Our Thursday looked a little bit different from yesterday… as we began our day by delivering water to the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere. Water isn’t free, so Healing Haiti takes a water truck to a “filling station” and fills a large tanker truck for about $25 US dollars. After the truck is full, we make a stop in a neighborhood, filling buckets and containers with clean water. Typically, the children come running as soon as they get sight of a Healing Haiti tap-tap. This day was a bit different for those of us that have been on a water truck trip before, as the crowds were much smaller than usual. Regardless of the size of the crowd, the children still met us as we came down the steps of the tap-tap. These kids enjoy to play games with us, including “hot hands” and hand-clapping rhythym games. Those children that know some English typically ask what your name is and how old you are!
After quick showers and lunch at the guest house, we headed back out to Titanyen, arriving in the heat of the day. Our teams again divided up, with one team seeing a married couple and another team seeing sisters that live in close proximity to each other. We also doubled-back on 2 people that had been seen on our previous two days, with a follow-up dressing change and a therapy visit for a recent hip surgery. We were pleased to see that a request of one of the elders from a previous day was also being addressed, with a bedside commode being delivered to his home. How amazing Queen Jody looked as she rode on the “throne” in the back of the Kubota!
Pierre was our gentleman that was assessed today. We had heard that Pierre likes to dance with his visitors. After finishing his social/mental questionaire, he was asked about his desire to dance. Our interpreter took his phone and played some music, and boy, did Pierre ever begin to “cut a rug!” (His ability to hop up out of his chair and dance sure did make his mobility assessment by PT an easy one!). After his PT assessment and nursing assessment were completed, we all (social worker, PT, and RN) proceeded to dance with him, including a brief period of trying out the Macarena!
At the house of one of the sisters, we had our two Titianyen interpreters, MiCarlos and Josnell lead a worship song. They sang a beautiful song in Creole, and many people near the family’s property were raising their hands and praising God!
Then it was back to the guest house in Port Au Prince for the traditional “Haitian food,” consisting of chicken drumsticks, meatballs, plantains, and an assortment of vegetables—bon gou!!
After dinner, we spent time with our whole team discussing our day, then broke into our groups to discuss the needs of those assessed and a possible plan for going forward. After these group meetings were completed, we prepared for tomorrow, which will be to host a 2-hour “health fair” in Fleri Bakery in Titanyen! We are planning blood pressure checks, wound care, and instruction in basic stretching.
We bought food for the health fair and when there is food, the people will come.
It is almost midnight here and as we finish this post and reflect on the day it is overwhelming to think that just a few hours ago we were providing clean water to a city known for free flowing sewage water in all of the streets. Even for those of us who have been to Haiti before and experienced the poverty, our hearts are burdened with the reality that is Cite Soleil. Pray with us for the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere and for all the needs of our Elders. We look forward to updating you about our Health Fair. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday!.
Your Elder Medical Missions Team