Saturday, July 24, 2010

An Update from Jacmel

Bonjou from Haiti!

My name is Madelin and I am a first time volunteer with Haiti Village Health. Two other volunteers, Sarah and Catherine, and I have just moved into the guesthouse in Jacmel with Namita to help her and Mona's efforts in the town. We are all very excited to be here and help in any way that we can.

Being only a couple of days into my stay, I would have to say that my first impression of Haiti is that it is a beautiful island with beautiful people who have unfortunately been condemned to such a dire situation. Despite the fact that the earthquake took place over six months ago, there is still a lot of work to be done. Regardless of their struggles however, all of the Haitians that I have met thus far have been so warm and friendly. Truly an inspiration.

Here at the guesthouse, we are currently in preparation for the opening of our new clinic in Chabin, just outside of Jacmel. Today, we just finished putting together some cards which will be used to give patients access to the clinic. They will be distributed tomorrow morning. 168 cards each were created for pregnant women, children under five and elders, totalling 504 cards. These individuals will receive free access to the clinic. An additional 324 were made that can be purchased for 50gds (approximately USD$1.25) for the rest of the general public. These cards will be reused once they have been brought in by the patients. The clinic opening is currently scheduled for August 2nd.

Tomorrow, we are planning to pay a visit to one of the local tent camps in Jacmel called Pinchinat. These camps have been set up to provide temporary housing to those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. This is sure to be an experience as I’ve heard that the conditions there are extremely grim.

I will be staying in Jacmel over the next month and will be sure to follow up in the coming weeks with more updates regarding our efforts and experiences.

Until next time,
Madelin Rocheleau