Banana Village

Day 12: It is our second to last day in Kiritimati. When I first arrived here I never thought that 2 weeks would go by so quickly. The days have been a success, one success after the other. We have received so much support by the hospital staff and the subjects. So many people have wanted to partake in our assessment and we have reached such a high number already. Today we have over collected over 450 subjects!

The goal is to get 500 participants. Luckily our last stop is in a village called Banana, they live under a fortress called a ‘maneaba’ which is a huge thatched made up of coconut wood and palms and concrete floors where people can sleep. Yesterday we visited the Protestant maneaba and had success so today we hope to have great success with the Catholic maneaba. Unfortunately this maneaba does not have electricity so we had to go back to get our portable electric generators to power our Piccolo Labs which is what we are using to collect lipid readings. And as we had begun setting up a nice tropical rainstorm hit. Everyone living in the area ran under the maneaba except the children who went playing, which left us to shuffle around the people and finish our set-up so we could get started. After the hour of setting up and the rain subsiding we began assessments.
During the next couple hours we were on pace. The people kept coming and the assessments, dietary recalls, and blood glucose was moving like an assembly line with people only waiting to get cholesterol testing done. By 1pm, we had taken a lunch break and decided to spend time with the kids who were quite the avid dancers and coconut tree climbers. It was great to see the children having fun and it was a reward to have spent some time with them. The nurse of the village took us for a tour of it. She showed us the new school being built and also where the old one was. After our lunch tour we got back to work. We had come close to our goal and tomorrow was the last day to get our final assessments and to do a mini preliminary analysis of our data before we left!
However, tonight was the little féte they were going to throw for us. And it was quite the party. They roasted a pig and made our beautiful flower leis for our heads. They had a wonderful song and dance they put together for us as well as a cake! I hadn’t eaten sugar for two weeks so it was quite a delight! It had been a beautiful day and even better evening to spend it with our wonderful team of nurses, doctors, and their amazing families!