"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Task at Hand, part 1

I will try to break our time in Haiti into bite sized pieces.
I'll begin with our amazing team. I didn't know anyone but my daughter, Hillary, when we left New Jersey, but grew to love and respect this group of dedicated people very quickly.
3 of us were nurses and the rest were non-medical, willing to be put into uncomfortable situations of dealing with things way out of their experiences and doing it SO well.
(Kendrick's ugly face was intentional to ruin my picture and I'll get him back by putting it here for all to see...)

We spent hours each evening bagging individual doses of medications (100's and 1,000's of baggies) and preparing the action packers with supplies for the next day's clinic.
Next morning we loaded up the trucks with the bins and our supplies and headed out.
Please note that Hillary and I were obediently following the CDC's guidelines of always wearing long-sleeves to avoid malaria-ridden mosquitoes. As you will see in some later pics, I quickly gave into the heat that intensified by lots of people in small spaces under hot tarps and worked in short sleeved scrubs and T-shirts. I did take my anti-malaria pills faithfully and covered any bare skin with super-duper repellant, though.
Like the first day of school, we are excited and ready, Freddy!

Our rides to the clinics were harrowing experiences on the wildest roads I've ever been on.
We took turns inside the cab or outside in the truck bed, holding on for dear life!
Kendrick looks a little better in this pic, huh?

Hillary is already getting a deathgrip on the truck frame even though we haven't even started the motor yet. I don't think we went over 15 mph but the trips rattled teeth and bruised kidneys, nonetheless. The general consensus was that Six Flags would never hold any terror after our travels over these Haitian roads.

We set up clinics at 4 different Tent Cities. These are basically refugee camps for those unfortunate people displaced by the earthquake. Water, unsafe for drinking, is hauled in to central areas and tent-like latrines are placed amidst the dwellings. One electric line is draped through the camp providing a few lights at night like scattered streetlights. We had no daytime electricity nor water except for the coolers we hauled in.
This tent was in the largest tent city where over 6,000 lived.

In setting up for the day's work, we had to prepare the area.
This sometimes meant chasing out goats and chickens.
This little chicken was one of several young ones who scooted under the tent wall.

We carried in tables and bins and hoped there were chairs or benches.
Some days we were lucky, others no so much.

More details on the day to come, but I'll end this post by showing you our wonderful bedroom where we slept so very well. Windows had no screens, so we first had to check under the net to be sure we had no bedfellows, then spray the nets with bug repellant and finally our own selves were sprayed. We learned swiftly how to close up the nets so we and the bugs each stayed on our own sides all night long. Then, ahhhhhhh--sweet dreams.

No comments:

Post a Comment