West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

CBU Nurses in Haiti – Last Day

We had a nice rain last night; thus, it seems a little cooler this morning. We woke to the smell of “pan francis”  French toast in our US world. Everyone is excited about our beach day. I am hoping to talk Jonas, our tour guide and driver into going to the Montana to see the sunset over Port au Prince and enjoy…an adult beverage. 

The end of the trip ailments are developing. Kathy’s tickly throat has moved into her chest and she could sing Bass. Laura has a mystery rash on the side of her neck; not an ailment but the guys all look like Chiapets, especially Greg, who might have more hair on his face than on his head. There are also some “special friendships” developing.

It was a lovely trip to the beach. Although there were several other groups at Wahoo Beach and very few chairs pool side. Believe it or not, there was a group from the town where I grew up, Fort Wayne, IN. The Chapel comes four times a year and supports the City of Hope. The waves were rough, there was little sunshine and lots of cloud cover but it was really the perfect beach day.  Our drive to the beach included a stop at the mass grave following the earthquake. The drive home included a stop at the Montana Hotel. Jonas got us in despite the President of Haiti being there. What a beautiful view. 
Many suggested this be a regular stop on the tour. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the sunset over Port au Prince  – a good time was had by all. 

We had our final team meeting following dinner. We reflected on the work we did, the children, the work left to do, lessons learned and about 20 suggestions for how to do it the next time. That said, it was agreed upon with Garrett’s input as in Matthew “ what you do for the least of these you do for me” (no verse) was the greatest gift of all. Most of the gals were in tears, perhaps precipitated by the adult beverage from the Montana and Greg said he came to get to know his classmates but left with so much more. Throughout the day many of us wondered and spoke about [a few children] and if their ulcers were cleaned and taken care of and if Margaret came home from the hospital, and if this child got this or how special this child was and so on and on and on. Garrett reflected the pain and joy he felt at the same time feeding a blind child a scope of ice cream. Greg said we may have miserable days and think do I have to do another 13 hours in the ICU and then… there is a child without arms. Ramelle (God has a very special gift in her) cried that she can hardly stand to leave the children the second time. Kathy encouraged all of them to talk to one another to share and reflect and remember because as hard as our families and friends may try – they don’t and cannot get it! 

You know the cliche don’t judge until you walk a mile in another woman’s shoes (or mans). Many may see the children of St. V’s as unfortunate but are they? Is their blight in life as deaf or blind or armless better or worse than the other children in Haiti? Some may judge as to what kind of parent leaves their child at St. Vincent’s? Others understood that the parent made a tremendous sacrifice giving their child to St. Vincent’s knowing they could not provide for the child and knowing the child would have a much better life. I ask, is this any different that the ultimate sacrifice that was made for us by God? 

On the eve of our departure, as all are packing and looking forward to our “blessed lives’ in the US we know we will always carry Haiti in our hearts and the children of St. Vincents to the depth of our souls. On my first visit to Haiti a young Haitian man said, all that we are and all that we do is a gift. He was correct – sort of. The gift is not what we do or bring to the children and people of Haiti but what they, the people, the children, the smiles, the laughter, the tears, the hugs and the thanks yous do for us. We come thinking we are whole and leave knowing we are broken and in need for the same kind of love and grace as the children of St Vincent’s. 

Thanks to all who have supported this mission and for sharing our aches and pains and joys and tears. We all hope in some micro way you can grasp the passion we have for St. Vincent’s.

God’s Blessings, Sue
Dr. Sue Trzynka teaches nursing at CBU in Memphis and lives in Jackson, TN
This entry was posted in Stories & Updates, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.