I’ve seen some beautiful places in Haiti, but Breau (pronounced “ba-wo”) has to be one of the fairest of them all.
Today we did a mobile medical clinic approximately 2 hours away from Marigot. I started off feeling tired and sluggish (always a warning sign for me -a total morning person- to slow down). I tried to plow ahead by packing up the clinic supplies for the change of venue. I had some breakfast at Gabby’s but felt ill with every mouthful. I’ve been doing medical trips long enough in Haiti to know I had a stomach bug. I started sweating profusely as we drove out of town. Jeremy gave me anti-nausea meds and Greg told me stories which helped to distract me. I saw the scenery turn from busy streets to “Mountains Beyond Mountains”.
When we arrived we were greeted by the patients with big smiles. The clinic was held on the site of a church that was destroyed in the earthquake. The minister and church members were incredibly hospitable. I, unfortunately, was growing a lot more ill. I managed to see patients for about two hours before I needed to lay down. The minister had a bed carried from his home to a shady spot outside of the patient area for me to lay down. Greg recognized the dehydration right away and gave me more water, anti-nausea meds and antibiotics. Sonson had coconuts cut down and I drank right out of the coconut. Even as I was unable to see many patients, the team managed to see about 150 patients in just a few hours. They were a-m-a-z-i-n-g. My favorite patient of the day was a woman who was nine months pregnant. When she sat down, I smiled at her and the cute little boy next to her, but she didn’t smile back. She hadn’t felt her baby move in three days. She had multiple children (so no first pregnancy jitters). She was scared. I felt her fear and it took me back to my pregnancy with Braden. I was in the hospital no less than 13 times for preterm labor and complications. During one of these visits, Braden wasn’t responding to a fetal stimulation test, and I feared the worst. The doctor, on the other hand, offered me a chocolate bar. She said we would recheck his test after I had eaten the bar. A little while later, he was moving like a jack rabbit and my fears evaporated. So, I said a little prayer and reached into my bag and found a chocolate bar. I must have sounded crazy telling her to eat the bar, as my doctor had done. I kept examining her for other signs of maternal complications but she was healthy on exam. While palpating the position of the baby, I felt it, a very strong kick from her baby to my hand. The mom and I looked at each other and smiled. I have had some difficulties in my life, but it’s moments like that when I am sure there is a reason.
After the clinic was over, the ladies of the church made a delicious meal of traditional Haitian foods. I could only eat a little, but I have some of Greg’s pictures below. I am going to get some much needed rest. Goodnight from Haiti.