From the end of July I took a few month sabbatical from work to take up a few opportunities that surfing doctors can help provide in conjunction with two other organisations, The Pagai Foundation at Macaroni’s and Friends of Nias at Lagundri Bay. I’m finishing it off with a stint at our infirmary at Joyo’s at G-land for October.
After a boat trip out to the Banyak’s I saddled up for a month at the Macaroni’s Resort with the Pagai foundation. The Mentawais people around this area have poor access to quality medical care with infrequent visits from traveling nurses.
The Pagai foundation (https://www.facebook.com/pagaifoundation/posts_to_page/), started by one of our members Dr Eghardt Brand has organised an infirmary based at the resort to treat charter boats and guests and then a weekly outreach clinic completed by the doctor with a local to translate to help service the 3 local villages, Silabu, Batamonga and Magueruk. In these clinics there is your garden variety medical treatments – diabetes, hypertension etc but then mix in the tropical health and you get some pretty interesting medical cases coming in with little in the way of diagnostic testing and resources.
Then there is the wave at Macaroni’s! There is a reason this is in pretty much every surf video in the past 25 years! Surfable onshore/offshore, high tide/low tide, big or small it makes you look like a much better surfer than you actually are!
After that I had a yearning to go right and have just finished a 10 day stint at Lagundri Bay in Nias with the Friends of Nias organisation (https://www.friendsofnias.org/) that was set up by Dr Raf Ghabrial.
The village at Sorake Beach and the surroundings has a lot more infrastructure around but still a need for medical care for the local people and visiting surfers. Nias is a great surf trip because there isn’t much in terms of big fancy hotels and foreign investment – all the Losmans and Warungs are owned by the locals, a pretty cool experience. The clinic is run a few times a week for 3 hours generally in the afternoon – a good time to go for a morning surf, a bit of work then an afternoon surf.
I was provided with basic accommodation and a translator to help with clinics. The medicine again was very similar to the Mentawai’s however there was a little more access to diagnostics and other services.
As for the waves – going right in Indo is a rarity and the wave here is also amazing. I got a swell while I was there and I think I had one of the best sessions of my life.
I’m off to G-land now to do a stint but I would suggest trying out the other options that are available in Indo! I have put links to both of the organisations above if you want to contact them.