Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haiti Day ?

We flew from Haiti to Puerto Rico for fuel and food and then on to
Atlanta where we landed about 9pm Tuesday. I couldn't help tearing up
a bit seeing the US flag. Ninety-five percent of the aid on ground in
Haiti currently (according to what I saw with my own eyes, this is not
an official stat) is from the United States and/or faith based
orgaizations.

Haiti Day ?

One last glimpse back at this sweet but suffering country. I am
forever changed by this experience. I hope you have been moved,
informed, inspired, or at least amused by my feeble attempt to
document this trip in real-ish time by blogging.

Haiti Day ?

Delta is my new favorite airline. After 21 hours at the Port au Prince
airport, a charter flight from Delta came in with thousands of pounds
of supplies and volunteers. The good people of Delta agreed to let us
ride back with them! Also on the flight were 52 navy personnel who
had been on the USS Comfort for one month doing surgeries and
providing care to the Haitians.

Haiti day ?

Erin and Julia (pedi nurse and crisis counselor, respectively) were
rediculously chipper ( perhaps delerious) in the morning. More peanut
butter and " iced coffee" anyone?

Haiti day 8: Going home

Our fearless leader, Dan, approached every plane that came in through
the night and begged them to take us back to the states. There were
only 6 or so, and most of them were from Europe.

Haiti Day 8: Going home

Our options were limited. We couldn't go back to QCS as our campsite
was already taken and public transportation in Port au Prince is
still pretty much non existant. We considered hiring a driver to bus
us to the Dominican Republic, but we couldn't find one big enough and
the state department discourages night travel across the border due to
bus highjackings and robberies. So, we camped out at the airport.
The guards let us go through security so we could sleep on the benches
on the Tarmac and have access to the porta potties as there is no
plumbing still in the airport. This is where our survival skills came
in handy-ish as we had to survive on our dehydrated food and rationed
water.

Haiti Day 8: going Home

Here is the line in front of us.

Haiti Day 8: going home

Our egress from Haiti was extraordinarily difficult. We arrived at the
airport at around 5 pm on Monday on the hopes of hopping on a military
flight back to the states. Unfortunately, we were about 150 deep in
line behind other expats. This is my team.

Haiti Day 8: going home

Toussant L'Overture International Airport from the paddy wagon.

Haiti Day 8: going home

Zoom in and you will see a satellite dish next to this tent. Glad to
see this person/family has their priorities in order.

Haiti Day 8: going home

Team members Adam and Erin in our mesh paddy wagon on the way to the
airport. We piled all our stuff in and then rode on top of it through
Port au Prince one last time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Haiti day 7: Though the mountains may shake

"Though the mountains may shake and the hills be removed, my steadfast
love for you shall not be shaken, and my covenenant of peace shall not
be removed," says the Lord who has compassion on you.

Haiti day 7: Though the mountains may shake

Haiti Day 7: though the mountains may shake

Even though we saw over 500 patients this week, there were folks we
couldn't get to. It was hArd to turn folks awAy. Thankfully, there
are still some workers And inixs here and more on the wAy.

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

One of favorite groupies of the week!

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

Saying goodbye to new friends is never easy. This is me with Gianni,
my awesome interpreter who worked with me l week. I could stay here
forever. It is so hard to leave as there is so much to be done!

Haiti Day 7: though the mountains may shake

The way we roll

Haiti day 7

Solidarity... Seen in graffiti all over Port au Prince

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

videoPart deux

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

videoA video clip of the shanties and homes near Diquini taken from the
back of the truck. The sound of hammers this morning sounds like
music to my ears!

Haiti Day 7: though the mountains may shake

I was heartened to see rebuiling this morning!

Haiti Day 7: though the mountains may shake

Shoe market

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

An art vendor displays his wears

Haiti Day 7: Though the mountains may shake

Haiti day 7: though the mountains may shake

It was a great ride to Diquini Monday morning. The streets were full
of people again after the three days of fasting and prayer and there
were signs of life: the markets were open, the vendors were out in
full force, and the traffic was intense. Despite these hopeful sights
and sounds, the Haitian flag remains at half mast near the palace at
city center.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange land

videoOur digs, part deux

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange land

videoOur digs

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange Land

QCS staff

Haitit Day 6: strangers in a strange land

Chow time

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange land

Oh yeah, baby

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange land

Dinner (and breakfast and lunch) most days

Haiti Day 6: strangers in a strange land

Nurse extraordinaire Mark and cuteness having a moment.

Haiti Day 6:strangers in a strange land

This is Billy, one of our interpreters, and his beautiful family.

Haiti day 6: strangers in a strange land

I took care of this precious family on Sunday who are suffering
greatly as a result of the catastrophe; please pray they would find
regular sources of food and shelter.

Haiti Day 6 strangers in a strange land

Hogs and goats roam freely in the city streets

Haiti day 6: strangers in a strange land

A demolir = for demolition

Haiti day 6: strangers in a strange land

The people here wear white to worship here... So beautiful. Caught
his family on their way home from church.

Haiti day 6: Strangers in a strange land

A splash of color on a beautiul Sunday morning along an otherwise
devastate street.

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange land

Haiti Day 6: strangers in a strange land

Haiti day 6: strangers in a strange land

Thought this tap-tap on the way to clinic Sunday was interesting...
"ready to die?" it reads .

Haiti Day 6: strangers in a strange

The team next door from Baltimore ordered pizza and Heines Sat night :(

Haiti Day 6: Strangers in a strange land

Door to our classroom on right.

Haiti day 6: strangers in a strange land

Haiti Day 6: strangers in a strange land

Some of you may be wondering where we are staying. We are camped out
at Quesqueya Christian School which is serving as base camp for about
200 medical relief workers from all over the world. There are teams
here from europe, japan, aruba, and the US. This place is amazing...
They are coordinating many of the medical needs with us volunteer
providers for the whole country. The boys tent it, and us girls have
a classroom where we sleep on mats and bags with mosquito nets. Our
room has a sink and a toilet with wAter that works most of the time.
We shower in group showers outside and have electricity. They serve
us one hot meal a day which is always rice and beans. Here is the
laundry facility!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Haiti day 5: aftershocks

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask
and think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the
glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
forever and ever. Amen."

Ephesians 3:20-21

HAiti day5:aftershocks

We drove he thru what used to be down town. It is now a ghost town.
All the buildings are in rubble or have been burned. Folks are
burning trash in the streets which gives an eerie feel to the gutted
former center of commerce. It also only partially obscures the scent
of decaying bodies.

Haiti day 5: aftershocks

When we arrived only 10% of the city had electricity. Now almost 20%
does. See the street lights we witnessed driving home? Haiti
hasn't seen steeetlights in one month... Puts Ike to shame .

Haiti Day 5: aftershocks

We had a really tough day at clinic. We saw over 125 patients in the
still malfunctioning and now rather stinky tent. The first patient I
saw was septic and bolused him 2liters of ivfs on the spot and the day
got rougher from there. I saw horrible STDs, had to tell a lady
displaced to the streets who has nothing that she is having another
baby, a baby with severe neurological sequelae from a congenital
infection who has no hope of meaningful long-term recovery, and a baby
suffering from bad pneumonia and dehydration who we couldn't
adequately treat , to name a few. Plus, I wasn't feeling well and
started myself on some antibiotics. I shed my first tears of the trip
after climbing into the truck at almost 6pm. I just feel so
inadequate and helpless.

These sweetnesses were in line with me at the latrine after lunch!

Haiti day 5: aftershocks

These colorful buses, " tap taps" serve as taxis around town but are
currently being used to transport large numbers of Haitians out of the
city to God knows where.

Haiti day 5: aftershocks

The UN distributes rice every morning outside the football stadium.
Only women are allowed in line as men may riot. Notice the women in
this pic with supplies on their heads.

Haiti day 5: aftershocks

I have seen humans digging through piles of refuse like this at the
same time that pigs and goats are scrounging for a morsel.
Unbelievable,

Haiti day 5: aftershocks

Sqatters in tent city near city center.