West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

CBU NURSING TEAM arrived safely in Haiti

Evelyn Sue Trzynka

Saturday, Nov 1st. 
Lots of sleepy but excited faces at Memphis International Airport today. Processing the 9 of us went as processing goes for a group very smoothly. Dr. Nelson came to see us off, wish us well and thank all of the team for making a difference at St. Vincent. It was good for the returning member, Heather Ayers, Tiffany Gardner, and Denise Watkins to see Dr. Nelson again. It was also good for the new group, Dr. Marie Bredy, Stephanie Baggett, Suzanne Wilson, Heather Leland, and Laura Scott to meet Dr. Nelson.

We had a very short turn around at the Miami airport – but with lunch to go we were on the plane. And what a plane – wide body, nice leather seats and about 50 rows. 

Things went pretty well at the Haitian airport. Pretty well means the air conditioning was working or really that they now have AC, the line for immigration was long – sort of merging through a cattle shoot style to pay the all NEW $10.00 U.S or Canadian Recreation Tax; on to get our forms stamped and down to get the luggage. Being at the end of the line has advantages – all of porters have already found “marks” and were not there to attack us. Once through customs I found Jude, who had a piece of paper – Suzanne – St. Vincents. I explained to him I only had a small amount of money already planned and not to get too many people or he would not make very much money! It worked, we only had 3 men not 13 trying to move the luggage trolleys and us through the parking lot. Thanks be to God – in about 5 minutes there was the St. V bus and August our driver. 

Off to Helping Hands and almost no traffic for a Saturday. Apparently, all the people were at the cemetery. There is major road work being done from the airport to the guest house. August managed to get the bus up the hill into the drive by approaching from a different direction and “gunning it” to get over the curb. The back bumper of the bus may be a bit more worse for wear!! Now getting the bus turned around was a lot more of a challenge. Good news, most of the driveway has been concreted – I said most. The area in front of the guest house and beyond is still dirt with a few stones mixed in for traction. 

Chloe, the new guest house manager is delightful. She is 23, American educated, very eager to please and delightful. Pork was on the menu and when I explained I cannot eat pork she immediately had the cook fix a chicken breast for me and it was enough to share with others. Marie as well as others were very happy with the red beans and rice. Everyone was happy to get an ice cold Prestige – the local brew. 

I have spoken with Gail, the previous Guest house manager and she is going to help reintroduce Haiti to Dr. Bredy, our CBU adjunct faculty and Nurse Practitioner who is Haitian and left her homeland 42 years ago. By 7:30about half of the team had called it a day and were off to bed. I am not far behind. 
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