West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

Chicago was built by Haitians-what?

Today was a good day, not so much about the children, the adults and the experience of and at St. V. It was a day of personal growth. We took the HHH van via the ummmm scenic route through the hills to the school; thus, some in the back of the van discovered they could not tolerate the hills and the diesel fumes. UGH nausea is not a pleasant experience. Happy to report, most had a good recovery. 

Many of the team have learned the children with physical and mental disabilities are treated with greater compassion and respect than the children in the US. Also, each day the children come to greet us at their recess so excited that we have come back to see them. There is one young man, not a child but childlike in his cognitive function that played with bubbles the previous day. He keeps asking each of us for bubbles again. Bubble!! Bubbles, BUBBLES, a silly little thing we do with our preschool children absolutely fascinates the children at St. V. Now think about this the concept of bubbles, if you had a 12 year-old child or grandchild from my vantage point would he or she be just as thrilled as the 4 year-old – NO! Here life is simple all things great and small are appreciated.

John – our boy, Bergans is growing. Although, he was eager for the treat I had today, he was more interested in Margaret doing the hemacue. Margaret is not feeling well – the heat is a little too much for her but Bergans is trying to figure out what she is doing. Tomorrow, I will try, if he shows interest to get JoJo to explain it to him. Note… he likes peanut butter crackers better than Rice Krispie treats! Go figure!

We saw about 70 people, 2 or 3  without cards including Turban Lady. For those of you that do not remember, the woman I am referring to is an elderly lady who always wears a matching turban of her dress as she walks around Port au’ Prince. She goes to Trinity church and finds her way to the Foyer, nursing home and when ever we are in town, she just shows up at St. V. We understand she is a retired deaf teacher from John Robert but no one seems to know her real name. Does Bless her Heart seem inappropriate here? She just showed up saying “someone from our group told her to come; we blamed Matthew Gardner, Tiffany’s 15 year-old son. Oh you know Mdme Turban, she has pain in her knees. So I gave her a very generous baggie of Ibuprofen. Then she came back to our new pharmacy area (aka the old music room – right next door to the toilet – ICH) and now had acid. Ok…. how about the 1/4 full bottle of tums. She left and darn! 15 minutes later she is following me around – working on her best cough. There must be something in the street, maybe the dust that induced the new faux cough. As much as I said NO, she kept following me, toux, toux, toux. No Mdme is finish….oh goodness. I will not be surprised if she does not come back tomorrow for toux stop!!!

Celia and Matthew at the scales are doing intact. They have developed a new strategy to have the children remove their shoes during intake and leaving them off for assessment. This greatly increases the flow of children. The teachers are also wanting to be seen with their class. I am doing this but it would be soooomuch better Susan, if I had you to see either the children or the teacher. Anyway… I am gumby and can stretch myself to meet the most current needs. Heather says I am a whirling derbiish! I told her Mike (my sweet husband) says it is not a problem that I am busy all the time, it is that I expect everyone else to be busy too. 

There is a promise that the bus will be working tomorrow AM. I do not have knowledge of a specific Saint for buses but if there is one… maybe he will be awake tomorrow at 8 AM

The Historical Museum was outstanding. I cannot begin to express the thrill and amazement each of us had with this “five dollar donation”. We were there over 2 hours and every minute captivated by the guide. This is the same man we had last fall and he is beyond stellar; except for the part where he believed Chicago was founded by a Haitian. Surprise and news to me. So Bill Veeser – what say you to this new revelation into our cities history? I took the time to clarify that Chicago was built on the lake and river with a fort as protection by the army for the settlers, for trapping and fishing, and to keep the British and French out of the new territory. 

We made a little side trip to the market. I doubt anyone will complain about Kroger again; no armed guards in the produce aisle. At any rate, the cookies, Pringles, cheese, olives, and maybe a bottle of wine or two were welcome purchases. By the way, did I mention the process of changing money? If one does not have Haitian money, you go to a caged box with a slot, referred to by some as the “economat” and slide your money into a hole in the plywood. Remember there are armed guards with machine guns all over the place. I do not make this stuff up folks, I just tell it like it really is in Haiti. Although today, the man behind the hole kind of peeked and said hello to me in French. I speak about 6 words in French and one of them is hello another is Merci (thank you). 

It was taco Tuesday!! Wooo WHOOOO! fully tummies and no explaining what the heck am I eating. Goat you say! I think we all enjoyed the cheese or what looked a great deal like cheese even thought it did not seem to melt on the mystery meat. 

The team has been struggling with building relationships. Thus, tonight I announced with great fanfare and the announcement song from my years as camp nurse that one could not sit and have dinner with anyone they were rooming with or from their same cohort. This did present a bit of a challenge to Heather on the express RN to BSN program. We started out in 2’s but it morphed into pods of 3 or 4. Finally the whole the group came together and we learned about one another. We also shared our view of the  museum and what we thought were key take away points. Matthew is 15 but with the insight and maturity of a much older young adult. Oh Mama Tiffany – you done good!! 

As with any day, there are some hiccups and some hallelujahs.  Celia just came out of the closet we refer to as a shower declaring she is getting used to cold showers. Amen Sister… Amen. 

This entry was posted in CBU nurses in Haiti April 2015, Stories & Updates. Bookmark the permalink.