Hard to believe that it's time to head home! Just wrote the following to some colleagues at UBCO and decided to copy info to here:
"Just a a quick catchup on Haiti....there is such an opportunity here for nurses with clinical and teaching experience to come and share their knowledge at both OSAPO and Pierre Payen Hospital sites. OSAPO has been running a "lay-midwive" program now for 2 years and so there have been a major increase in the # of babies born here instead of at home. Maternal and infant mortality was so high that it was necessary to make changes. Before, almost 90% of babies were born at home in this area (of about 52000 people) and now that number is under 50%!!! With grant money from Japan, they have just finished building a new "Maternity Wing" here and the container of supplies arrived about 2 weeks ago and that's what I've been up to.....unloading boxes, deciding what equipment should go where, how best to have a good flow of patients, etc etc. It's been quite fun!
OSAPO also has a nutrition center and seeds and chickens are handed out with the plan that a certain percentage is given back to the program. They are also introducing new kinds of food that will grow here and then holding cooking classes to show how to cook and eat it!! So there's even a job for someone with an interest in cooking!!!
Accessibility to clean water and education re: same is still going on as are building of latrines and teaching good waste management.
I feel very blessed to have met these Haitian innovators and to work with them all these years.
Well that's just a quick peek at Haiti....still waiting to see some of you here! 4 nurses from Vernon maternity came for 2 weeks in November. It was great sharing all this with colleagues from home."
My latest emails yesterday were to friends in Vernon who have had experience organizing containers to go to different parts of the world. It all started when I asked the gang at GLEANERS if there was one going to Haiti soon. In their latest newsletter, they said that 10 containers full of material stored at Gleaners have gone around the world!!! I know it's expensive but now both hospitals that I help at....Pierre Payen and OSAPO...are in the midst of plans to expand and are in need of specific equipment, most too heavy to bring on the plane as check-in. In January, I want to bring a MIDMARK11 back with me for OSAPO. The pressure cooker style that they have is awkward and dangerous to use over the open flame. I've used the MIDMARK a lot at Pierre Payen Hospital and it is easy to use and maintain.
A brand new autoclave costs about $5000 so Linda and I are hoping to get some fundraising started for that and also a designated workroom for de-contaminating the instruments from OSAPO's OR. If anyone would like to help us with that, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda at email@example.com.....or if you know anything about containers or hear of one coming to Haiti, please contact me. These all can seem like insurmountable requests, but I have seen way too many miracles happen here and I know God will help us with this one.
So soon I will be knee-deep in snow in Edmonton. Mom tells me it has been very cold there....I'm not sure how I will survive. Thankfully I sent a suitcase of winter clothes there before I left in October. My house has been lovingly looked after by Iris, for which I am very thankful. I truly feel I have a blessed life. I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends soon and celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus and then to see in the next New Year that He will give us. It is all with great expectation as I love anticipating what will await me as I carry on in this journey called "life".
Thank you for your prayers and support and encouragement. xoxo Judy