Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good Bye Haiti – for now

Breakfast at Mont Joli was fresh fruit and eggs. Great. And the cats liked the leftovers. Tiffany gave credit at breakfast to all the team members and remarked on the successes of this mission.
Other noteworthy mentions about the group include:
Carl – most resilient, in the face of no insulin delivery mechanism, shingles, no fridge and an airless blow-up mattress. But, on many levels, our spiritual force. Evidenced by a finessed, final cannonball in the Florida pool.
Linda – more resilient than the most resilient, for comforting the distressed Carl, operating her own pharmacy, and looking like a million bucks through whatever sewers we traversed.
Roxanne – coolest demeanor - in fact she even arrived with a cold which she craftily contrived to secure the best accommodation in BML. Never phased, great voodoo dancer, and tough-skinned mother, whose tears for missing her kids only seemed to fuel her focus on the mission.
Karen – chief of sarcasm and inside thoughts on the outside. This third timer’s love of the mission work was evidenced by her selfless sacrifice of vanity in appearing daily with her crazy hair and daring anyone to cross her in the pharmacy.
Caroline – girl Friday, Saturday, Sunday…- the uncontested winner of the low, mumbling curses award as she configured, reconfigured, deconfigured, and intraconfigured the Haitian method of electricity conduction. The only thing she didn’t add was water, having read up on that before arrival. Yet she couldn’t get Karen’s blow dryer going.
Mel – never phased award – armed with a chest load of pharmaceuticals and an attitude to knock any potential parasite into line, Mel’s front line social work skills had a new application in this challenging setting. And now she will go on to shine even more in the Master’s program that she succeeded admission to while we were away. Way to go, Mel.
Jonathan – Haitian wannabe and presidential candidate - as “Big Papo”, Jon kept the locals laughing, dancing, skipping, and singing. All the while being triage king and attracting every variety of biting Haitian insect known to man.
Sara – calm, cool, collected – obviously well-seasoned to expect the unexpected. We all owe our lives to her as she swam out into the bay to retrieve our wooden boat that washed away unattended. The people of BML would have otherwise had to find means to get to our clinic on the distant Carmel island.
Michelle – social enthusiast and biggest smiler – motivated as much by the medical interests as her interacting with the locals. Able to scale the highest wall as long as there is bathroom on the other side, and always happy to relate her tales.
Tiffany - leader extraordinaire – last to bed, first to rise. (Did she ever really go to bed?) She exemplified the mission’s mission, communicating to the people, in word and deed, a desire to help the people help themselves. Tireless, even with rum in her belly, her work is never done. Sorry Steve. She inspired us all, undoubtedly, to share a passion for Haiti. And she doesn’t look too bad in a plastic cape raincoat either.

Tiffany, thank you.

The airport departure was all that Cap Haitian promised. We were individually weighed in on an antiquated balance scale, papers were stamped, and the “security” was up to par. We were issued boarding passes that varied from laminated cards with large 2 digit numbers, to scraps of notebook paper.
The flight went well. “Homeland” security provided no challenges, and we had drinks at the Kon Tikki bar at the hotel by late afternoon.

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