Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day 5
You should all know we have been eating very well, sweating a lot, and even getting the occasional swim in. The evenings have been filled with great social time with our translators-teaching us songs, dancing, and Haitian card games. Some of us stay up later than others. The night owls would include Jonathan, Michelle, Mel and Sarah…and Tiffany hard at work. The 8:30pm crowd Caroline, Karen, & the Hudson’s, slept in a room together luckily…. But they all did not get equal amounts of sleep…ZZZZZZZ Carl you know what we mean (February had Pat we have Carl)! Electricity continues to be an ongoing issue. Steve got me up to speed and showed me the ropes, long distance. How does that old song go…the generator is connected to the charger, the charger is connected to the batteries, the batteries run in parallel…and something about solar panels! When in doubt call an electrician in St. John’s…Newfoundland! Thanks loads to Jim who can always be counted on. In the end we had power which enabled us to chart well into the night and see what delights we were eating.

We awaken before sunrise, but never in our days do we see a sunrise or a sunset as time does not allow. Today is a full work day. This is what it’s like in triage-the next station in the clinic after registration. Patients are assessed initially, vital signs are done, and it is determined whether they need to go on to see the doctor or to go home with a few of the medications which we routinely distribute to combat, worms, vitamin deficiencies, heartburn, and general pains.

Sarah, our seasoned paramedic reports triage to be a pleasure and very rewarding. She enjoyed working with the young and the old but had a soft spot in her heart for the young children. “Seeing their smiling faces, after giving them toys, will forever leave a positive, lasting, impression of Haiti.”

Michelle our new nurse extraordinaire relates the following thoughts about her experience. “Triage was a great opportunity to get to know local Haitians. I really enjoyed triaging the children and it was a great feeling knowing that I am helping others. To see the smiles on their faces and see how much they appreciate everything was a great eye opener for me.”

Jonathan veteran HTFH paramedic, better known locally as “Big Papo” says that working at the BML “Sante pou ou” (the new health clinic) was great. He taught Mel the lab duties and spent most of his time triaging and entertaining the Haitian people. The new patients were great and friendly and the returning ones were happy to see him and he them. Some of them remembered him by his Haitian nickname (see big white guy translation above). His fondest memory was when he triaged an elderly couple on day one. The gentleman returned three days later bearing coconuts as a gift saying if I could return again and help him he could give me some more coconuts (he did, in fact, return 10 minutes later to ask for his burlap bag back!) John says he loves the Haitian people anpil – this team thinks it’s mutual.

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