Monday, June 6, 2011

Haiti Part 2

The drive was sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth, very beautiful, and always interesting. I got a little car-sick sitting in the back so I crawled up front to sit facing foward (the back seats were bench seats facing inward toward the center of the truck). This meant that I was squished inbetween Harold, the driver, and Boss Wilson, the plumber and electrician who was coming to work on the Cayes guest house. Neither of them spoke English. So what was I to do sitting in very close proximity with two large Haitian men? Try to awkwardly make conversation in a language I don't know, of course! There were lots of "uhhh"s and "hmmm"s but we ended up laughing together toward the end of the trip. At one point we got a flat tire (again, if you've ever driven in Haiti, you'll understand why) and had to change it. That made me glad I was with some very strong Haitian men who knew how to change a tire. =) I also used this little pit-stop to pee on the side of the road. That's right folks, I peed on the side of the road! =P

Anyway, we got there in about 6 hours and got our things settled in our room. We were all very excited to be there and start work at the clinic the next day. Tuesday found us far too early with endless rooster crows and bright sunlight but we may as well get used to it. Once we were all ready we walked down the hill and then back up another hill to the clinic. The patients were already waiting for us and we dove right into seeing them. There was a large variety in the people we saw. Some of them were inpatients with strokes, burns, or ex-fix's and others had increased tone, Cerebral Palsy, Guillian Barre Syndrome, or an amputation. Lots of therapy was done and some people were fitted for leg braces or a prosthetic limb. We got an hour or so for lunch and went back to see the last few people in the afternoon.

The next day, Wednesday, was Haitian Flag Day. This is, apparently, a big holiday in Haiti and we were not expected to work in the clinic that day. So work one day and have a day off? Ok then... The local missionaries decided to have a big picnic out at the beach (~45 minutes away) so we got some work done around the house in the morning and then headed to the beach in the early afternoon. It was an absolutely beautiful day! We ate yummy food and swam in the beautiful Caribbean Sea! I even ran into some missionary friends, Rob and Becky Thompson, and chatted and played with their three adorable children. While swimming and playing I realized just how easy it was to forgot where I was. It was a beautiful day, the water was refreshing, and the scenery was amazing - and yet just up the cliff was a reality that seemed so vastly removed from the carefree beach.

To Be Continued...

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