...but today it didn't. In fact, the big things went very, very right.
The water team is so encouraged to see the total commitment and level of concentration the Haitians are giving the training. Everyone is looking forward to the official dedication ceremony of the system tomorrow afternoon. The team will be there all day doing final touches.
The medical team started the day at 7:00 with a three hour ride through the jungle on some pretty nice roads and some "not roads" in a brand new large SUV, rented for the day and driven by Pastor Louis. They traveled in style, but climbed out a little bumped and bruised after three hours because of the jostling. Sometimes the road would just...end. Sometimes it ended and the SUV drove along the beach until the next road picked up. It was some of the most scenic territory in Haiti, the stuff of Caribbean tourism promoters' dreams.
Upon arrival at Las Anglais, the team quickly got to work, setting up in a school with four rooms, which got organized into stations to see children by age. By the end of 7 frenetically paced hours, 202 patients had been seen. It all flowed very smoothly and great work was done by the team. Many children were in great shape ("a lot of fat, happy babies") but there were some difficult cases, too: a lot of kids suffering from advanced malaria, fevers, and malnutrition. Several cysts were removed. The general overall good health was somewhat of a surprise because this community had NEVER had a doctor in it. Not one visit, ever. Needless to say, there was a lot of gratitude, especially by the pastor who had made the plea for one of our teams to come for over two years.
The medical team pulled back in to the guest house at 8:30 - a 14 hour day door to door, with dinner, a team meeting, and long awaited showers still to do before they could climb into bed. The electricity and air conditioning re-appeared at about 11:00 EST.
Tomorrow is the last ministry day, and it will be a "bits and pieces day". The water team will go right to Cavaillon to finish up everything necessary to hand the project over to the Haitians. The medical team will go down the hill to the Cambry orphanage to do a quick check on those kids as well as see some from Cavaillon who were brought there for a time of extended extra care, and will eventually return to Cavaillon. Then, the medical team will head to Cavaillon for the afternoon, seeing a few people who will come for follow ups from La Hatte, and hopefully, happily, have some play time or lap time with the Cavaillon kids after the dedication ceremony. It will be a great way to end a momentous and fruitful week!
And just to show that the team finds humor where they can during the week...
The water team is made up of all men and one woman (Andrea, our hygiene guru who has been instrumental in training the Haitians in that very important aspect). Through the week, they've become known as "Andrea and her water boys". The men are thirty years (or more) older, but it aptly describes the team!
And here's a direct quote from one of the water boys who switched to the medical team today to lend a hand: "I've seen the boss' job and I don't want it". Apparently the request to hand an instrument to a doc during a particularly ugly cyst removal was met with a "Who, ME?" and when told "Yes, you", he complied - but with his hands covering his eyes. Welcome to medical care in Haiti, Mr Water Boy :) All hands on deck!
A few pictures from the day:
- The schoolhouse at Las Anglais, where the medical team worked, and a few shots of our busy team.
- Pastor Raniel, who wouldn't quit asking for a visit for his people!
- A happy baby ;)
- The effects of malaria - a very sick little girl
- Serge, the guest house manager, has stayed up all night for the past two nights facilitating "rolling brownouts" so that the sleeping rooms don't get too hot. He's manually rotating the power outages so everybody gets some AC for a few minutes at a time. God bless him!
- The three team members feeling under the weather did indeed join in the work done today. One felt back to normal, the other two just managed their symptoms because they wanted to be of service. Pray that all would finish the week strong and come home healthy.
- Praise God for the Haitians who are taking on the water purification project responsibilities. Not only will their diligence protect this investment in the community, but it should bring the overall health level up for the children as well as become an income producer for the orphanage as they sell bottled water to the community. A microbusiness that does good!
- Pray for all those seen by our docs this week. Ask God to protect especially the little ones who are most vulnerable to disease and suffer most from the lack of good medical care.
- Pray for good rest for the team, safety in travel, and for a sense of the importance and value of their work this week. It can be so hard to see that when continually confronted with needs not met.