Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't Cry For Me Haiti

It hasn't even been a week and already my heart aches toreturn to Haiti. I'm certain this is in large part due to several things, one being that I was quickly thrown back into my life and "reality" as we call it so often, and secondly because I think I've fallen in love with the people of Haiti. It caught me by great surprise, this longing that I'm feeling. I did not feel it with such force when I returned last year, but this year, it hit me with a ton of bricks. Maybe it's the feeling I get as I lose myself in serving them, maybe it's their spirit and their faith, maybe it was the sun! All I know is I can't wait to go back. So while it's fresh in my mind, here are a few of my favorite pictures and a list of those things I learned while I was in Haiti!.


*Pamprin is just Naproxen
*You can get constipation as well as diarrhea while in a third world country
*Toothpaste has an expiration date
*People are strong: The body may break easy, the Spirit endures
*Roosters are a worthless animal
*Tricks to bartering effectively
*Fanny packs are in fact cool; in that "I'm camping, saving the world" sort of way
*Miracles Happen
*You can be pregnant for 2 years
*Work hard, play hard
*When you give, you do in fact, receive

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Au Revoir.

It is my last night in Haiti. Part of me wishes I'd left this morning with a few of the other members of our group as I am a little homesick. But part of me is a bit sad that I won't wake up tomorrow (at 4 am no doubt thanks to the resident rooster) and throw on my green scrubs, put on a headband and pull my hair back, grab my pack and head out to another outreach clinic. This place touches you. It has a way of drawing you in. You fall in love with the people, the culture, it becomes a part of you. It's all so bittersweet. It's so difficult, yet so rewarding, as I imagine most difficult things are. I sit think about those things I have to do right away when I get back to snow-covered Utah. And how I'll be thrown right back into my normal life. Katie says that a lot times people have a difficult time talking about their experiences when they get home. I remember that from last year. It's hard because you recall those things in your mind but it's so very difficult to put them into words. I love coming and doing this. It's takes me a day or two to let my guard down and jump in head first, but I eventually do it, and then I don't want to stop. Once again it's been a fantastic experience. And once again I don't regret an ounce of the time I spent here.


I'm playing a little catch-up here. Friday afternoon we headed up to Montrouis, pronounced "Mon-We." There is an orphange there of approximately 25 children that we went and did "well checks" on and of course treated for anything we may have found, usually colds or stomach aches. These children live in a two bedroom house and paint. Their paintings are quite good, this coming from someone who can not even draw a stick figure. We also checked out the adults who worked at the orphanage and cared for the children. One man had TB. Horrible sounding lungs, coughing all over everyone. We referred him to Hospital Albert Sweitzer. We saw a few little babies that were sick with colds, some runny noses, and quite a few impacted ears. Nothing too extreme. We worked hard. Some of the community kiddos snuck in and in all we treated about 50 people on Friday. Friday afternoon we played. And we played hard. We spent the night at Indigo Beach Resort which is a club med of sorts. It's quite luxurious around here, most of us Americans would consider it probably a glorified Super 8. But it was nice. They have a pool, the ocean is beautiful and we had a great suppers with some local music and dancing. Soaked up a lot of sun! Thank you to my great-granfather for the Greek blood coarsing through my blood that makes it so I tan beautifully and do not burn. Fantastic. We did a lot of swimming, especially with our interpreters. Matt, Lesly, Big Mack, and Steevenson had never swam before. It isn't part of their culture. In fact many Haitians are scared of water. It took some coaxing to get them in the water, especially Big Mack. It was so funny. This boy is probably about 6'8" and standing in 5 feet of water he was clutching to us with dear life. Poor child. They acclamated well though and had a fantastic time. We sat and played on the beach and watched the sunset. It was gorgeous (pictures to come). It felt like two entirely different days, in two entirely different places. Saturday we returned to the orphanage but this time opened our "doors" to the community, we held a pediatric clinic. We had gotten them to spread the word that we'd only be treating children. So once again, lots of runny noses, dirty ears, UTI's and vaginal infections. We did see a little boy that had an abscess on his head. It was painful to touch. All we had was topical lidocaine and a scapal. Kirk (our MD) lanced it and drained it. This kid did not budge or shed one tear the entire time, although we could all tell that he was in pain. It was amazing. I played in the pharmacy this time. I actually really enjoyed it. Dosing and disensing meds. Looking up dosaging for amoxicillin based on weight and mixing. A little different for me and I loved it. It was a fantastic weekend. Probably my favorite part of the whole trip.