First Aid, Part One

Because our first aid instructor, Eaon had been shot multiple times, it made us listen better. Not that our instructor was bragging about it. He wasn’t bragging at all.

I’d suspected it because of his past. UN and Nato-trained pilot. Special forces in Africa for twenty-or-so years. Enjoys the peace and tranquility of scuba diving now. I’ve seen enough movies to put that stuff together.

In the section in the course about dealing with injuries which expose internal organs – I looked at Eaon. His face was completely calm. Placid.

‘Have you had to deal with many of these types of injuries?’

He nodded slowly. ‘I guess I’ve seen some pretty icky things.’

I shivered. Icky makes everything sound pseudo-cute, even when it literally means your stomach hanging out of your body. I also find it’s used by people who’ve experienced the extremes of bodily fluids. People who haven’t seen much are the ones who go for ‘nasty’, ‘disgusting’, ‘vile’. They don’t know that charred bones and missing fingers are actually ‘icky’.

Unsurprisingly, Lulu and I were having the best day ever. We were hanging out with Eaon because of our PADI Rescue Diver course. We bought it last summer before we left for Quest. Since Jack has kept and updated his PADI instructor status (and paid for the insurance: boom!), he can teach us.

Saying that, he can’t teach us the first aid responder element. Last week, we called around the local dive centres, and one company, Reefers and Wreckers, got us in touch with Eaon. Eaon organised everything: the Naui-based first aid course, the e-learning guide and the activation codes. Then this morning, he picked us up and drove to his house, about 10 minutes away.

To say this part alone was exciting is a mild underestimate. We thought we’ve been experiencing the paradise that is Barbados. But an actual house! A large fridge/freezer full of food, a similar-sized tv, normal bathrooms. And, sigh – a pool. An actual pool. The first thing Lulu did was photograph it and put it on her priv. No matter how many times she posts stunning sunsets and turquoise waters in her story, no image elicited such a response as a photo of a pool. Oh, and did I mention the WIFI? I had to physically stop myself from pressing update all apps on my phone. Too user-y. Maybe if we came back again, I considered – and brought all of our devices…

Eaon was nothing but fantastically kind. Trying to get us to try every beverage in his huge fridge. Green tea, lemonade, sorrel juice and pink, Caribbean soda. We’d brought home-made hummus to eat – pre-planned. He had in turn prepared the pita breads and olives. We sat down on the sofa. This was the living.

I guess living was the key term. We’d been studying the first aid material all week. Videos and helpful little quizzes at the end of each chapter. Lulu was the one who got grilled though. Eaon asked her all the hard questions. All I could do was call the AED defibrillator the ‘du-DUH’ machine.

He glanced at me, slightly disappointed. Then he asked Lu the percentages of oxygen at different points of human respiration. She got it all right. I leaned back on the sofa. Had he ever had to use an actual human bone as a splint?Sucked out snake venom? I could wait.

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