the world. So, to our wonderful volunteers and supporters, we thank you – and we hope to see you back next year!