This morning the visiting medical team departed bringing to a close what will forever be known as the “Medical, Dental AND Hiking trip of April 2012”. We were a small but mighty team this trip, only 8 visitors and 15 Haitians but we managed to see over 1090 students all of them received albendozole, vitamins and medical and dental well checks.
In addition our doctors gave approximately 485 medical consultations and dentist extracted teeth form over 250 people. Many of those 250 people had more than one tooth pulled. The most teeth pulled from one person this trip was 13, can you imagine have 13 rotten and abscessing teeth in your mouth? The oral surgeons and dentists on our trips do a great service not only in dental health but quality of life so many people have never seen a dentist and have terribly painful bombed out teeth, if they are lucky the teeth just rot and fall out, if not they can become infected and eventually become life threatening.
What a difference it must make to have all that pain and infection gone.
To wrap up The Medical, Dental and Hiking adventure of April 2012;
It began at Foyer De Sion Orphanage were all the children got dental check ups and fluoride treatments and medical well checks. We stayed at the new orphanage in Croix du Boquette, which is almost finished.
The next day we went to school in Croix du Boquette with 350 students who all received dental check ups and fluoride treatments children in need also saw the doctors and the entire school received vitamins and albendozole and toothbrushes and toothpaste. That evening we traveled up to Kenscof, high in the mountains above Port au Prince.
Friday we had clinic at a Sionfonds for Haiti supported school, Heart of Worship in Viard. There are 85 students at this school in addition to seeing students we see hundreds of community members as well. We stayed here for two days. Sunday was our day “off” so four of us decided to take a walk. We ended up hiking to the very top of the mountain we were on and to look over to the other side at the highest mountain in Haiti Mon Le Selle – That mountain we did not hike – That afternoon we moved down the mountain to Port au Prince and Le Plaza hotel. It is centrally located and is a good location for taking day trips.
Monday morning we had planned to go to Leogaine but were unable to because of protesting in Carre four. The Haitian people are tired of the ‘gangsters’ as they call them killing the police and so are rising up against them. There was some protesting (burning tires on the road) going on in Croix du Boquette this morning (the way to the airport was clear). So we had to change plans and so decided to hike up to our school in Masson, always everyone’s favorite destination/hike. There are 350 students at the school. One of the reasons we love to go to this school is it is the place we can clearly see the most impact of our work, we have been coming here every 6 months for 6 years and the level of health has steadily improved. Sionfonds also built a new school a few years ago and this visit we were able to see the new beautiful latrine we funded this year! It is very rewarding to be able to see the difference. Our work in Haiti is a long-term commitment and now after 6 years embedded in this community it is evident we are making a difference.
This is a goodtime to stop and thank all of our donors and all of you who come on these trips. None of this would happen without your support. Your donations go directly to the communities we serve to create lasting change. Lasting change takes time, and commitment. Thank you for your commitment to helping children and their families in Haiti.
Yesterday we wrapped up our Trip with a tremendous hike/clinic/hike. We went to a school we had not been to previously, in the mountains between Leogaine and Jacmel at a place called Fondwa. It was a breathtakingly beautiful, green rural area with ‘mountains beyond mountains’ of hillside farmlands and patches of tropical jungle. There is a film called The Road to Fondwa and I will have to watch it again to see if we were on that road yesterday. It was so steep as to be impassable when wet – or if your breaks are not in tip top shape- so we walked in, (mostly down hill) and out (straight up) Luckily we could hire a mule to carry all our medical supplies out. The school had about 250 students we saw all of the students and many others who came for medical or dental care, as I watched the clouds carefully wondering when it would be too late to be able to leave. We did finish the clinic and start walking back before it began to pour. It is so nice that rain here is mostly warm. We and all our luggage, and even 4-month-old Kade (Tmac) the newest member of our team made it to the top of the mountain before the ‘real’ rain began.
These trips are a tremendous team effort, Thank you Dimitry for coordinating everything on the ground in Haiti and all our Haitian team members you are essential to the tasks at hand and devoted to helping Haiti. Thanks to Scott and Brandon Bulloch (Good luck on that test Brandon) Karen Olsen see you soon I hope, Hanne Sachs (good luck in your next medical adventure in South America!), Orson Cardon ( I hope you come back and bring your daughter next time), Rey Del Rio (can’t wait to see the pix) Clinton Dowse (who will be back as a PA to vaccinate all our kids). You made this trip happen, thank you thank you, thank you!
We cannot ever thank you enough luckily you all already know the gratitude of the Haitian people you saw over the last week.