...I'm in Haiti for two weeks! I graduated in December, took (and passed!) my boards on January 12th, and flew to Haiti the 14th for two weeks with Samaritan's Purse.
Right now the internet is really spotty so my updates will be infrequent. This one in particular is not my usual coherent narrative but rather a list of random observations from the last few days.
- We drive past the mass graves of the victims of the 2010 earthquake as we travel to the clinic each day. The ground is scorched due to a recent fire. I don’t know what to think exactly, but it’s sobering each time.
- I can still do a navy shower; this is a handy trick to know.
- Yesterday a large Vodou parade went by the clinic. People were carrying a tree in the front and singing. Many of our patients left to go watch (or join?) so we wrapped up an hour early. Brings back memories of Benin which is the birthplace of vodun, aka voodoo. Vodun came to the Caribbean on slave ships filled with West African slaves, the ripple effects of which are still felt to this day.
- My ankles are super swollen for an unknown reason. Possibly an interaction with my antimalarial medication-- will have to look into this more. Not uncomfortable other than to look at!
- Mangoes out of season are still amazing.
- What is it about looking at the stars that makes me feel closer to God?
- One of the clinic staff told me today that they found a baby in a pile of trash. The child has been raised as one of their children & is now three years old. This staff member works two full-time jobs to help support the family, sleeping only about three to four hours per night I would guess. This is love in action-- a reminder that love is not just an emotion but a choice.
|The fabulously talented Cite Soleil Clinic staff, plus me.|
- Many other staff members also care for children that are not their own, some even setting up home orphanages to care for children left alone after the earthquake. I’m talking about 10+ kids. Also love in action.
- I learned yesterday that many people don’t take their medicine (ie for blood pressure) they don’t have something to eat at the same time. I had to ask how common it was for people to not have anything to eat. I don’t know the numbers, but it’s common to only have one meal a day... or nothing at all. My usual recommendation to “not take medications on an empty stomach” now has a new connotation.
- Finally, what is the right response to and for Haiti? I don’t know; it’s beyond me. All I know is that I am content to be here at this moment.