These emails are unedited and raw. They contain some disturbing material and are not for the faint of heart.
DAY 1 (March 11, 2010):
Wow..what a crazy day. The devastation is so much worse than I even imagined. Flat buildings everywhere. But people seem like they are just trying to slowly build back their lives, and seem just so happy to be alive…We didn’t even have time to write until now. We got off the plane and had a ride to the clinic and we were plunged immediately into work!! I was put in triage…Trish and Jen went up to leogan…Cyndy and I are being separated tomorrow into different clinics…
Anyway, Today was totally heartbreaking. Sooo many extremely sad stories, although people still smile and play and work and joke around.
There was a man who came in for headaches, and then you find out that all his kids died.
A women whose husband died and she has 5 kids and a newborn and no house.
women taking care of babies who aren’t their own begging for formula because the mother died.
It’s almost too sad to write about.
the Haitian people are so beautiful, huge smiles (suz amazing teeth..white and straight all of them)
There are tons of fevers.
I went on a home visit, and it was so fun. the ladies reminded me of Mom and gisele when they are together. so so cute. the one lady had huge wounds on her leg that I had to debride and then she pulled me over to me to kiss me and said…”you are my daughter” …then they all wanted me to take their blood pressure. Haitians absolutely love having their blood pressure taken
I’ve only been here 1 day, and I already feel like I’ve been here for weeks worth of stories. the days feel incredibly long. It was 104 in the church where we are dong the clinic. I feel healthy though. I feel like i packed well except that i wish i could have brought more stuff to give the kids. and more tarps too. it hasn’t rained yet, but they are very very worried about it. especially cholera. the crisis is so vast. they need so much food still and water. the UN is restricting any food or water distribution at all . they said they would stop remove and deport any NGO that would try.
I talked to Chloe. it was so fun. being here makes me so interested in her work. she is going to visit me on sunday. her house is really close to where we are staying.
please forward this to han,suz,mom,john,your parents,ect.
Karen, I am so so facinated by “mountains beyond mountains.” How interesting to be here reading that book. I have already heard Farmers name mentioned many times.
If any of you are worried (MOM) you should know that Heart to Heart [Heart to Heart, Intl. is the group that Viv is working with] takes our safety very very seriously. I see no mosquitos, and the Haitian people have expressed nothing but amazing appreciation and gentleness towards us.
I’ll write more later.
My favorite haitian quote ‘everything moves fast in Haiti except the clock’ ”
I thought it was time to do an update.
we didn’t sleep well ‘casue of the heat and rain, and there were so many patients. especially kids. today was so so hard. I had a lump in my throatmost of the day. the gravity of the situation comes and goes. It was very hard today.
there were 3 kids we had to transfer to the hospital because they were completely listless and hypovolemic. Me and cyndy tried iv’s but they had no veins. 1 of the kids looked so bad taht at first i thought he was dead when his mom brought him.
the sad stories just keep coming and coming. there was 1 haitian lady there from N.Y. who was in haiti because after the earth quake all her Haitian relatives were killed. then she got a call from someone in Haiti that her nephew was alive(his mom, dad aunts unlces and siblings all were dead) except this 1 aunt.
It has been very interesting to be working in an NGO were some of the politics are so apparednt. it’s been definately food for thought. all the issues in this kind of raw crisis just come right out. there has been a lot of haitian men who have been volunteering for HTH helping with the flow and security… …they are working hard all day in the heat and with no water, food or pay from the beginning of the disaster. we have all gone up in arms on their behalf for them to be paid. the founder is a really great guy named bill morch and we talked to him, and he didn’t really realize how much the haitian volunteers were helping out
anyway, i still cna’t figure out the contrast/rift in socioeconomics of the people of the world????why them?why are we so lucky??all those questions.
this group i am here with is so interesting. and the group is constantly changing becuase people are coming and going home/leogane ect. really fun at times, really interesting.
i love you guys. it’s starting to feel long, but also it might be hard to leave too. i have such a rollercoaster of emotions. a few of us snuck over to the local grocery store for a beer this evening for some comic relief it was really fun
… i am so so tired. today was really hard. i was emotional …. I got to take a trip to the hospital with a baby that was severly dehydrated, limp and malnourished. there were helicopters flying around everywhere. the hospital is just tent after tent because the hospital all collapsed in the quake. it was really hot in the tents. those poor doctors and nurses. (and patients) many of the kids are malnourished.
I think in some ways there is a new wave of illnesses starting to sweep through. last week the kids were’nt as sick as this weak. I can’t even imagine working down here in the rain. i’m so saddened and worried asbout these poor people.
i asked one of the traslators what the Haitian people think about God in this, and he said that most Haitians believe that God did this to punish them for the horrible corruption of their government. more than 50% of the parliment died in the earthquke.
anyway, I feel like it has been such a privilege to be here and even maybe kind of fun in a werid way. one of the things that is really fun is meeting all the different medical people that are coming through.. they are all so differerent, and contribute in different ways. tomorrow is my last day here, i am happy and sad about it. talking to meili last night made me very homesick.
we are staying in this really nice “hacienda” feeling house. I feel like I’m in a drug lord’s house in mexico. i cna’t help but feel guilty about how nice it is. it is so nice though at the end of our difficult day.
I have my last clinic day tomorrow.
I’ll try to call you guys from Miami on thurday if i don’t skyp sooner.
Return to MPC Disaster Relief and Rebuilding.