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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Progress with finding a site for the new Gardens

Bon jou!
I'm the first one awake again--pigs are back to greet me! Saturday was a most interesting day. We walked 3 times to the garden site and back to the school. For safety we always travel in groups and with a Haitian escort. The walk (a mere 2 blocks) is a journey. The streets are so crowded. There is lots of trash and garbage, parked cars, traffic, noise, people asking for food and money, people selling food. I usually run into one or two deaf people who recognize me from the school and we have a quick conversation if we can. Such a short distance can be a little overwhelming. 
As with most things that last, initial planning is critical. In our effort to stay fluid and make the best decisions possible, our plans have changed. Sam (whom I call Samwise) is also from 100gardens and working in Monaihaim. He came Saturday to consult with Monty. By the end of the day we decided to move the site of the garden! Thanks to Tess and Brittainy's ideas, we found a place to put it on the campus where the children currently live and have classes. 
This is great. It means the students don't have to walk to the other site daily to take care of it, which Pere Sadoni, the head of the school, does not feel is safe.  The kids can watch the garden grow, they can help take care of it, the kitchen staff has easy access. Sadoni has approved--everyone is happy.  This has been a REMARKABLE day!

Team in Haiti building aquaponics gardens

 It's Friday morning and I woke up before anyone in the house. I'm sitting on a second story balcony overlooking the creek at the back of the house which has these small black Haitian pigs rooting around in it. There is a bougainvillea vine growing wild in this tree and has reached about 40 feet high--hot pinks and some oranges--unbelievably beautiful. I'm looking for spider monkeys but have only found a ghekko staring at my toe like he may be considering breakfast. 
Today I leave behind my American notions of getting this garden started:
Day 1--gather and inventory materials
Day 2--begin to build on the perfect spot
Day 3--add water, plant the seeds
Day 4--stock with fish
Day 5--observe fish swimming and kale growing!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Agape Love

Thursday, April 16
One of the paradoxes of the 4th and final day doing clinic is - a sense of accomplishment that we are almost done and the sadness that we are almost done and will be leaving. As a team of 10 we have done the work of twice as many, seeing 268 people, a half-dozen more that I did not make cards on, and those that were repeats. The repeats were an issue of who “saw them”. It turns our that if the one of the nurses took their blood pressure, they wanted to have me, Dr. Sue retake their blood pressure. Apparently my blood pressure cuff must be more precise... flattering but not necessary. I explained to the team this is culturally based as well as it comes after 4 years of Dr.Nelson and I establishing a relationship with the people St. V; they know we love and care for their well being.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life prevails

It is my granddaughter Emily’s 9th birthday. I called her at 6:30 her time to wish her the best of day. My wish carried over to the Haiti team. We had a good day; hot but good day. Prior to addressing our totals and patient issues, let me that the long way around to share the observations of the day and other events.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chicago was built by Haitians-what?

Today was a good day, not so much about the children, the adults and the experience of and at St. V. It was a day of personal growth. We took the HHH van via the ummmm scenic route through the hills to the school; thus, some in the back of the van discovered they could not tolerate the hills and the diesel fumes. UGH nausea is not a pleasant experience. Happy to report, most had a good recovery. 

What? No Air Conditioning?!

Hello All - going well. I would turn on the AC, if there was any!!
Monday, April 13th
We were up early to leave at 730... the plan was to see the flag rising at St. V. Note the plan; however the bus driver called to say he would be 30 minutes late. Many of us did not sleep well and UGH was the sound heard. Oh well - we will get there eventually.
The driver came in a SUV with Mr. Jonas also in an SUV; our bags in one and Tiffany and Matthew stuffed in the back end of the other. Good sports award for the day to both of them.

CBU Nursing team in Haiti

Dr Sue Trzynka has a team of nurses working at St Vincents this week.  She sends me daily reports of their experience.  Read below for her first few days in Haiti:

Hello All
Saturday: April 11th
We have arrived in Haiti. A few of the airport missteps, like packing the insect spray in the carry-on bag, a student bringing her own supply of food for the week (we won’t talk about the excessive bag fee here), and no name tags on bags but hey what was that information sheet for anyway. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

PT/OT school launches in Haiti

The Episcopal University of Haiti plans to open a 4 year program for physical therapy and occupational therapy very soon. This work is the culmination of years of planning between Janet O'Flynn, an OT from the US and partners in Haiti including the Episcopal Church. Since the earthquake of 2010, more handicapped persons are struggling to live with missing limbs or other crippling injuries. The need for Haitian trained therapists is obvious. A key sponsor of the school's development is a Nobel prize winning economist. Check out the video!