Hi all....thought of you all tonight as you might be hearing news casts of the weather over here. We've had big rain for about 2 days, tonight being the heaviest. Just had wind come thru that I thought might develop into something but it's calmed down again, and just raining. Even tho we're about a block away from the ocean, I've been hearing the surf pounding for the past couple of days. It looks like Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas are going to get the brunt of it! We're cozy and warm in our snug house. Today all the Haitians were wearing hoodies and wrapping in towels and blankets....and I felt just great! First time I haven't sweated all day...real comfortable! And they were freezing!
Work of sorting and garbaging and inventorying carries on but I'm thankful to say that a dental team from Indiana is here and they're helping me. People aren't coming to the clinic cause of the rain...kinda like when we get snow blizzards at home! : )
I'm truly hoping to be done with supplies by end of this week and then next week we can concentrate on cleaning up, getting some sterile supplies cooked and ready....and maybe I'll get a day at the beach resort!!!! I've given up the dream of seeing much more of Haiti. Maybe in the beginning of Dec. when the teams have gone home and before I come home on the 10th! I would love to go to Cap Haitian and see the Citadel...old part of Haiti's history.
Right now with my $ and donations from some of you, we are sponsoring 15 kids for school. I went to a school on Monday after meeting with the Director last week. He knew of some kids who weren't coming back to school as they had no $. He knows that their families just cannot do it and so I've agreed to help 5 of them. He wanted to show me 20 but I said to start with 5!!!! Costs about $150 each for a year!
I like to talk with the children, find out a bit about who they live with, do they like school, what do they want to do when they're finished, encourage them to stay in Haiti afterwards and help others. Then I tell them about Joel and Sean and how as a mom, I always checked their report cards...first for their attitude and work habits and then their marks. Each of the kids said they really wanted to go back to school this year and they all said they would do their part and work hard as a way to thank me for helping them! : )
So what's been happening lately.. a Canadian friend passed out and so I took him to Pierre Payen Hospital to be checked out. Thankfully I know the cardiac monitor well (they don't have an ECG machine) and was able to get an ECG and ruled out a cardiac event....we decided it was dehydration with a bit of a resp. head cold....he lives in a non-ventilated house and sweats LOTS at night and hence the dehydration, even tho he thot he was keeping up! His BP was in the 90 range! Not too tachy but sure didn't feel good. He's got high cholesterol and is on BP pills so of course my cardiac mode took over! After 5 liters of fluid, he did feel better! : )
A neighborhood boy got bit by a ??rabid dog last week. I also took him to the hospital hoping to get the rabies vaccine, just in case, and was told they don't have any. I figured that as I know pretty well everything stocked there. St. Marc Hosp. used to carry it. So Revelson's mom went to the local community nurse and he got a couple of shots of antibiotics. Returned 2 days later for another "shot" and after a week, he's doing fine. Arms cleared up nicely, no infection at all. He had puncture wounds in both lower arms and one finger. The dog was immediately stoned to death and buried somewhere!
A very different system of health care than at home but it works and people do get treated!!!
One of the team doctors that I've worked with in the past 2 years (and is coming again in November) wrote me and asked for my thoughts about things here and whether I thought it was a good idea for teams to keep coming. My answer spoke mostly of supporting them here...with supplies and knowledge....rather than just thinking to come here and "do". I shared that Dr. Toussaint wished that the Haitian cultural mentality was not "waiting for the white doctors" but that the people would come to the Haitian docs more....but people do wait for the white guys. So it's good that the teams still come and work hard and people do get charged for the surgery (even tho we come and work for free and bring supplies) as charging for care is the only income for the hospital. So teams do help the hospital financially that way. And Haiti is short of doctors and nurses...just like Canada! (where do all our graduates go???)
Also I said it was such a good opportunity to work alongside the Haitians....have the Haitian nurses scrub in, the Haitian residents scrub in, etc. Great time to share knowledge and when specialist do come here, it's a great time for them to teach.
I'm still trying to find out how available supplies are in Haiti...but for now, teams do need to keep bringing things. That's getting harder to do tho as the airlines are really limiting the amount of baggage we can bring.
And lastly I said that I made myself a promise that when the time comes that I cannot come here or bring teams here, I will still encourage and help others to come and do what they can. As many of you know, it's an amazing life changing experience and it's good for us 3% that live like we do to be reminded to share what we have with the other 97% of the world.
Here's a good topic for an ethical discussion.....it is felt in the medical community that the expiration date on drugs could be extended...but how far is far enough? And should these drugs be sent to the 3rd world when we can't (legally) use them in Canada and USA? Dr. Gardy feels that is showing no respect for the Haitian people. What do you think?
My devotional reading led me to my favorite Psalm this week......and reminded me how blessed I am to be here...
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
Hope you all have had a wonderful fall and now are getting your winter woolies out! I can't imagine even feeling cold again!!! : )
all for now........xoxoxo Judy
I'll try to attach some pics of the renovations happening!