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).
Teri is the President of CHAMPs in Haiti. A nurse of 30 years, it has been my dream to make a difference in the lives of others through mission work. The Feb 2016 trip will be my 3rd to Haiti!