We have "finalized" our plans while in Haiti. I must put finalize in quotations, because nothing ever seems to go to plan on that island! In my two trips I have experienced flight delays, missed flights, stalled Mack trucks blocking our path, car accidents, civil unrest and being on lockdown, and that's just a few of the obstacles! So, maybe it's better to say that we have an "idea" of what we are going to be doing on our trip. As Dave said on my first mission, "We plan and God laughs". Apparently, God laughs a lot during mission trips!
I leave Denver Friday, April 20th. (BTW, I will need a ride to the airport if you'd like to send me off!) That night, I'll reacquaint myself with the floor of the Miami airport and try to get some sleep before our plane departs for Haiti early in the AM.
Sometime on Saturday we will arrive at the orphanage. I am so looking forward to our arrival. The orphans line up and graciously kiss our hands while our hearts instantly melt. I'm looking forward to see how much everyone has grown, especially my buddy, Wadson. I hope to see Julissa, who suffers from a chronic illness, healthy and smiling.
We will go to church (early!) on Sunday morning. I have seen pictures of the church since my last visit and I can't wait to see the improvements for myself. 18 months ago, the parishioners walked past twisted rebar and up broken steps to worship the lord. From the looks of it, the church is now in one complete beautiful piece!
Sunday afternoon we will spend some time with the widows of the Church. I haven't met this group of ladies yet, but am looking forward to embracing their tenacious spirit and seeing their grateful smiles.
We start "working" on Monday. We are going to start our journey up the mountains to Cornillion. This town is past the town I went to previously, Gran Buchon. From the sounds of it, Cornillion is "a lot bigger." I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I guess I will find out soon enough! The last time I drove up this road, I was at a loss for words. I think I compared it to Independence Pass, subtract the concrete, but add in random rocks of all sizes. From pebbles to 4 foot boulders, this is a whole new world of off roading. When you factor in the massive hillside you are on, it fulfills every adventure seekers dream.
There are two churches in this town that we will set up clinics at. On Monday, we will set up "education clinics" We are going to cover a variety of topics relevant to the villagers, such as first aid, hygiene, oral care and of course, my specialty, newborn care. We are making canvases to leave with the pastors that will depict our education.
I don't think I can properly convey with words how excited about this part I am. I don't think most people adequately appreciate how fortunate we are to have "inherent" knowledge about taking care of ourselves. For example, we know that we must wash our hands after using the restroom to avoid disease, especially before preparing meals. As an incentive for attending the education sessions, we are going to give attendees front of the line access at the clinics. Of course, we will also be providing hygiene essentials (i.e. toothbrushes, soap, etc) to those who come.
Tuesday and Wednesday will be dedicated to running clinics; with a day at each church in the village. I am expecting these to be two long, tough days. I hope to be primarily seeing children and treating the common ailments of childhood in Haiti; dehydration, tinnea, jaws and the sort. I have to brush up on my reading of course, but am so excited to be in a mission clinic again! Nothing can compare to the array of emotions you experience after providing medical care to the severely impoverished for the first time.
Our group wanted to spend one more night in the mountains, but our Haitian leader, Pastor Ron was not in agreement with us. He did not feel that we would be able to stay up there that long; due to lack of clean water and even more of a lack of bathroom facilities. I am a little bummed about this detail, but know to trust Pastor Ron. All the conditions are less than ideal up there. Our sleeping conditions alone are enough to make most "uneasy" at best. And I know that if we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of others. But it's hard. It's like saying, "we will help you, as long as we aren't too inconvienced." That bothers me a bit. But again, I will trust Pastor Ron. So we will head home Wednesday after our clinic.
Wow, I'm only through Wednesday and this is quite long! I'll explain the rest of the trip later; but I got to get a nap in before tonight's shift!