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Haiti-My first Medical Mission I'm helping Midwives for Haiti to educate skilled birth attendants. Haiti has the highest mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. Here is where I will write daily journals of my adventure.

Day 7

HAITI | Monday, 14 November 2016 | Views [331]

Day 7-  Clinic, the dam and a movie


Today there are no bells. There really is no rhyme or reason to why, how or how many bells are rung. If the bells ring, then mass will be held. Today the girls are pretty recovered. Very minor sickness. However, one of the others is sick today. She isn’t vomiting or having diarrhea, she just feels ‘off’. Her belly is rumbling. We think she didn’t get sick because all of the girls except me started taking cipro prophylactically. I didn’t start it because I often have to take cipro for my kidney and badder issues and I don’t want to become sensitized to it. I only want to take it if I need to. So the new sick girl stays in bed as we get ready for the day and eat breakfast. Breakfast is the plaintains in water again. I am the only one who eats it. I slice it up and place Haitian peanut butter on it. It isn’t that bad. There is also bread and I eat a slice or two of that. Coffee with the powdered creamer I brought from home. That was one of the ‘must have’s’ for this trip, coffee and creamer. I borrowed a perculator from a friend, thanks Nicole! But we haven’t needed to use it.  We clean up after breakfast and when I walk down to clean the dishes, there is our security guard, with a dead baby goat. He is getting ready to process it. Caught me totally off guard. That is twice this week I have walked down there and see our meals being prepped from the recent kill. I hate to see it but I am a carnivore.

 I walk down for clinic and Fafa is there for breakfast and we feed him. He leaves shortly after. There are only 3 patients waiting for us. We do vital signs, weights, pull records and give this info to the patient on a sticky note to give to the midwives. I assist with a visit with a 28 weeker. I check fundal height, 25 weeks. It seems like every fundal height I do is much smaller than expected. I know it is because these babies are small. I do leopolds and assess fetal position. I doppler fetal heart tones, 140’s. Baby starts to move all over. Momma starts to giggle. She is given prenatal vitamins for the month and education is given. Similar to what other patients receive. What to eat, what to watch out for, things to avoid etc. A couple more patients arrive and we see them.  Today is the slowest day of all. We sit around and wait for more patients but they don’t come.  Soon lunch is ready. It’s early but only because we will be going to the dam during lunch time.  Our sick girl has missed clinic and will miss this afternoon’s activities. Lunch is a yummy okra and meat dish with rice. This is the 2nd time we have had it and I loved it. This time though, I am very scared to eat. 3 of us 5 girls have gotten food poisoning. I pick through and eat some okra and rice. There is also the runny bean dish. I place the bean sauce over my rice and most of us just eat rice. It is pretty yummy. After lunch we get ready to go to the dam. I am excited to swim. It is so humid everyday and getting into the water will be nice. Slowly, 5 mototaxi’s arrive. We all pick a moto and get on. Shani and I are on one. We are pretty nervous. Our sick girl stays behind to take a nap. Off we go. We are told its about a 20-30 min ride. I am in the middle. Instantly I am hit with the aroma of this man’s armpits. Holy smokes it is bad. I try really hard to place my head in the direction that is not going to smell it. Shani is holding on to me tight and I am holding on to him tight. I am squished. We are going down a hill and Shani and I are sliding forward into this poor man. He keeps getting pushed up. I start to squeeze my thighs hard against the seat so I don’t slide more. I want to adjust myself but I can’t move. The road is so rocky and bumpy. This continues for the rest of the long ride. We went through a few streams and a river. Haitians were bathing and washing clothing. We are quite the spectical. We are looked at by everyone. We got off the bike at one point and walked up a hill. Too steep for us to ride up. Back on the bike and a couple times after going through streams the tires would be wet and slip on the rocks. At one point, the bike handle bars were ripped out of the drivers hands and we started to head towards a steep embankment. Off the cliff we would’ve gone but he gained control. Oh crap that was scary. We finally arrive to the dam and get off the bikes. Walking towards the water it looks there is a beach. Littered with bottles, shoes and to go boxes. But when we get closer, we realize that is debris that has disposed of and floated to the dam wall. It looks like you can walk on it it’s so thick. We can’t swim there so we follow a trial a ways around the shoreline. The scenery and view are beautiful. Unfortunately, as far as we can see, there is debris and it wouldn’t be smart to go in the water. We head back to the dam and walk across it. We snap some photos and go back to the mototaxis. This time I am on one by myself. Much easier but still terrifying. My hands hurt from holding on the bars white knuckled all the way back. Up and down and around corners. But we arrive safely. We relax for awhile  on the patio and I hear my name called. I stand up and see my kiddo there. He wants me to look at his knee and his friend’s knee. I head down there and his knee if healed well. His friends knee needs cleaning and bandaid. But he won’t let me do it. He points to another boy’s knee. It is badly infected. Oh boy. This poor kiddo. I examine it and get what I need to clean it and bandage it. Then I take care of the other boys knee. This will be the last time I do it because I leave the next day. We take a picture and we hang out with them.

We find out that Father Blot has turned off the water pump again. I guess he wants an additional $15 per volunteer. I don’t know how much money they are giving him already but that is alot of money in Haiti. So, Mario and Randall grab many 5 gallon buckets, climb on the roof, and all the men take turns filling and handing up the buckets til the reservoir is filled. Funny though, not too much longer after that, Father Blot turned back on the water pump. I ask Mario why he did that and he said that Father Blot saw that I can do it without him. After some down time, we are alerted that dinner is ready. We are hungry and our girl is feeling better. However, no one wants to eat the food. Dinner is the hotdogs that have been sitting on the hut shelf for 2 days, covered in ants inside and outside the package, fried plantains and potatoes. Bread and peanut butter. We whisper ‘dont eat the hotdogs’!!!!! So, not much of a meal. We understand why this is happening. Father Blot took the cooks away right before we got there. But we have paid alot of money to be here and some of that is supposed to go towards our food. I am excited to get to Hinche so I can eat without fear. We clean up and settle in for the night. I start to blog and others are reading or listening to podcasts. After a while, we decide to watch a movie. Emily has Mad max downloaded onto her computer. So all 5 of us gather around the small screen and watch it. Not a bad movie! After the movie we are all tired and do the nightly routine. Malarone, fans, essential oils and nets. Lights out. I play on my phone til I’m tired and go to sleep. 

Tags: dam, haiti

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