Sunday, February 14, 2010

To Haiti...

On Monday February 8th I left Garden Valley Texas and headed to DFW airport with two others from Mercy Works. We had 11 suitcases to check between the 3 of us. Too many. They were not going to charge overweight but would charge for the extra 5 cases. So we frantically opened up suitcases/bags and tried to consolidate. We ended up only leaving 2 cases with not so much left in them, behind. I only had a backpack with me as carry on so ended up taking one of the smaller cases on the plane with me too. So much for traveling light. One for the team. :) I met the pediatrician on our team at DFW and it was great to meet a doctor on the team, and realize I was not the only one unsure of what would await us medically.

We flew to Puerto Rico where we met up with more people. And after a couple of hours there we flew on to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We arrived there at 10:20pm but had to wait for others arriving. Unfortunately they were delayed so we ended up at the airport till just before 2am! We then drove to YWAM DR and hung out for 2 hours.

At 4 am we got on the bus and started our drive to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We arrived at the border at 8:30am. We drove right through, with no passport check. It was surreal being in Haiti. Seeing the people, the flag waving in the wind, the tap tap buses, everything. We had another 2 hour drive to the orphanage we are staying at. Due to very heavy traffic we by-passed the center of town and drove around the outskirts. As we neared the city we saw more damage. It was hard to take in. Seeing the tent cities was moving. Here I was being worried about being out of my comfort zone (medically) yet all these people have had their lives turned upside down and are living way out of there comfort zone. It was humbling to think about.

At the place we are staying there is an orphanage and they also have a post-op ward for children recovering from earthquake wounds, sent here by the US Comfort ship. A number of children with femur fractures (some bilaterally!) and some with amputations. They are a joy to be around. Full of smiles and laughter. They are amazing! There is an older girl with an amputation who lost both of her parents in the earthquake. I think she literally saw the house collapse on them. So much hurt. There is another baby, who is very small, who lost his mother in the earthquake and his granny is unable to take care of him. So he is here for now. And finally starting to feed better and gain some weight...little Jean.

We are all sleeping in tents on the grounds here and that has worked out fine. We do have electricity a lot of the time and some running water. A toilet and bucket shower. Work wise things were still up in the air in the beginning...more on that...

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~