8-21 (Trying to) Donate Blood Party!

Blood and Needles!  Don’t look if you get queasy!

 An email went out at work today saying that my co-worker’s father is sick. Because there isn’t much in the way of a blood bank here, she asked if any of us could come donate blood. I am O+, so I can donate to a whole lot of people. (And interesting note for all my medical friends, all ni-Vanuatu are A+ unless they have other south pacific islanders in their gene pool.) I talked to another person and we agreed to go after lunch.

After lunch came around and we jumped in a bus. Of course, the bus then had to stop and wait for some people, which left us sitting at Wan SmolBag in a bus. One of the youth thought he’d be funny and jump in the bus like he was coming with us. He didn’t get out fast enough and did come with us.

They tested me, but I failed.  Stupid vegetarianism.

We arrived at the hospital and went wandering around to find the right place. I was totally lost, which is not real surprise to anyone who has encountered my sense of direction. We found our patient and were immediately ushered out to the lab. Four of us showed up to try to give blood. They took samples from each of us and sent us back out to the hall to wait. We waited. We didn’t wait quietly since we all kept cracking up and goofing off.

When we got called back in, they read off the names of who was allowed to donate. As is pretty normal in my life, I was too anemic to donate. Rather than leave in shame, I stayed to support my friends. (Especially since Nancy was having a hard time with the idea of needles.)

Tanika with his tube

Nancy got stuck first. The nurse missed and she refused to try again. A different nurse stuck Sera and Tanika, successfully. Then we got the party started.

My cultural conditioning tells me that I should be quiet and sober in a hospital. Something about hospitals, even open air ones, makes me feel like I should be serious. It is hard to be serious with four adults giggling like school children.

At first, we were just joking around. Then Tanika got bored and started playing music from his phone. He could only DJ one-handed since his other hand was attached to a needle, but he managed fine. The attending nurse liked the song he was playing to started singing along while checking the blood bag of Sera, the other person who succeeded in donating. Meanwhile, Nancy decided to start dancing, which she can do very well. She is the dance tutor at WSB.

Lafet Wan Taem!

By the time both of our donors had filled their bags, we had gone through about a dozen songs and we hadn’t stopped laughing the whole time. I’m sure anyone in the hall thought were were having a dance party, which I guess was partly true.

At home, someone would have frowned and put an end to it. Here, the nurse started singing along. These are the things I’m going to miss about Vanuatu.

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