Sionfonds for Haiti Blog

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The Medical Team Climbed Up the Mountain…

The Medical Team Climbed Up the Mountain…

Yesterday morning as a group we woke and prepared for a long day. All of our supplies and medicines concentrated down to only what was absolutely necessary  for the clinic up the mountain we loaded up everything in the back of the truck.

Check out the handy bag holders/weights we picked up along the way.

Dirk, Brandon and Devin aka the masters of the universe

After an hour and a half drive we reached the the bottom of the mountain.

Let’s get this started…

The children from the school met us to help carry our bags.

DSCF0597

To say this hike is steep, and brutal to a seasoned athlete is putting it mildly. It is 2-3 miles straight up the mountain. The views are incredible, still they do not match the smiles of the children. Once we arrived we were welcomed though the gates of the school, and chatted with children, as they took things out of our arms to put in the office waiting for us.

After a long hike these smiles make it all worth it

School Office

We set up shop in respective buildings, left to right being Optometry, Dental, and Pharmacy. Outside was where our triage/Dr. Offices and Student Sponsor updates were completed.

Well child check ups for all 350 students were done in  the classrooms  by Dr. Dirk Smith  and Alicia Cheney. Alicia and Dirk said the 5 classes in tarp and pole structures were unbareably hot and dark and they wondered how the children were able to learn in them completeing additional classrooms is a current need of this school.

Well Child Check-ups

Our first patient of the day was a precious six year old student with her four front teeth so rotted in her mouth Dr. Bulloch was concerned that they might come out in pieces.She was not excited to have them pulled. That is an understatement. Yet, she was amazingly brave and did an incredible job holding still while she was numbed and had her teeth pulled.

Dr. Office

We were able to see approximately 550 patients, including well checks for our 350 students at Masson and community members.

Our waiting room

Masson is an amazing school with many dedicated teachers. It is so very rural and difficult to get to, it is evident they have to few resources to provide  nutrition and healthcare for their children. They need our help. We need to reinstate the  feeding program at this school. Lack of funding has caused us not to provide food for these children yet this year.

A typical home for our students

The day was spent quickly doing everything that we could do before it got dark, as we set out down the mountain rain began to drizzle, we were happy to see our waiting vehicles and friendswaiting to take us back into the city. Fresh grapefruit  from up the mountain was waiting for us at the bottom. As we rested and breathed in the end to beautiful challenging day, views from both directions spoke what we didn’t need to.

The sun sets on the last day of the Medical part of our trip

This day ended the Medical part of our trip. The friends that we made and priceless moments we spent in service are a bond we all carry with us . Sionfonds is a gift of Passion given to those involved. We all return home better, more thankful people. To join our next trip, or for more information click here.

Our lovely motley crew at the bottom of the mountain

We finished off our day with a tired but successful group picture.

What an incredible day. The Immediate Needs we see at our Masson school are:

  • Our goal is to build an additional two classrooms to our school at Masson, to get the kids out of the dark tarp classrooms they currently are now in.
  • One deep concern we as a staff and educators share is the nutrition needs at Masson. Because the school is on the top of the mountain, many children burn what precious calories they do have in hiking to and from school.
  • Our funding to have the feeding program at Masson is depleted, we can see the immediate results, many children were once again malnourished with extended bellies and brassy brown hair. This is something anyone can do, on a large or small scale.

To feed a child is around $15 per month, there are 350 students. Contributing to this fund is enormous for the children of Masson. Please see what you have in your heart to help these children accomplish their dreams….

Why we do what we do….

Why we do what we do….

Yesterday morning after hiking through some rolling hills we arrived at our Kenscoff school. Already many were waiting for us. One woman in particular stood out. She barley seemed to be able to sit up let alone stand. She was pale and very ill. She was seen immediately by our Physicians. She had an extreme infection on her finger that had begun two weeks ago, and by now had tracked up her arm towards her elbow. The heat of the infection was palpable. Both American and Haitian Dr.’s pooled forces and information.
Discussing all options and the likely hood of her having opportunity and finances to attend a local hospital being little to none, they decided to do a small operation to remove the infection (what the doctors agreed was a “pyogenic granuloma”) and be proactive with both oral and topical antibiotics. She was in so much pain and very weak. After hydrated with IV fluids, her finger and hand were numbed, and her finger lanced.

Dr. Dirk Smith did an amazing job gently cleaning and lancing the infection


She was so very brave as her sweet husband held her while she held still for the procedure. We were all so very touched by the concern and love between this sweet couple.

Husband Attends to Wife

Her husband, so very worried

This is a perfect example of how very basic things like a finger infection can very easily turn into someone losing their arm, ore worse septic and dying. This is why Haiti needs available medical care, this is such a small drop in the bucket of enormous need we see everyday. But for now, for today, we had the beautiful opportunity to help this sweet woman keep her arm, and let her loving husband keep his wife.

 

When she came back the next day, she was smiling and saying how much better she felt, wanting to know where Amber was from, because we are now all her family.

Cavaillon School Trip

Cavaillon School Trip

So far our Medical trip has been off to an amazing start. Though we had a couple of unforeseen bumps in the road preventing us from being able to jump in our first full day in country, things have been surprisingly smooth and we have been so blessed to serve so many of our students, their families and the community. It is not with out the help and hearts of our amazing donors and volunteers could this work continue.

Day one, we entered Port-au-Prince, pleased to see new developments of transportation and organization in the airport. Once through we loaded up our luggage and our group and away we traveled the long dark and windy roads to Le Cayes. Four hours later we reached our destination for a late dinner and time to unwind and plan for the next day.

Day two we spent most of the day in our mock Pharmacy organizing medication, and counting out vitamins for adults and children.

The next morning we packed up our supplies and drove to our school in Cavaillon, beginning over a paved road that quickly turning into a bedrock covered windy path that was a very muddy and difficult to drive on road.

Cavaillon School

As we drove the images of women washing clothes in the stream, children walking to school and the many half clothed children watching as we and they passed by, reminded us why we were here.
Once arriving, our patients had already been waiting. Ready, patient and hopeful for relief, help, painful teeth to be pulled and so much more.

Our Cavaillon school is built on a hillside extending from a previous home, built out of wood and corrugated metal. The pre-school students use the one room bedroom in the house, as the rest of the students sit in open tarp-lined classrooms with a foundation of cement. The hillside between classrooms is steep and very challenging to walk on in the mud.

Denistry

Denistry

Fluoride Treatments

Still they come. The children, many walking for hours to reach their destination.. This day we worked tirelessly. First with the lines of triage, dividing who needed to go in which direction whether it be, fluoride treatments, oral surgery, the pharmacy, the medical clinic, the optometry, while another team worked on updates of children for sponsorship after their well child checks.

Our 3 Haitian Doctors and 3 visiting American Doctors managed to see around 450 patients. Dental clinic servicing 74 men women and children, including pulling many teeth.

The Optometrist Clinic helped 70 people this day, it was beyond touching watching a little girl witness the the world clearly for the first time, the way her sweet mouth formed a perfect “O” as she looked around blinking and seeing, actually seeing.

As we worked with our students on updates, taking pictures, working on sponsorship booklets, the light in their eyes was not easily missed as they proudly showed what they have been learning. What their dreams are, and who they hope to be.

Thank you. We are so grateful to all that give and contribute to our foundation. Your donations big or small are reaching far and making such a difference.

Cavaillon School Students

Cavaillon School Students

If you are interested in helping our Cavaillion School here are some of our most immediate needs:

67 children are sharing one classroom. We need to divide the class in half and hire another teacher. To do this we need $250 to build another classroom/awning. Also to add another teacher which will be about $100 per month. School supplies are desperately needed. Every child could use a school supply stipend yearly of only $13 a year, what a difference $13 can make. Out of our of the 360 students at Cavaillion, only 14 are sponsored.

Our goal before Christmas is 15 more students. Please consider this as an incredible gift for that loved one that has everything; or a combined gift for your favorite teacher.

As always thank you for being part of this massive dream. Change is happening, and it is beautifull

Here we go. November 2012 Med Trip

Here we go. November 2012 Med Trip

There are 16 team members this trip 15 from the US and one from Canada. Most of us leave home today to meet up in Miami and fly in  to Haiti together  tomorrow morning but some of us are already on our way. Getting to this point has taken a great deal of hard work and commitment by our team members and their support systems.

So lets start out our trip by thanking everyone who helped us on our way. There is no way we could do this without your support of medicines, vitamins, childcare  and $$$$.

Thank you, I wish that you could see what we are about to do it is remarkable. We want you to know that right from where you are, you are contributing to the success of our mission. Thank you, Thank you.

We will try and keep you posted here as time and internet allows

Thank you again

Annie Blackstone