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.
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!