What I thought would be a rather relaxed day before the heavy work week at the clinic switched gears. I first went to another orphanage with some of the doctors to examine those children. Almost all were in excellent shape and while examinations were going on I was chief hugger and photographer. Several of the little girls simply crawled into my arms and stayed there. All children in Haiti like to have their picture taken and then see it on the digital camera. We checked out another site that some would like to purchase for a retreat center, then back to the hotel to package vitamins and meds for tomorrow’s work in the clinic.
I was in the middle of counting children’s vitamins and looked up to see Caleb Lucien, a very powerful Rotarian I met in Port-Au-Prince in Haiti. For those of you who know my practice of God-spotting, this was one of those moments. Caleb is frantically organizing aid for the victims of the earthquake. We will be talking business again later this week. Our hotel is being used as a collection spot for many to bring supplies which Caleb is having transported to different clinics. From Caleb we learned that many injured are coming in from PAP and the hospital here is very busy. He was concerned about the staff there who had no food. He asked us to take food to the hospital for the staff. We immediately got the hotel to make many ham and cheese sandwiches and we stopped on the way to get drinks. Only a few of the doctors were going over, but I asked to go along. Just call me Diane Sawyer – wanna be.
We saw there what we expected to see, a Third World hospital with lots of injured, several with traumatic amputations waiting for treatment, compound fractures (all this a week after the injury!), an infant covered in gauze over her face and all limbs, and no food for the patients. We handed out sandwiches and drinks to both staff and some patients. We didn’t have enough, to say the least and in Haiti patients do not receive food unless family bring it. Now imagine the families who have used all the money they may have to taxi (200 MI) from PAP here and now they are here with no money for food. Our group is planning to send more food but it’s so overwhelming. What our doctors pointed out when we left was how quiet the hospital was. The strongest pain medication is Tylenol. People are bearing extreme suffering in silence.
We leave here tomorrow at 7:30AM for our drive into the country for our work at the clinic. I am now officially trained and authorized to take vitals. I am an official team member. By tomorrow I will even have my own scrub hand made by Haitian women as one of the team members is trying to help some women build a cottage industry of making scrubs. I also got to walk downtown to meet the women who are making these.
Bedtime comes early because days are so full.
I’ll touch base again as soon as I can.