Sunday, May 24, 2009

Friday, May 22nd...on my way home

For many of the team, it was a day of sadness. Leaving their new-found friends and Haiti behind. For me, a day to reflect on all that had been accomplished and to further consolidate this process of networking with the other organizations.

We boarded a small plane in Jacmel which flew us the 15 minute trip into the Port au Prince airport. We were soon at the International terminal, on our way back to our homes.

I was able to contact my good friend, Etienne Bruni, who runs an orphanage in PAP and he paid me a visit at the airport. I've visited his orphanage several times before and he does an incredible job with the children. Unfortunately, the last 6 months have been a very difficult time for his orphanage and finances are very tight. It was sad to hear his stories of struggling to provide meals for the children. The orphanage has great potential, but once again sponsorship is the key to keeping it running. I was able to give a small contribution to help, but hopefully soon a larger partner will be able to provide long term support. trip was coming close to an end. Did I do all that I had set out to? Yes, and more. With the help of Verbo and the Haitian Timoun Foundation I was able to arrange more meetings with both government official and civilians to get a much better idea of the political situation regarding healthcare in the country. By visiting the smaller rural clinics and speaking with the young doctors in their internship year, I can now understand their needs and their struggles.

My next step is to work on a proposal for the Ministry of Health. This would include our program for education with foreign NGO groups, as well as the Dokte chak semann or rotating doctor program which would get young interns further into the remote areas, but also allow them to work alongside foreign visiting medical teams. A website will follow after that to link NGOs working in the Southeast area of Haiti. I've already partnered with two other organizations, Haiti Connection and Medical Mission Exchange to consolidate our information rather than duplicate.

It will be a busy summer, and though I will not return to Haiti until November, I feel the networking that I'm building is key to better long term health care for the Haitian population.

Stay tuned for updates.

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