Children's smiles were plentiful as we spent the day at Chardene School. Hammers and saws were on the move as the playground took shape and faces of curiosity hung on the perimeters waiting for a chance to experiment. The medical team worked hard taking care of little ones throughout the day and the dentists with help from the team painted teeth, pulled teeth and gave reassurance to lots of kids and adults. The rest of the team were doing seminars on personal hygiene around nail care and clean hands and ragged nails became smooth soft and dirt was removed. Each child was pleased to take home a nail care kit from youngest to oldest student. All in all a good day and God was present.
May 15, 2016
Last evening the team spent a wonderful evening getting to know one another better. Testimonies were shared and we learned that while we come from very different back grounds and life styles (as well as different countries) we are all one in Christ.
Today we went to church at St. Marc and enjoyed sharing a time of worship. Pastor Beth preached the sermon, which was then translated into Creole. Worship was loud and passionate and included a lot of singing.
After a wonderful meal prepared by Manita, the rest of the day was spent relaxing, swimming, playing cards and enjoying the beautiful ocean view and sunset.
We are all having an amazing time and are truly enjoying getting to know one another and serving together. We all love spending the time with the children and seeing their beautiful smiles. Yesterday they came running down the mountain to meet us and helped us carry up all of our supplies. They are such special children. When there was no soccer ball to play with, they improvised and used an empty medicine bottle as a ball.
We look forward to spending the next three days continuing to do Dental clinics, hygiene clinics, and provide some medical care. The construction team will finish the playground at Charden and then begin another playground at MPCA.
Group photo after finishing a hard day!
Dan going banana's for banana's
Nurse Stephanie showing the kids their picture
Nikki, our English Nurse Practitioner, and Elizabeth, a nursing student, playing soccer with the kids
Heather, Pastor Beth, and Kyra drinking from fresh coconuts
This morning we walked to the Lanzac School, which is located near the Mission Center. This school consists of approximately 36 students; one of which is being sponsored by a team member. This is not the first time on this trip a team member has been able to meet their sponsored child. The kids at every school we attended have been amazing. They love getting their picture taken. Even more they love seeing themselves after.
After Lanzac we drove to MPCA. This school consists of approximately 700 students. We have finally connected with air conditioning!!!! Whew zipping hot! We were able to take a tour of the school’s gardens where they grow corn and bananas. One of the big jobs at this school was to organize and clean out a room at the training center. Here there is a vocational school that they plan to expand the programs offered. If a teacher is to teach in one of the Mission Possible schools they must first graduate from this school.
At each school we ran medical and dental clinics along with teaching handwashing and proper care of nails to prevent Impetigo. We also ran a scabies prevention seminar.
At Chardene, part of the team completed building the school playground. What a great time watching the kids play on it once they were done!
What an unforgettable week it’s been. So hard to believe there’s only a couple days left.
May 17, 2016
To sum up LaHatte... it is hot.
The LaHatte school and community is based on top of mountain in a very dry area with lots of dirt and cactus and scrub bushes. We took the open bed GMC truck and drove up a dry river bed to reach the school. At some places, the sides of the river bed were very tall indicating the river became very deep during the rainy season.
Fortunately for us, there was a very strong breeze that was present while we were there. We did our now usual set up of a hand washing seminar, medical checkups, and dental services. There was also a separate construction crew who worked very hard during their day to dig holes in very hard rock.
We ate peanut butter and jelly tortilla roll-ups with summer sausage and string cheese for lunch. After we were finished for the day, our translators and the school pastor took us on a walk through a part of the local village. The poverty there is very strong and it was evident. They use whatever resources are available to build housing and provide for their families. However, their spirits were high and they were very friendly while showing us around.
When we returned the Mission Center, there was a girl from a school we saw earlier in the week waiting to see us. She had had a bug stuck in her ear for 20 weeks (140 days). She had gone to the local hospital, waited seven and half hours and they were only able to remove a little bit. We were able to flush her ear and remove the remaining parts of the bug.
We finished the evening gathered around and listened to the testimonies of our pastor Herve and our supervising translator Hachemy. They told us how Mission Possible has continued and overcome obstacles, despite the difficulties. Herve also told us how the Haitians were mainly practicing voodoo, but many have converted to Christianity. But most importantly, they spoke of how grateful they are for us coming to their country and helping their people.
May 18, 2016
What an amazing experience this has been. We have truly come together as a team and have made so many new friends.
We had a wonderful last day together. We all went up to the school at Dupin. It is a long and slightly treacherous hike up a mountain and across a river. But it is so worth it when you get to the top and see the amazing view and see the kids. Once again the kids met us and helped us carry all of our supplies up. We were SO thankful for their help.
We again did scabies and hygiene clinics. Checked and fixed teeth at the Dental clinic and also saw children as well as other people from the community in the medical clinic. The high light of the day was the soccer game between the Haitian kids and us. They of course won the game (it wasn't even close). It is so much fun to see how everyone can play together even when they do not share the same language.
We closed the evening out by meeting in the gazebo and sharing who we have been praying for all week. At the beginning of the week we drew names and secretly prayed for and observed that person all week. It was a very emotional and touching evening as we shared what we have learned about one another and how they have impacted our lives.
We are looking forward to coming home and seeing loved ones. We are also excited to come back to the luxury of air conditioning. But we are also sad to be leaving this beautiful country that we have all come to love.
We are thankful for all of the prayers you have been saying for us. We have felt them and believe that is why we have all stayed healthy.
So Good Night from Haiti.