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Thursday, October 21, 2010


I wonder how often I’ll be interrupted while writing this blog or how many days it will take. J Maybe I should just set a cut off time. Or just make it quick, eh?

Last Wednesday I flew to Costa Rica to arrange some financial issues for me that came up and I arrived back Monday morning. I feel like I landed having to run and haven’t stopped since.

I got back to Canaan at around 9:30. Only a short time with my baby Caleb, whom I think I missed more than he me, and I dropped him off at the nursery again. He, by the way, got his second cute tooth while I was away. He is developing nicely, basically does whatever babies can do at 8 months – maybe more. He doesn’t walk alone but can walk along his crib and crawls under and into things. And his laughs are a joy to hear, especially if you’re the reason.

Our Haitian doctor, Jean Robert Celicourt (Cuban trained), arrived that morning and was waiting for me to take him down to the clinic. Also having arrived on the weekend while I was away were 3 Canadian nurses, here for 5-8 weeks. So off to the clinic! I worked with the doctor awhile, just to see how he works and to orientate him to our way of doing things. I think he’ll be good. He’s not totally fluent in English but thankfully he is in Spanish, so I actually have a fluent way to communicate with him (and I can talk so the patients or others don’t understand J)

The nurses I think were feeling a little bit like, what will we be doing here – since we don’t really have translators so they can’t actually see patients. Now I think they’re counting the days till Sat when they will take a break. I am so glad they’re here. Not sure what I would have done without them.

Monday night Chibelson got sick. He’s the baby I took in after the family just did not feed him the Mamba correctly. He has been doing great and last week he graduated with sufficient weight (in 6 weeks with what’s calculated to take 8 weeks). He’s had great caretakers. Maira from Canada for 2 weeks, then Ashley from SD came to dedicate a month to him. He has been sick off and on, not unusual for such a malnourished baby (He’s 10 months now, weighing just over 5 kg (11 pounds) which for his height is normal). He still has a lot of catching up to do for his age developmentally though.

Last week while I was gone they took him to a doctor in Port but Monday night he got sick – worse. The 3 nurses have taken over his care, since Ashley left Saturday. They woke me at 3 a.m., and I in turn woke the doctor (what else do we have him living here for? (But quite the start to his life here). He didn’t think it was urgent so we waited till morning to make changes. Basically kept observing him all day Tuesday. His problem was that since about midnight he vomited everything he took in, low-grade fever and didn’t void (pee) or poop. We even feared a partial bowel obstruction, which now I don’t believe was the case.

Wednesday we took him to Port – question is where? Last time the University of Miami field hospital didn’t receive us because they were too busy but I decided to make that our first try again. Sometimes I will use my “blanc” color to my advantage. I walked to the gate, they opened without any questions, and I walked straight into the peds ward, where I had been before and asked for a pediatrician. I knew that wasn’t exactly correct protocol, but I figured I had a better chance of getting attended. And it worked. After a bit, he looked at me and asked “How did you get in here anyway? I told them at the gate to triage everybody.” I guess God knew.

They gave him 400 cc IV fluids, and he still didn’t urinate. They catheterized him and got a little bit but not enough. Basically the doctor said, “Go home, you can do as much at home as we can here if you can contact your doctors for help. If he doesn’t start voiding, you can bring him back and I’ll call around for someone to tell me what to do for him.

Not exactly what we wanted to hear. He didn’t improve yesterday at all. This afternoon, he’s voided a little bit 3 times which is an excellent sign, but not NEARLY enough for what he’s drinking. He is in some kind of renal failure, and that’s not something to play around with. I’m ready to take him back in the morning. Or anyplace where someone can help him. In fact, we heard Mercy Ship is in Haiti, but we don’t have a way to contact them. Anybody know??

So we’re praying and going one day at a time… Please join us in the next few days. This little fellow has gotten into many hearts. His life has been a constant struggle, especially since his mom died at 2 months of age, but I’m imagining even earlier, since she was sick since he was born. I contacted his family today while waiting at the hospital in Pierre Payen for blood work, and 3 of his mom’s cousins came. They seemed to care, but when I asked if they were going to take him, or leave him at Canaan, they said leave him, without even hesitating. I’m a little relieved to tell the truth. I didn’t want to give him back. This ill, or if he has a chronic problem, he’d never make it there.

Well if I want to send this tonight before the power goes off, it means soon. Not much time to write about the last month here, but it has been a hive of activity.

School is in session, and going well. Teri came for a couple weeks in Aug, went home for 5 and is now back, long term. She’s in charge of the school and doing a fantastic job, with all its challenges.

Kendall is doing awesome with teaching reading to the kids. Many kids are learning to read that have been in grade one for a few years. She changed the way of teaching, and we plan to KEEP her here. Her family had better be letting her go. J

Caroline has arrived to take Bobi’s place with the Medika Mamba program, and is learning fast. It can get quite challenging. All 3 are focusing on learning the Creole language.

I was happy to have Wayne, my friend, pastor and mentor here for a few days end of September. He doesn’t come often enough.

First week in October was a busy, interesting week. We had a team of about 40 people come, most from South Carolina. They worked in different groups – nurses at the clinic, dental tech and helper saw and cleaned all the kids and staff and pastors’ teeth, pastors had seminar for 40 Haitian pastors who stayed here for those days, about 5 guys were in the kitchen (they took over the kitchen cooking for everyone), work crew painted the clinic – huge job, among other projects, some had school duties, and I think I’m missing some. Anyway, lots got done. They were a great, organized and refreshing group. Thank you!!!

The trauma and challenge of this week is that someone broke the metal doors that house our water pump and stole it and all that goes with it. So now it means conserving water like never before and what we have gets hauled in. Not fun. Pastor Henri found most supplies in Port; now to buy them. Costs almost $3,000.00. But that’s an essential.

Many of you probably have heard about the deaths in Haiti. Rumor has it that it’s Cholera but don’t know if it’s been confirmed. As of this morning, it wasn’t – I got that straight from the Health meetings that go on weekly in Port. However symptoms and deaths sure sound like it. Though the outbreak is 2 hours north of here, they are being taken to the hospital in St Marc and people there are quarantined which is only about 20 miles north of here. We are not in danger but the whole country needs to take precautions. It can spread so fast. That area is Haiti’s best agricultural area, but the water is awful – often brown. We are starting to teach the kids preventive measures. Pray it doesn’t spread. One report said over 140 people have died. Others put it at lower, but hundreds have already gotten sick. Symptoms are fever, vomiting, and extreme diarrhea. Haiti does NOT need this!

And now I need to end this before the generator ends.

Keep praying! It’s a challenging week.