Board of Directors
What is success??
Hello everyone - we have returned from this past trip January 11. I think sometimes we try to measure our success from one trip to the next -
Serving patients: Sometimes we count the number of patients we see. This year it was 1,524 - Vava pulled 160 teeth in 5 days and had 13 more to do after we left. We referred 26 patients for surgical consults at Haitian Christian Mission in Fond Parision. (goiters, hernias, breast masses, etc) Team member Tanya Oberg returns with them in May.
Providing medicine: We carried about 1000 pounds of medicine and supplies with us - many that would treat fungal and wound infections, hypertension, skin burns and lots of pain relief, among the many other conditions
Haitian Rice: This trip we purchased Haitian rice, despite the greater effort to attain it. Billy drove > 3 hours to Gonaives in the north and when he DID get it the bags came in 115 kg bags - 230# apiece. 10 bags later we distributed over a ton of rice plus oil & noodles to each family. And we did it without undercutting the local farmers so they could directly reap the harvest. (when the value of the gourde is now 67: $1.00 ( last year's record high was at 45:1 this becomes a measure of successs
Connection and touch: If you ask the translators, drivers and security, they will quickly note their appreciation for coming to help "our people." To them our visit is not defined by placing a "band-aid" so that there is a temporary solution. 2 villages we visited had not experienced ANY prior health care. Our daily travel is grueling - 2+ hours 1 way on a road sprawling with potholes and broken concrete; cars and motorcycles that honk and blow dirty exhaust, as many sit on the rice in the back of the flat-bed truck to get there. But to THEM it will make a difference. A woman will get to the hospital for ? cholera, families will get a home visit if they can't get to the clinic and these young translators will go home at night knowing their aunts and cousins and grandmothers can breathe a sigh of relief tonight at having been visited.
You decide: We return to our homes, our families and our "routine" with switches and faucets that guarantee lights and water, tables full with 3 meals in 24 hours. in vehicles with comfortable seats and no dust, exhaust and dysentery in the air. My son Elijah says what he enjoyed the most was in "helping people" and knowing we could make a difference. I'm not sure how we can sometimes "measure" our success but I'm glad once again to have the prayer and financial support for 18 people to make those connections. Bonje Bene' Nou (God Bless you)
Kay Anderson Vice President CHAMPs in Haiti