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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, 16 October 2017 | Views [213]

Day 7~ Morning walk, Matron training, Waterfall adventure, evening stroll with Haitian children, and game night


No need for an alarm, I am not able to sleep in. I wake up and head out to the kitchen. Grab some coffee and something to eat. It’s beautiful outside so I decide to go for a walk. I decide to walk behind the house. The last time we walked back there, a man followed us. I thought maybe one of the security guards asked him to watch over us but the other ladies were nervous so we came back. I walk up the dirt round. It’s not an easy walk because there are large rocks in the dirt and you have to watch where your walking. Many moto’s drive by with school children on them. Kids of all ages are walking to school which is located on a hill about 3 hundred yards behind the house. There are all probably wondering why a ‘blan’ woman is walking alone. I’m not at all nervous, these people know we are here to help them and treat us like movie stars.

I get to the top of the hill and go sit down. Before long, I have a crowd around me. They are all just wanting to be next to me and a girl touches my hair. I’m taking pictures of the scenery. Its misty or fogging like and its beautiful. The young girl motions like she wants to take my picture. I give her my camera and unfortunately, I’m facing the sun so the picture didn’t turn out well. But I still love it. A teenager comes over and speaks a little bit of English to me. It’s welcomed. I enjoy being within the community and be around the Haitian people.

I sit on the hill and realized I have a rash on the top of my foot. I had noticed my foot was itchy but just thought it was a bug bite. Now I have these raised papules that look fluid filled but aren’t. I think I have had this before because it looks familiar. I hope it’s nothing contagious or serious. In the matter of 15 minutes, the mist is gone and the kids are slowly going into the school. I look at the time and its 8am. We are leaving for matron training at 9am so I need to get back to the house to get ready. I say goodbye to the kids and start to walk back. Its already very humid and I’m sweating everywhere.

I pack up a small bag of snacks and grabbed one of the prepared makeup bags I have in case I see someone I want to give it to. I put on my One Nurse at a Time t-shirt and finish getting ready. Everyone starts to jump into the jeep that we have gotten back from Port au Prince. It has been fixed, thankfully.  There are 2 students in there and one of them is Sheila. I worked with her in Cambestor last year and she remembers me. There is also a midwife and 2 translators, Sara and the 4 of us girls. It’s a very full jeep.

We head out and quickly arrive to the outside gates of a nun’s house. Ronel honks the horn a few times but no one answers. He gets out of the car and goes and opens the gate. We drive into this nice compound with various buildings and people walking around. Most are workers. The nun does come over and talks to some of the people with us. There are a few matrons waiting on us. Some have traveled for hours to get here. They take their job very seriously and want to learn more.

We wait while the building the training is happening is wept. While we wait, we take some pictures of us and the area. Soon, it’s time to go in. The set-up is very quick. They start out with a prayer and the matron song. The song is about of the warning signs in pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. The training today is shoulder dystocia and delivery of the placenta. The matrons are giving strict guidelines of what to do when a placenta doesn’t easily deliver, what to do in a dystocia and what not to do. Its great training. Megan even gets on the floor and pretends to be a patient so they can practice. All the matrons say they have never seen a dystocia and I believe that because most babies are very small from maternal malnutrition. At the end, the matrons are called up and they tell the midwife how many deliveries they have had the last month. For every delivery, the get another delivery kit. For example, if they deliver 6 babies, they get 6 kits. They also get 100 gourdes, are about 80-90 cents, to pay for a moto taxi back to their home.

As we are leaving, an elderly woman about 70 is sitting down outside the building we are in. She rubs her belly indicating she is hungry. I feel bad because I just ate my snacks despite not really being hungry, just bored. Then I remember I have a makeup bag and it has some hygiene products in it and a granola bar. So, I give that to the woman and shelly translates for me. I also notice she doesn’t have shoes. I’m not going anywhere but into the jeep and back to the house. I have purposely brought extra shoes to give away as last year I had given a lot away to kids who didn’t have shoes. I take my shoes off and give them to the woman. She thanks me and tries hard to get them on. Her feet are wide and swollen but she manages to get them on.

She thanks me and we take a photo. I am pleased she will have some shoes now.

We all climb back into the jeep. The drive in about 5-10 mins back to the house.

We get back to the house and get ready to leave again. We are headed to the waterfall, about 45-minute drive, for the afternoon. We pack snacks, change of clothes and water. We are all really excited to go.

On the way, we pick up one of the new translators, Plaisir. We drive through town and into the countryside. It’s a beautiful drive and Haiti is such a beautiful place. Soon, we have arrived to the gate to the waterfall. A few men have been running behind the jeep and I mention they are going to collect money from us.

The sign says $5 US dollars for foreigners. We pull out $5 but Plaisir says he will take the American money because it is too far into town for the villagers to go to exchange it. His translating abilities are lacking. The villagers want more money. I’m not sure what the problem is but things started to get heated so we decided to go. We all agree that if we had better translation things would have been different. We can always come back another day so nothing is really lost here.

When we get back we have a conversation with Stecy about it so she knows. Now we have some down time to just hang out. We all just like the relaxing day. There hasn’t been much down time.

There’s talk about going on a walk. I would love to go and be part of the community. We leave and walk behind the house toward the meadow and prayer hill in the pack. Along the way, children start to follow us from various areas. The kids are so engaging with Perrine and she just loves them. We end at a cliff overlooking a river and a banana plantation. We stop and take photos with the kids posing like we are fighting with our arms up in fists. Great photo. It’s getting dark and we know it’s going to be dinner time soon so we head back to the house. What a great bonding experience with the kids in Haiti. I will always remember that walk.

Dinner is scalloped potatoes with chicken. It is very good just like all the meals we have had here.

After dinner, it’s game night. We have a round of Trivial Pursuit but no one but Brandy really like the game. It’s hard for me cuz don’t really follow celebrities, remember movies or watch much tv. But my team mates, Winter and Celeste are amazing at it and we win!  No one wants to play another game of it so we switch to Heads Up. It’s like the game Headbands but for your phone. Hilarious!!!! We act out animals and other items, give clues of things etc. we laughed pretty hard. Time flies by and it 11pm. Time for everyone to go to bed. We clean up the mess and head back downstairs to our room.

Typical night time routine. Blog, oils, meds and fan. As usual I’m the last to go to sleep.

Goodnight Haiti, thanks for a beautiful relaxing day.



Tags: game night, matron training, morning and evening walk, waterfall

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