A Travellerspoint blog

October 2012

Written in week #2...

posted in week #4! Where has the time gone??

Hmmm....this post will be called a late edition! I thought I had posted this after I wrote it but just found it in the "drafts". It'll help explain some of the pics I had posted of what looks like a big ant hill......

Tonight I actually remembered how to add pictures to the gallery. You'll see they're of the charcoal business next door along with the planting and hoeing. Eddy, who works here for Annie, is instrumental in getting this little planting done of the CHIA. He and a group of friends are trying to see how it will grow here....and then he says, we'll be rich!

I've just made my morning coffee and "delivered" it to Lisa, Genesis, Ser Paul and Eddy, and Mama and Evens. My one little botum pot does us all. I woke this morning while it was still dark to the sounds of a fellow next door hoeing the rocky dirt. They're cleaning out a patch of ground and starting a small crop of CHIA....a newish product around that is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread!!! : ) It's supposedly healthy and full of everything we need....and Eddy from here got some $ from a friend to rent this patch of ground and hire men to prepare the ground and tend to the crop. I met Martino yesterday as I took him over a cold beer as he had been working in the hot sun all day. It's a great way to meet people and my Creole is getting good enough that I can ask a few questions and understand their answers! He also is preparing a bed for tomatoes...like the pictures I have shown you before. Don't need a hot house here....the whole country is one big hot house!!!

The sad news of the day is that Kristi has seen a rat in one of the rooms so we have to clean it out of piles of stuff so it has no place to hide. I haven't seen it yet and hope never to!!! A trap has been set with peanut butter and the critter just licks it off!!!!

I had the 3 girls up here a couple of nights ago and had Justin Bieber on full blast and we danced and danced. They loved it. The boys were clamoring outside the door to come in too but I wanted something special just for the girls. I haven't given them the posters and magazines yet of him. I'm afraid the boys will be jealous so have to figure out the best way to do this! I'm thinking I will ask them what kind of posters they would like and then bring them next time.

At the hospital I have a young Haitian man named Youbenson helping me. He reaches/climbs to the top of the pile and brings the boxes down for me. Then I sift thru them, keep what we can use and start a "poubel" (garbage) pile. He then hauls it away across the road and has a big fire going by noon!!! So much waste....of time collecting the supplies, and the money of bringing them here and then more time storing them and then the waste cause the storage buildings leak or have rats in them that eat thru things!!! CRAZY eh!!! And now I've spent 2 years sorting!!! But not complaining.....hopefully we'll get it all figured out right this time. I've got someone who is taking all the excess we can't use and delivering it to other hospitals or clinics. No sense keeping it here "just in case".

The children are wonderful. I love getting together with them in the morning. They arrive at the table dragging their bums and looking sad as it's early and by the time they leave, they're laughing and full of energy....and all thru just reading something in the Bible and talking about it and singing a song!!! : )
Wesley arrived to sit beside me and feels really hot so he's been doctored with some Tylenol and Kristi will watch over him today.

and that's as far as I wrote that day....I had originally titled it "2nd week gone by" so about 2 weeks ago!! : )

Posted by jdouglas 18:06 Comments (2)

Hurricane Sandy/Tropical Storm for Haiti

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...

Psalm 16
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!

Posted by jdouglas 16:58 Comments (0)

Montrouis, Haiti Oct 6 2012

Dear all....well here I am back sitting on the porch...in front of me are the lush green hills and the banana trees in the lot next door. The men have been working there for the past hour in the cool morning air. The ground has not been tended to and is overgrown and they are digging and cleaning it up. Even though it has rained hard 3 different days this week, the ground is workable but still hard to break through. They're using picks to break it up. Did you know that it takes only 6 months for a banana tree to grow and produce a crop...and then it's finished, will be cut down and the root will be cut up to replant in another field that has got holes dug in readiness?
The children are all fine. I took Bijory to PAP to see the surgeon yesterday, Dr. Scott Nelson from California, and he is very pleased with BJ's progress. When I arrived on Sunday, there was Bijory in the yard with the other children playing....without his crutches in hand. When he has his AFO's (ankle-foot orthotics) on, he is supported and able to walk on his own. He can do that also without them but with less stability and strength. WOW!!!! I love telling him he has beautiful feet! Once in awhile, I get a smile out of him...he actually is quite a tease! : )
Lery is running and playing soccer and climbing stairs with great stability and strength. He walks to school and is so very happy with his "new legs". Another WOW!!! I hope to get one of the bikes fixed while I am here so he can use it for quad strengthening. Anyone out there like to work on bikes?? You would be kept busy here!
The hospital is still in a state of renovation...the 4th hallway is being finished so that means that supplies that were being stored there are now out in the big front room, in a huge pile against the wall, waiting to be sorted through and organized. God always has my work ready for me to get started on!! : ) It's Saturday today, but Miss Gretta is there for the w/e and so we're going to start on the pile today. She was gone most of the week and we only had Thursday together to reaquaint and get organized as to where to start. The workroom is all finished...walls up, shelves done, painted and tiled. The new delivery room has been used a few times already and is very workable! The new OR needs another table and anesthetic machine...
In my devotion today, it read..."walk by faith__not by sight." Hmmm....very appropriate! I know why I'm here and will be given the strength and skills to do the job. "Do not judge a day as devoid of Joy just because it contains difficulties." I know there is a lot of work to be done before the teams arrive in November but we will work together as a team and do our best.
President Marteilly was on my plane from Miami to PAP. I so wanted to walk up to him, introduce myself and shake his hand. He has a very hard job ahead of him. Of course, the people think he is working too slow, not getting the right things done. It's the same things I hear back in Canada. But I see changes each time I come...more roads being paved in the city, more cleanup happening.
Unemployment is still high but I still encourage the men who bring their children to me for sponsorship to school to still try to find work. I tell them I will help but they can't expect to be entirely looked after and the children need to do well in their studies. As parents, I encourage them to help their children do that. It is a hard life here but it still is the one God has given them and there is a lot to be thankful for.
I will meet with Dr. Gardy and Toussaint next week and hopefully start forming a plan for UBCO instructors and maybe some students to come next year. The autoclave needs to get working again, the electricity needs to get fine-tuned so it is reliable...Miss Gretta tells me that she only used the autoclave once and then there was problem with the water pressure! I wish Randy from the States was back here! : ) But I will pray that there is someone, Haitian or otherwise, who will help.
Blessings to all. Keep us in your prayers!

Posted by jdouglas 05:06 Comments (0)

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