South Seas Adventures has been working closely with the Loloma Foundation since it's inception 15 years ago. The non-profit's mission is to serve the Pacific Islands with sustainable medical and dental care, providing services that would otherwise be unattainable for the remote village communities that they serve. On top of medical and dental care, the foundation has built schools in rural villages, provided teacher training, stocked libraries, help build village businesses, implemented clean water systems and sustainable solar energy systems in remote villages, and assisted in emergency response in the wake of natural disasters. Beyond providing health care, The Loloma Foundation wants to help Pacific Islanders thrive by providing the tools needed to build a flourishing and self sufficient community. "Loloma" is a Fijian word which translates into English meaning "Gift From The Heart". The foundation is rightfully named, as everything they do truly comes from the heart.
Last month The Loloma Foundation embarked on a week long health care mission in the Solomon Islands via The Bilikiki Ship. South Seas Adventures Owner, Linda was able to volunteer on this mission and came back with some great stories. Here is what she had to say about her time in the Solomon Islands with The Loloma Foundation.
General medical patients seen: 830
Referrals to Honiara Hospital: 137
Dental patients treated 241
Readers dispensed: 1270
"I have for many years been a travel angel with Loloma helping make the flight arrangements for all the volunteer’s to go and help on all the missions in Fiji , Vanuatu or the Solomon’s!
When this mission came up to the Solomon’s, I was the first to sign up this country has so much to offer in WWII history, great diving and quite but warm hearted people in the villages to help!
Many years ago before starting South Seas Adventures, I was an orthodontic assistant which has NOTHING to do with general dentistry but hey I was game to learn!
Dr. Bob Duell and Dr. Frank Wilkinson, could not have been more awesome to work with ! The first minute I meet them at the back of the boat which was our dentist office it was
Here is a syringe, here is a needle and here is numbing agent.. and here is how you load it and away we went! I am proud to say I never stuck myself! A good thing!!
We filled many beautiful Solomon Islanders teeth and yes we did have to pull many on the elders due to beetle nut use or just lack of care of the teeth. BUT we did teach many of the younger generation
that use of beetle nut is wrong for the teeth and gave everyone new tooth brushes to use! Education goes a long way to understand but the youth where already getting it to stop beetle nut use!
We had so many great kids come thru and one gal named Bridget wanted to be a dentist someday so I recruited her to help Dr. Bob with a patient and she was thrilled!
I think the biggest thing this mission showed me was compassion for my fellow earth dweller’s.
The villages had only basic water, gardens and thatched roof huts and you know these people where happy , proud and fun to be with even thou they did not speak English ( pidgin is their language)
Thru travel I think which is the BEST gift we can give ourselves we get outside our box of the US and see how others live life and learn from that experience to be more kind, compassionate and understanding person here in the US .. lesson was that a better car, or a fancy watch or keeping up with the Jones is just not necessary.. back to simpler way of life is much more rewarding!
So I hope that you enjoy the photos and we would love to expand your world with travel to the South Pacific with any of our travel agents at the helm planning a great honeymoon, or anniversary or
Dive trip whatever that trip looks like to you and you need!
I understand that not everyone can hop over to the South Pacific to help our fellow brothers and sisters out but you can help by contributing to the Loloma foundation to help get supplies to villages and people in need so that those who can go have all the needed medical and dental and eye equipment to provide the much needed care. The people we helped some had not seen a doctor in years."
Here is a link to the page about the trip: http://www.lolomafoundation.org/
Best and blessings,
Linda Gutekunst, Owner, South Seas Adventures
Solomon Island Medical Mission Photos: