Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Today our travels took us to the small town of Gallate Chambon about 45 minutes from HCM. With visions of the spent bus on our minds from the day before, we loaded old faithful with the utmost hope for a smooth journey. Of course, “smooth” it was not. The dirt and rocky roads provided a bumpy journey but a complete one as we arrived with no incident … until we parked. Before we could park at our destination, the bus driver had to maneuver the hulking vehicle through a stone gate the size of a small driveway that the average driver would shudder to attempt to drive a mini-Cooper through. The skilled bus driver gained the respect of the entire team as he backed the bus in, avoiding the walls and the well which was a few feet inside the gate. As the team unloaded the bus, we were greeted with a surprise. As a small twist our clinic was set up in a school, and we were welcomed by nearly 100 wide-eyed children. The children lined up eager for treatment, but there were no parents in sight. With our goal to provide the same quality of care as we would back home, our Creole speaking teammates set out to gather the community. Partnering with the headmaster of the school, they combed the community for family and friends alerting them that we were setting up a clinic. Shortly after, we were up and running with a line out the door of students and family members ready to be treated. As we worked through the 166 patients, we treated everything from pediatric fungal infections to adults with hypertensive emergency. OB\GYN went above and beyond educating young females on feminine hygiene and treating a variety of STDs. The dental team had a busy day as well performing oral examinations on our patients and extracting infected teeth that were causing discomfort and putting them at risk for serious complications. And so our clinic day came to a close and we packed up our belongings to head back to HCM, but not before handing out toys to the kids and making our way through the daunting exit. Our journey back was blissfully uneventful and we made it back to HCM before dark. So our evening ended with a futbol match vs the locals, delicious dinner provided by the wonderful HCM staff, and a brief talk on common skin infections and treatment presented by Dr. Carter. Today was a great day, we saw a lot of patients and most importantly took every opportunity to provide the best care we could. In doing so we created many memories with our patients, our Haitian friends, and the whole Project Haiti team.

With love from Haiti,

Lisa, Marisa, Jonathan, Ben