La Fierere: A village beyond the Homeland clinic and what feels like "going to the top and over to the other side." The report was correct: that it is a 1 mile walk in - the road OUT is more uphill and obviously a little more strenuous. But all of us did just fine. BEAUTIFUL countryside ridge with green and color in the fields. Whether by instruction or by wisdom over the years, the hillside is well covered with terrace gardening; no erosion with the rains and it seems along the path there were segments of healthy families with self-sustaining crops.
The pictures will be self-explanatory. But as the trucks get to the end of where they can go, the kids and adults gathered around awaiting the bag retrieval. Full bags typically were >30 lb and some were as much as 60. The first full suitcase was set down and a 60+ year old woman in a white dress grabbed up the bag and with 1 other person to help lugged it up onto her head. The first 50 yes go up so most of us were tired carrying either ourselves or a couple gallon bags of rice in our backpacks. The kids and this woman did just fine with full sack cloths of rice, 5 gallon bottles of water and all of our supplies. Amazing. Today I saw a woman who had left sided pain and numbness in her arm (likely a bulging disk or cervical spine problem. There is no wonder these folks suffer with back and disk problems as they carry nearly everything on their head).
We saw a total of 332 patients in about 7 hours. The clinic was more spacious than we though and the breeze and much cooler day, up on the hill, was a real treat. Everybody walked off the mountain sweating, smiling and content to have served with these people. (There is a little sickness here with a couple people. Dawn is on her 4th trips with us and for the first time, GI illness has set in. She is much better today after a liter of IV fluids from the Arizona ER team and a night of rest.)
Friday was to Haiti Free School - again up the hill; the 3rd trip Champs has made to this community. There has been a lot of rain (everywhere) and the final entrance to this village was totally blocked by a river of water. A few decided to jump through the water to cross; but the mud and water won out for most of us. The People jumped in the back of trucks and they barreled across without any problem. All in the fun. School was a in session and we saw at least 300 people total by 3:30 today.
Tomorrow we leave and it's clear there will be questions about details with the twice-monthly clinics but I am confident our board decisions about supporting self-sustaining clinics is the right thing. The logistics of the electronic record will also come together. We will finalize the education of the system in the morning.
Last clinic will be on the Homeland property. Can't wait to spend one more day with the local residents.
Enjoy the pictures and our memories for the week. Bonje' bene' Uo. (God bless you).
We are truly at an exciting juncture here. Traveled up to the HOMELAND property in 55 minutes (traffic was great) and set up our clinic in a spacious clinic space that is 200-250 feet long by 60 or so. Covered with a nice roof – two private rooms in the back and the rest is open space.. REALLY Nice. Today, as expected was a quieter day. I didn’t count sheets but expect we saw about 175 patients. Dr. Peterson is here, saw patients and by tonight he is well accustomed to the electronic medical record. Oddly enough he is interested for more reasons than one; says his own hospital is NOT utilizing an electronic record either; he is interested in sharing this.
The sweet part is again, we are having an easier night because, aside from meds that need to be re-checked and re-stocked, we have left all our medical supplies in the space.
(OK the rain is getting serious. People have made a run for it to their rooms, to
find their ROOMS FLOODED! May have to finish this later…
Our drive up to the mountain this morning was next to Pepe’ one of the translators and a HOME team member. He spoke at length about the government situation and protesting. The “Petrol tax” (tariff) stems back 14 years to Venezuela; The international bank regulates products and value that is imported and exported from countries; obviously, Haiti has less to export. And this “fee” that was basically loaned to the country, has been unpaid and mounting, with interest attached. So, the govt
was/is forced to forward this tax to citizens. The problem sounds very similar to the US. Those “with” seem not to pay their fair share, despite sending their kids to private schools and reaping the majority of income to the people. We already know about the protests that blew after the tariff hit (50% increase in petrol price.) The president scaled it back after 36 hours because people were getting
killed, road blocked and several businesses raided. They have a KWIK Trip-like “Deli Mart” that is a chain and somehow tied to government subsidy. Nearly all deli-marts still have destruction residual.
Pepe’ says October 17 commemorates a Holiday of sorts tied to a historical war hero. That day is now tagged as the next “Large protest”. Some fear that with the increasing tension, “at some point” there will be a revolution where the people just “won’t take it anymore.” The problem was 3 decades ago this country enjoyed a pristine infrastructure, 24/7 electricity and an economy where most could prosper. The problem was it was run by a dictatorship; if you didn’t follow the government rules and mandates, you “would just find yourself dead,” Pepe’s words.
The exchange rate today is 69 gourdes to $1.00. A kid was selling cold water on the street, Wendy stuck her hand out with 50 gd and he handed her a coke. THEN he started to chase the truck she only received 1 bottle of coke (20 oz) He handed her another one – clearly 50 gd (Less than $1.00) was worth 2 bottles of coke! And this 10 year old kid was one honest Haitian; OK. Still raining hard; the towels under the doors are in place; Gilbert says the rain could be an all-nighter. All the team members have dashed to their rooms; the Haitians are sitting behind me dancing and singing with Haitian music. I love it. I love this place. Good night.
Kay Anderson President "I am a critical care nurse at Mayo Clinic-Rochester. Over an 18-year span of trips, my greatest joy is to see a free-standing clinic open year round. I am so grateful to all volunteers and financial supporters who have helped Village Triano to know and FEEL quality health care."