National Geographic : 1967 May
cover-girl American wife Ann had told me. "They delivered my three sons. And if I had 13 more to go, I'd want every one born into the hands of a Palauan doctor." Medical Aides Make Do With Little I talked with Dr. Minoru Ueki (one of thou sands of Micronesians bearing Japanese names) as he and I changed out of operating room garb together after the final stitches closed the gall-bladder incision. "We do our best," Dr. Ueki smiled. "We'd like to boost our medicine up to at least U. S. minimum standards. But the obstacles! None of us were trained in the States." The Trust Territory, Dr. Ueki told me, had too long tried to manage on a subsistence budget. "But there seems to be a revolution in U. S. thinking," he said, "especially since the critical report by the U. N. health organiza- tion in 1966. We may soon be able to send Micronesian doctors and nurses to the U. S. for training. Until then, we'll happily take on Peace Corps assistants to tide us over." By chance, I headed unknowingly to a second medical rendezvous. Hawaiian Air lines invited me to join their survey trip from Palau to Majuro in the Marshall Islands, a 2,600-mile flight from one end of the Trust Territory to the other (maps, pages 714-15). Hawaiian was hoping to give Micronesia its first tourist and commercial air routes. Pan American, which already operates a contract air schedule for the territorial government, hoped to beat Hawaiian to it. From the DC-6, I looked down on oval atolls I had visited by ship and sailing canoe -jade necklaces displayed on Pacific blue velvet. A tiny figure waved from beside the sail of a solitary outrigger canoe-probably 733 N.G .S.