Three Little Birds e-Letter
Scott Leonard
10/03/2011

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Stowaways
Scott Leonard
10/03/2011, Dominican Republic

It was a relaxing beach day at a small little island just off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Picture a typical tourist spot complete with palm trees, vendors, drinks, etc. Mandi and I were sipping some local color known as the Coco Loco. Basically, it's rum poured into a hollowed out coconut with a little coconut milk added - and I mean a little coconut milk. It was perfect.

Then Jake starts complaining that his head itches. This we've heard before. Mandi tells him "It's just dry scalp."

As Jake continues itching, a hat vendor swings by with different types of "Island" hats, some made with palm fronds. The vendor has a routine and keeps putting six different hats onto each of the boys. We thought they were funny looking, and kept laughing- which I suspect must have had led the vendor think he would get a sale. After a while, we were finally able to send him on his way.

Jake again complains about his head. Mandi finally takes a look...

Oops...

Then she checks Griffin and Luke.

Yep.

Lice.

So there we were, distraught by the notion of having to rid the boys - and the boat - of lice. Where do we get medicated shampoo? How do we wash all the bedding on the boat? Is there any more Coco Loco?

Then we notice the hat vendor way down the beach, putting the same hats on another group of people. He is relentless, putting hat after hat on the group. All we can think about is the lice. Unfortunately, in an attempt to get our situation under control and alleviate the boys' discomfort, we didn't get a chance to chase down the hat vendor.

We spent the rest of the day trying to find something to deal with the situation...no luck. We were in full combat mode by the time we got back to the boat. I got out my trimmers and gave each boy a military cut - they looked like official sailors.

Fortunately, we got on the phone with MedLink, part of our MedAire medical provider. Because of the language barrier in the Dominican Republic, and the fact that they have different medical policies and medicines we were at a loss for how to deal with the situation. However, MedAire was able to handle the research for us. We then had to wait until we moved to a new location with a pharmacy where we received a FedEx with the medicated lotion. (An over-night package takes 5 days to arrive in the Dominican Republic). Not sure what we would have done without the help of MedAire. Not only were they able to procure the proper lotion for us, they responded to our multiple emails in a very timely manner. Out and about in the DR, away from the boat, we were away from our satellite phone, but with wi-fi we could email questions and get responses from MedAire.

Then there was the laundry. Washing sheets for three boys on the boat is not easy. Without a nearby laundry facility, we spent an entire day washing all the bed linens, towels and clothes to finally rid the boat of our stowaways.

Now, where is my Coco Loco...

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