West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

Southern College of Optometry – Day 3 in Haiti

Day 3 (Wednesday, May 11, 2016)
This morning we took a more “scenic” route, to St. Vincent’s, with beautiful views of the mountains and a quick peek of the ocean if you looked far enough.
We got to the school just after the start of the Wednesday morning church service for all of the children and students at St. Vincent’s. Filled with vibrant songs and prayers, it was obvious that this was the favorite part of the week for many of the children. Our team was welcomed and invited to take part in Communion before the conclusion of the service. Soon after, we greeted many of the students before they were hurried off to class. It was time to get to work..for both us and them!
I spent most of the day doing patient intake with the assistance of Dieumene Clorisin. Now, Dieumene is an amazing young woman. I’ll tell you why. The majority of the students we saw today were hard of hearing or completely deaf, relying on communication through sign language. Dieumene was able to communicate effortlessly with the students through sign language using her feet…yes her feet! Dieumene was born was without her upper limbs and relies on the use of her feet or toes. She was once a student at St. Vincent’s and now studies English and assists with many of the activities at St. Vincent’s.
During our lunch break, Joesph Jean-Paul (who I spoke of earlier this week) took time to show our team some of his artwork. Know if you don’t remember, Joseph was born without any limbs but paints with a brush either in his mouth or strapped to his upper arm. His artwork is nothing short of amazing and many of our team members purchased some beautiful paintings.
Today was a busy patient care day, with us seeing over 80 students and staff. A final breakdown will provided tomorrow, since our clinic will conclude then. Each day has been filled with something new or things that are seemingly old hat but you’re forced to look at it a different way. That’s the beauty of working with these amazing individuals this week. Tomorrowis our last day, in which we will probably work our hardest to ensure every student at St. Vincent’s is seen. We are pretty close to achieving that goal and I can’t wait to see all those beautiful smiles as a result. Until then! 
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