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Reflections from Day 3 – Jan. Medical Trip

We are on day three of our trip.

It has been a time to make new friends and to reacquaint with old ones. It has been wonderful to renew my relationship with Myrlande and Lusca, two of the Haitian nurses. I am always humbled by their competence and dedication in their care for patients here. It is truly my honor to be able to help them in their mission to improve the health of their community.

We have seen so many pregnant women these past two days as word has spread that we have an ultrasound machine…..that works. Everyone has been so happy to see their baby swimming around, sometimes giving a little wave on the screen. Of course they all want to know the sex of the baby too, so we try for that as well. It has been a relief that only 2 of the pregnant women we have seen were unwell, yet discouraging in our limited ability to help them. It is, in a sense, the microcosm of what has been accomplished here and what still needs to be done.

Each afternoon we have had the opportunity to do some teaching with the Haitian nurses once the clinic work is done. Thus far, Duane, Suzy, and Karina spoke about GI issues, I spoke about abnormal cycling in women, and Susan spoke about breast feeding and childhood malnutrition. The conversation is always lively and the interchange is educational for all of us.

Most of us have finished every day with a walk down to the river for a bath. We are always accompanied by children who join the procession along the way. By the time we get to our bathing spot we have quite an audience for the spectacle of the “Blancs” soaping up. On our way up we all get tapped to carry the children’s water canisters up the hill and spend a lovely walk laughing and joking with them along the way.

Zorangé is, as ever, a place of contemplation and reflection. My time here always helps me to regain perspective on my crazy life in New York. I always feel a renewed sense of purpose as I help, in my own small way, to make the lives of women here just a little bit better; I look forward to continuing in my participation in this wonderful project in the years to come.

All the best from Haiti.

-Deborah