On Sunday, I arrived in the beautiful town of Marigot, Haiti. Marigot has wild beaches and blue green water. It is stunning. I started my day at 2:50am and arrived near 6:00pm. After my flight arrived into Port-Au-Prince, I was met by an airport security official who allowed me to enter the country with medications...for a small fee. Thankfully, it was only $40. He also helped me get the wheelchair in, so all-in-all, not bad. A woman approached me in the airport and surprised me by knowing who I was. She was part of the team I am staying with. Joy, was aptly named. Funny and positive, I immediately liked her. As we waited for the rest of the team to arrive from Toledo, Ohio, we had great conversation while trying to avoid the taxi drivers that swarm around you at the exit of the airport. Also while waiting, we were able to hand off the wheelchair to the ASAD clinic staff who will give it to the little boy. When the rest of the team arrived, we started the 30 kilometer - 3 hour drive across the mountains. In typical Haitian fashion, 10 of us loaded into the car with all of our luggage on top. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone. Kettlie Daniels, beautiful in body and spirit, is a Haitian-born doctor with a passion for her country. Her organization (CFOD) built a clinic, dormitory (complete with solar panels), library and soon to have computers for the local children. She wants to create jobs, improve the health for Marigot, develop a creative way to manage trash... Seriously, she is unstoppable and so great to be around. Her family (siblings, cousins, etc) live and/or vacation in Marigot, so I had the opportunity to see where some of that energy comes from. They laugh a lot and are warm and tease each other constantly. Her children, also on the trip, mirror her spirit and intelligence. That evening we went to work packing medications for the next day. We finally called it quits after 11:00pm and I collapsed into a deep sleep.
The next day was easy with a nice, easy flow at the clinic. Patients came in dressed in their finest clothes. The donations from my friends and family made me smile as I eased the pain of a 80 year old woman who had been in a traffic accident. So many pain complaints. They have to carry enormous buckets of water up hills for great distances. Their knees are under constant assault. Can any of us imagine working so hard to survive?
I woke up this morning so sad to be leaving but my 3+ hour drive to the airport was filled with car-dancing and Kreyòl lessons from the driver, Ronald. I boarded the plane so happy to know it will only be five months before I will return.
I want to thank all of you for your support. Kettlie will continue to see patients this week and the medication will be used well.
Back to work tomorrow :-(