Ramon is a team member from NYC whose family is from the Dominican Republic. Haiti has had a complicated relationship with the DR for many reasons. Generally Haitians are not regarded with respect by Dominicans. Sherye introduced him to Gammaline, one of the deaf teachers. They conversed about many things, with Sherye as interpreter. Including his marital status and his age. At one point Ramon explained he was from the DR, to which Gammaline replied “Oh, you’re just like me!”. A touching remark, and a sign of the trust the St Vincents’ staff places in our team.
This story makes me think of the generous reception we are given when we come to Haiti. Smiles and hugs greet us, and great care is taken to bring us fans and water and to clean up after the mess we make in a day’s clinic. When we come in the next day, the rooms are straightened up, the trash is gone. Scattered supplies including paper, pens, tongue depressors, otoscope specula, hand sanitizer, measuring tapes, and assorted clinic debris have been neatly stacked on the tables.