West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

What? No Air Conditioning?!

Hello All – going well. I would turn on the AC, if there was any!!

Monday, April 13th
We were up early to leave at 730… the plan was to see the flag rising at St. V. Note the plan; however the bus driver called to say he would be 30 minutes late. Many of us did not sleep well and UGH was the sound heard. Oh well – we will get there eventually.
The driver came in a SUV with Mr. Jonas also in an SUV; our bags in one and Tiffany and Matthew stuffed in the back end of the other. Good sports award for the day to both of them.

So being in the front seat of the SUV provided for a different view and assessment of Haiti. No one was in a hurry, except the motorcycle taxis and maybe one, two or ten cars but the people were walking – just walking. Now I do not mean they were strolling arm in arm as through a garden or park, they were walking with a purpose but no one was running. No one scurried across the street when there was a pause in traffic flow – they walked, head up, eyes forward, moving from one sidewalk to the other. Interesting note, since we in the US are always in a hurray, we run up the escalators, push the buttons in the elevator with rapid session, as if hitting it 5 times is going to made the door close any faster. The woman with the basket of mangos and bananas was walking at the same pace as the man in a suit carrying a brief case. And he was walking at the same pace as the plaid uniformed school girls with the lovely large white bows in their hair.I smiled and wondered do we (Americans) get any where any faster than Haitian who just walk and seem to take in their whole environment. Interesting to contemplate. 

On another note – progress! Haiti has traffic lights at intersections. WOW and some have timers; 25 seconds to cross the street or drive through with the green light/timer. Heather Leland and I were questioning our memory and getting pretty excited when I said oh another one! The driver said – it is broke. Thus, the story of process coming to Haiti- some work – some are broke. 

Overall it was a good and productive day. Day one always is a guessing game as to what we will find, how we will set up the clinic, and when we will actually see the children. Not bad for a first day – there by 8:30 ready to roll by 9:50; bugs worked out by 11:00. There is a new varnished stage which the men graciously placed a tarp over. The scale would not zero out and me the mechanically challenged figured out that the level gage on the bottom was disconnect! The hemocue did not work, sorry folks there was a split in the cord. Do not worry, we found some black electrical tape and McGiver Kelly got it working. The Nova pharm meds were there but nothing else. Mr. Jonas retrieved 3 bags of surprises from the brace shop and we at least had a couple of things to use, if needed. I signed for the other meds – Dr. Nelson ordered about 2:00. Clinic was set up in the library including doing the hemacue at the end of the assessment process – BRILLANT Idea team leaders, Tiffany and Heather.

Bergans my darling 9 year-old without arms and a smile to light the globe was there. He was playing with friends during recess and I saw him and waved. He ran toward me and I picked him up and hugged his neck and growing body. I fed him the peanut butter crackers for recess. Some of you can see the picture posted on FaceBook and guess what.. I am smiling; then again, who would not with arms wrapped around a child. 

We completed 69 assessments today of both children and adults. Marie Camelle’s blood pressure is through the roof. She is saving her medicine until she thinks she needs it. We had a hearty discussion about her risk for stroke and I will check it daily. Our team leaders are doing a stellar job with organizing others. Ms. Celia is the intake queen and Kelly is the Pill Princess – man does she now the drugs. Calley and I worked on Zachary , who needed a little IM of antibiotics… more to come tomorrow. 

Pere came today with a heavy heart. We all offered condolences in the sudden death of his 36 year-old brother on Friday. He requests prayers for the family – lift them to the light if you will.

Hot, tired, dusty  – stinky, speaking for myself, at the end of day, we had another adventure home in 3 vehicles that went separate ways. Needless to say, this created a bit of angst for some of us. Thus, with the St. V bus out of commission for an unknown period of time, Helping Hands will be transporting us to and from school the rest of the week. This will result in less stress for Pere and us.

So cheers to all that have loved and supported us on this amazing journey. To the students at CBU, faculty and staff, to Hope in CN (hope we meet some day) and of course our Dear Friends at West TN Haiti Partnership. As the painting says in my office (thanks to a former team member) Alta Dia, Alta Adventura… another day, another adventure. 

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