how are you? The day was AWESOME… we went to an area in the middle of nowhere, where patients saw doctors for the 1st day…. but I will let you enjoy the trip prospective from the other team members. Here is what Dr. Amee has to say:
My Haiti relief experience has been completely life changing. I know that sounds cliche to say that, but I have run through such a roller coaster of experiences in the 3 days I have been here. To start, I must say our team is great! We are 10 people from different backgrounds – and I have never seen such teamwork. So, the planner (and compulsive shopper) that I am bought a brand new bag for this trip. We had packed all of our check in bags with medicine and medical equipment. We all were to bring our personal belongings in a carry on. So, I bought a bag that was sporty – could be rolled or used as a backpack. I looked up american’s bag guidlines and made sure I had the right size. We all checked in, had breakfast, headed to security and sure enough I got stopped and was told my bag was too big!! Within seconds my team came up with a smaller bag for me and let me put the remainder of my things in their bags. I knew in that instant we were all going to work great together. This small incident demonstrated the generosity and problem solving abilities of my team mates.
Arriving in Haiti was as expected – required patience and a great attitude! We had an hour ride to the orphanage (where we are staying) and I was able to really get a bird’s eye view of the destruction that occurred in Port Au Prince. It was surreal to see the ocean of tents among the rubble.
The electricity goes out in a few moments, so I need to sign off soon… more tomorrow about my experiences here. It has been inspiring, challenging, rewarding and heart breaking thus far. I feel blessed and very at peace. There is a breath taking beauty amongst the destruction. Just like the lotus flower emerging from the stagnant sludgy waters.
And what Kathy has to say:
The morning began with the Haiti orchestra in tune – 5:30am–cows mooing, roosters cowing, donkey braying, dogs barking, and did I mention the roosters crowing??!!!
We had no idea what lay ahead of us today. The sun was shining and the breeze was blowing as we all piled into the 9 passenger van, all 14 of us. We headed up the mountainside to an area called Duclos. This area is hard to reach by donkey, forget passenger van!
Two of our translators, and new friends, Stanley and Herbie are starting a new ministry there. The tickets were passed out weeks ago and over 200 people wanted to come and see the doctors. The clinic was a tent, “tent” is sticks with sheets tied to them to form a 10x 20 closed area with sheets for roof to hold 4 doctors, patients, translators, pharmacy and staff.
The triage area was on the mountainside hill without any shade for anyone. People were lined up expecting long delays. The background sounds were hammers pounding, laughter of children,adults talking, and fussy babies. The wait was long–get blood pressure and weight, line up again to see the doctors, and finally to get the medicines.
They came with their numbered tickets with headaches, stomach pains, fever, and skin irritations. Then the more serious came like the 18 month old with multiple abscesses o her head needing to be drained, the month old with a leg second degree burns from a floor stove, the 69 year old woman with a blood pressure of 200/120, and the failure to thrive 9 month old baby that weighed less than 9 pounds.
We did makeshift procedures, gave lots of antibiotics, vitamins, and tons of hugs. It was a long, hot day……and it was wonderful! You will hear this over and over again–the people of Haiti are strong, they are are resilient, they are faithful and they will emerge a stronger, healthier society with help from the rest of us. Haitians have a lot to learn from us about infrastructure, but we can learn a lot about heart from them. Kathy
And here is what Jim have to say:
My happy moment today was when I took a break to get some fresh air out of the tent. It was lunch time but I was not hungry because of the heat, and because we have to eat outside by the van parked 100 yards up the mountain, in front of kids. Me, an overweight dude with a tie job going through yet another mid life crisis wants to hike to the top of the mountain. I made it, and it was quiet and beautiful. Haiti in a very crazy way reminds me ofHawaii. You see Mountains and the ocean all at the same time. I took a lot of pictures and video. But this was not my happy moment.
The moment came within minutes of reaching the top. I saw one of the young boys hiking up toward me. Then another. And then about a dozen kids. Within 15 minutes I think I was hangin with every kid under the age of 10 that wasn’t seeing one of the doctors. Immediately I was taking pictures and video of these kids who were just laughing and having a great time.
My favorite part was when I got to play the video back. I got down on my knees and replayed the video and pictures on my camcorder screen so that they could see themselves on “TV”. They all formed a circle around me and got so close that I am not kidding when I say they completely blocked the sun.
They just laughed and laughed when they saw themselves and their goofy, innocent poses played back for them on this 3 inch camcorder screen. When we hiked down the mountain, they would not let me down without holding both of my hands. They were protecting me as though they were helping someone 100 year old down a gravel sided mountain so I wouldn’t slip. They wanted nothing in return.
okay everyone… now I am going to bed… as you can see, I had to work from under the table… no room to everyone in the tent…it was a great day… 205 patients!!!
See you tomorrow okay?