Saturday, June 18, 2011

Haiti, Day 5

Thursday we set up a medical clinic at The Apparent Project. (Pete wrote about their mission in the previous post.) On the drive to its location we saw some of the devastation caused by Monday night's flooding. Although most of the area was dry, signs of rushing water was evident. Retaining walls intended to protect areas from water were demolished.  Contents of homes were either carried away by the water or left soaked and caked with mud. One road on our route was blocked by a large pile of rocks and other debris; the flooding caused numerous mud/landslides. As we approached the home that serves as The Apparent Project, a young boy ran behind our truck. He asked for money and we said no, as we have been instructed to do. Still running behind us, he darted off to another street. Little did we know he was taking a shortcut to our destination! He was waiting for us at the front gate when we arrived.  Our translator allowed him to carry some bags inside for us; he earned a tip for his effort.

The Chadasha guest house (where we stay) sells the jewelry, journals, and bags made by artisans at The Apparent Project.  We were excited to see the artisans in action. We saw numerous men and women cutting cereal boxes and magazines into the narrow strips that become beads. Others wound paper into beads around skewers and covered them with glue. Upstairs we watched a group of young men string the beads into bracelets. This is where we set up the clinic. The kitchen became a pharmacy and one of the bedrooms was a patient room.  The benches on the porch were full of people waiting to be seen. We saw men, women, and children. One woman reportedly nearly drowned in the flood waters (see previous post for her picture with Pete) and the amount of water she ingested made her sick.  An adorable set of twins arrived with their mother; she wanted them checked because they, too, spent considerable time in the water.   We are fortunate to have an incredible group of people from LifePoint with us. Each person is willing to do whatever is needed at any time.  Our team worked well together as we shared the duties of bringing back patients, running the pharmacy, handing out vitamins, administering medicine, and helping Pete. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "Musch!"  Honestly, I love working with my husband.  It is one of the blessings of serving together.

Once we finished the clinic we walked downstairs to the boutique. There we saw hundreds of necklaces and bracelets, journals made from recycled oil drums, handmade cards, crosses and globes crafted of metal, and handmade bags. I am sure I've left out something.  We loaded up on goodies and headed back to the truck. The young boy from earlier was waiting on us and there were several others too. One boy approached me and said, "Hello, how are you doing?" in perfect English.  I smiled at him and he continued, but in a low voice, "Sister, please, I have no money, I have no food." There were many questions that went through my mind. Does he have parents?  Is he providing for younger siblings? Why is he so good at this? It is heartbreaking that these children are so adept at asking for money. I have learned that the most prudent reply is no. I get on the truck.

On the way back to the guest house we drove through downtown Port au Prince. It is crowded with traffic and people; buildings damaged by the earthquake remain in shambles yet life goes on around them. The Presidential Palace is no different.  Its structural damage is extensive but it has not been repaired. It sits unused.  The damaged Palace is symbolic enough of Haiti's current state, but across the street from it lies a tent camp occupied by those displaced by the quake.  The paradox is vivid.

That's all we can get to for now....the baseball field is calling. :)


Jack said...

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