Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This morning, I loaded up 4 patients and their families whom I dropped at Pierre Payen hospital for checkups/cast changes, etc, and about 6 of our teenage girls, some staff and Sister Gladys and headed off to St Marc. The girls went to buy shoes; Second hand shoes. And some of them were still asking $26.00 US.
While they did that, SG and I went to the UN base to see how we can get help in putting up our barbed fence for the tents. We didn’t get that, but we felt God opening doors. We met with the person in charge of the World Food Programs, and they’re looking for more NGOs that can help with food distribution in this area. Between SG and pastors, we’ve got to know 80% of the people or more. That’s the kind of people they’re looking for, who know who has needs. They want to work under a big organization’s coverage though. I understand a little better what they’re doing. I kept thinking these distributions aren’t going to everyone. Right now that’s not their goal. The prices for food have been going up and that’s a problem for everyone, so their goal is to flood the market with so much food that it’ll bring the prices down. We told him we’ve ordered $5,000.00 worth of food from the DR and he’s like why did you do that, we’ll give you. We’ll see (and use this for different locations that they don’t cover, like Leogane).
While sitting there, we met the Major of the Argentina military, who are in charge of the security of the St Marc zone we live in (and loved that I speak Spanish), and we also met the chief of the Canadian police (some of whom live at Club Indigo a few minutes from us) (As soon as they heard I was Canadian, they’re like “you gotta meet him). Both of them as well as the Haitian police, patrol the area past us and they’re willing to help with security as far as making 3 or 4 patrol trips by our place every day. It would be a sense of the presence of armed guards at least. It would be good, but we still need someone to provide us with the barbed fence.
The patients weren’t all done so I ended up making another 2 trips to Pierre Payen after we got back. (THANK GOD for the road they’re making. It’s almost ready for asphalt to PP. You guys just don’t KNOW the blessing that is to us. The bumpy 20 minute trip will soon be done in a smooth 5 minutes or so.)
After we got back, I continued training a new girl I’m trying out. Right now, I’m just going to have her work the Convalescence place. It’ll give them more attention, which will be good, and take a load off me a bit. She’s still in nursing school – was suppose to finish her second last year in March and graduate next year, but now, who knows! So she’ll work for 6 months or so, and see if the school will be running again for fall. We’re trying her out this week to see if it’ll work.
I felt blessed this evening as I was returning from bringing the last boy home around 8:30, when one of the patient’s mom said I must be so tired and she just showered me with blessings from God – not in a religious way but just verbally. That was a new thing for me – that the people of Haiti bless me (other than PH and SG). Made it all feel worthwhile. We have some really sweet people recuperating here.
Around supper time, I got some visitors – Henry Reimer and Elisha Byler. Henry ended up being my second cousin – his mom and my dad are cousins. They’re from Mexico. They’ve been preaching in the tent villages, and apparently it’s been quite good. I’ve often wished there was more preaching going on. The people are quite receptive now – everybody is taking life more serious; And especially now that the aftershocks are still coming.
We’ve had a few, though they’re only 4.7, that really rocked the people. It’s kind of like these heavy balls used to break buildings – they don’t have to hit hard but a swinging steady rhythm will bring it down, especially if there’s one that’s a tad stronger. That’s what’s happening to some of these houses. The constant minor aftershocks are just weakening structures. They say in the Leogane area they’ve had aftershocks every week yet. The people are pretty much back in the streets again for nights.
In my last blog I wrote about Migerose and her sister; they both had Typhoid. I don’t know the reason for it, but a couple days after being at the hospital, they took both girls back home. As far as I know, neither had gotten treatment. I’ve been pretty upset about it, and angry at the non-existing health care system, and wondering how to change the ignorance about health in a country. Did they think it was hopeless anyway? Did they not expect me to continue helping them? Did they think the money I gave them for food would hire them a taptap back up the mountains? We’ve tried calling the leaders of the community, but the phone service up there is sporadic.
Ok, time for bed has long gone by. I better follow.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
One month since THE earthquake! Wow! It feels like much longer than that. What a full, busy month!
Today the country of Haiti is remembering! They are taking today, Saturday, and Sunday to remember, to mourn, and to fast; to pray to God and ask for forgiveness. Oh, that more nations would do this as a nation! They are doing 3 days of a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. fast.
There are places where the pastors are together, praying and fasting. Here at Canaan they are getting together at 6 a.m., 12 noon, and at 6 p.m. to pray, sing, confess, whatever. But it’s not limited to those hours. There’s been a sense of prayer and worship all day.
Things are quiet today. We did continue with school, though the hours changed. I asked the nurses to go down to the clinic, but strangely (maybe not so strangely) there were no patients, so I let them go home. They’ve been working hard. I kept busy for a few hours with my patients in the dorm. Had to take one to the hospital for follow up. She has external fixators on her ankle and we wanted to make sure they weren’t infecting. While I’m on the subject, please pray for Rosemartine – she’s having a tough time of it. She’s 50 yrs old, had a femur fracture. She cries every time I go there. I think a lot of it is emotional, more than pain. She’s by herself, and can’t get around on her own. It’s easier for me taking care of the physical wounds than the emotional ones. It’s kind of wearing on me today. Or maybe it’s just the whole emotional affect. Fasting can bring that out in one too.
Next Monday and Tuesday are national holidays, normally Carnival. That is not happening this year, but my nurses think they should have the days off anyway. Not sure if this will be nationwide but we’ll be closed. I hope not too many patients will come if nobody’s there!
I need to take my truck in for the first “check-up” on Monday. In two weeks, I have put more than 1,100 km on it. I don’t know what I would have done without it. Thanks again to all who gave for it. I’m not about to forget it! (Do you know that now they’re making the Nissan trucks with only one back light? Took awhile for me to believe that.)
We’re also trying to get passports for 1 yr old Gaelle and her mom. They were almost ready for pickup on Jan 12. They’re suppose to be ready but they couldn’t (wouldn’t) give them yesterday – they said because the electricity was off. I think it was more a matter of didn’t want to. Pray that it’ll work on Monday. I want to get that little one to the US for heart surgery. We’ve worked at it for months!
Please continue to pray for this country. As the initial emergencies have been dealt with, the country is trying to find a way to survive. It’s not easy. The refugee camps are overflowing – 10-12 people in a 4-6 person tent sometimes. There are so many things happening that we don’t think about at a glance. For example, what about prostitution? As hunger and needs increase, that too increases. Not having their own house/tents, in some places it becomes public, even around children. Or girls put in tents with strangers, including men.
Or cleanliness issues – not enough toilets (sometimes people go close to where they sleep), or hygiene products and cleanliness, especially for women, etc.
These are issues that are being dealt with, and hopefully a resolution can be found soon.
“God, Have mercy on Haiti! Restore the nation to a God-fearing nation. And may other nations take note, and bend their knees to an almighty, jealous God, who does not slumber, and who does not take idolatry and sin lightly.”
Monday, February 8, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Ok, after an electric water foot massage (that I found in my storage room today) and several hours soaking my swollen dirty feet, a movie, a fan, a coke, and friends, I’m relaxed again after very probably the most tired day in Haiti yet!
This day turned out nothing like I originally thought it would. I must admit, I can’t say my life is boring.
This morning, after checking in at the clinic, I decided it was time to organize my medicines again. Yes, I think I did that on one of my last blogs too, but a medical team left and I probably got at least 7 or 8 tubs of stuff. It’s useless if I don’t know what’s there, so I started that. It’s hot, it’s full, and full of dirt, so first I had to make room. About halfway through, I get a call, asking me to take Nerivadson to Port – he’s being adopted. So drop my stuff and get him ready. I was just about ready to go when I got the call that it was canceled – he’ll go tomorrow. Just in time: I went down to let them know, when I hear someone saying they need like 9 tables and 20 chairs at the clinic. My antennae went up – WHY?
The Jamaican military showed up with 4 big UN trucks loaded with food and bottled water and medicine and doctors and soldiers (no idea how many); 5 doctors, plus some nurses. What a scrounging around, finding the best place to work out of and a method. I let them take over our patients, especially since I only had 1 nurse working today and almost 50 patients. I must admit, I would rather not repeat the confusion of patients and dispensation of medicines again – next time I’d know what to avoid. But by the end of the day, they saw 120 patients.
Then of course here it doesn’t take long for news to travel and people to arrive. Within a very short time, I’m sure we had close to a 1000 people there. (got some pictures up on facebook already.) The noise was tremendous – the chattering and talking and bustling and everything. I just decided to tune it out – let the military control it. That was what they were there for. On a whole, it went very well, especially after hearing how in Port, at one distribution, the people actually turned over one of those big UN trucks. Ok, so if I would run these food distributions, it would be done differently, but they were given orders not to return with food so they let the people go back in line, some up to 4 times!!
Of course, they brought for Canaan too, so I went up and got my truck (what would we have done without it? All other vehicles were out) and I made two ‘loaded’ trips with boxes of ‘Mackerel in Tomato Sauce’ cans and one loaded with bottled water.
After they were ready to head back, after 5 p.m., 10 guys, DR workers of neighbors of Chris and Leslie came for 2 vaccine shots each.
Oh, and another thing the Jamaican army did was build 2 latrines – don’t know if they’re done. That won’t be enough for the amount of patients we expect, so hopefully they will be back on Monday to make more. A security fence, and we’re set to get started with our field convalescence center. Oops – I still need a nurse. Any takers?
The Jamaicans, together with the Canadian military have been great in helping us. Pray they will continue.
I think I deserved my foot massage tonight!! Just needed a shoulder massage yet. Anyone wanting to come give me one? Lol
Tomorrow, Navedson is scheduled to leave for the US to his new parents. We will miss him. Everyone’s attached to him. He’s full of life in his toddler ways. If the papers get finished, Orlancia is going too, but as of today, she still needed to get the Prime Minister’s signature. They’re hoping he’ll give it tomorrow. Please pray! Also remember her siblings here, especially her oldest brother Mackenson. He’s a great 13 yr old brother who loves his baby sister so much, but he also knows the opportunity this is for her.
Ok, it’s late enough, I should be in bed. But then tomorrow is Saturday (what does that mean here though?)
Thanks for remembering us and praying!!
Thanks for remembering us and praying!!