Two months before the earthquake, I visited Haiti and became the co-founder of a Haitian relief organization. We spent the next 18 months creating an organization with great intentions but very few results, and finally made the difficult decision to “merge” with another organization. Thanks to Google I found Guiga and “People For Haiti”, and they welcomed me on the September mission trip. In four days, our amazing group accomplished more than I had in the previous 2 years.
Our first remote clinic location was in a mountainous area so remote, I had doubts that anyone would show up…wondered how they’d know we were there (email? text?). They did show up, on their donkeys and on foot, 360 patients patiently waiting in the sun for the chance to see a doctor. I had little previous medical experience, but with the help of my interpreter I quickly learned the art of Haitian-Creole Triage. After a hot clinic day, we returned to the orphanage, went for a hike up the hill with a wonderful view of the surrounding neighborhood…and then danced in the rain at sunset. It was perfect, and one of my many favorite memories! At the village clinic the following day, we broke all previous records with 750 patients in 9 hours! An exhausting day, but also incredibly rewarding. Our group worked hard that day but still laughed a lot…focused but fun. In the four days of clinics, we touched over 1500 of lives and made a huge difference. Truly amazing!
The last evening we realized that never, ever has a group worked so well together, blended quirky personalities, worked hard and played hard, laughed a lot and cried some. We became a family and will always remember how much we accomplished and we’ll always be connected by those memories. And I’m already planning for the next great “People For Haiti” adventure….can’t wait!