Sunday, February 13, 2011

Moving on...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We made the big move to HERnow today. Our new host house if very accommodating with air conditioning, electricity, Wi-Fi and real mattresses on cots.  It also has a beautiful open balcony of sorts that is perfect for kicking back after long days of mobile clinics.  Not to mention, the ladies here know how to cook!  If it wasn’t for the razor wire securing our house, it would be hard to tell we weren’t really on vacation.
 Unwinding at HERnow

HERnow also has a large storage room, full of donations. We unpacked our dontations and surveyed  made a quick inventory. We made some guesses of what we would need today and packed a couple of bags.  
The team organizing supplies.
Meds, Meds, and more Meds!  Thank you to all who contributed!

We then set off to a  “middle class” neighborhood to set up a mobile clinic in a church.  Of course, Haitian middle class and our idea of middle class differ drastically.  From what I observed, middle class here means 
the children can afford to go to school and may even have a real shelter above their heads.

 Almost everyone complained of dry eyes.  Can you imagine how much dust is in the air?

I never realized that the roof was simply a tarp.

My favorite picture from the trip!

As all Haitian’s I’ve seen, these folks were very clean.  I’m always amazed by how white their white clothes are- whiter than mine.  We treated lots of tinea, ringworm and aches and pains.  We rehydrated a lot of kids, gave vitamins to all and consulted on chronic ailments. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but the local appreciation is never ending.

After seeing about 80 patients, we came home and took a quick walk through the grocery store.  It’s always nice to try to find a place to fulfill those cravings we work up.  It seemed that prices were higher here than in Bon Repos and it makes me wonder if it’s just because Petionville is a higher class neighborhood.  For $10 (an average Haitian daily wage, I’m told) I was able to purchase a can of Pringles, bag of bagels and some cookies.  Seems like very little for an entire days’ worth of work to me.

It’s hard to say though. The grocery store was full of locals dressed in business suits and looked like it could sit anywhere in the states (minus the cigarettes in plain sight and accessible to all). But within the 3 block walk home, we encountered a child begging us for money, tires being repaired by a single flame and even a stark naked man out for an afternoon stroll.  

The dichotomy between rich and poor is larger than life in Haiti.  Brenda, our new host, informed us that literally about 12 families own 99% of Port Au Prince.  That’s how all the NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations) are able to rent all these huge beautiful houses to shelter relief workers.  These big, powerful, wealthy families have many homes throughout Haiti, and can reside elsewhere by renting out some of their properties.

I might be getting to the point of exhaustion, as I just can’t think of anything else to write about.  Hopefully, I’ll be more inspired to write tomorrow. Sorry!

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