Bonswa from Haiti! We still do not have Internet access but thanks to my Dad for letting me use his phone as a wireless hot spot. So get comfortable, you have two busy days of Haiti coming at you. Hopefully the Internet will be fixed tomorrow and I can tell you about today.
Today was out third and final day working in Grande Saline. We started with a good breakfast at our hotel, Le Gou T. We would like to thank the hotel staff for welcoming our large group and for the great meals and nice accommodations. After breakfast of eggs, bread and sandwiches we boarded our bus to make the two hour trip to Grande Saline. Shortly after we left our bus had a mechanical issue and we had to pull over and stop. While Tidjo worked on fixing the bus, the students played a few games of “Head;s Up”. The bus needed a new part so Tidjo arranged for a second bus to come and pick us up and take us to Grande Saline. Our new bus driver, Stevenson, was 19 and has been driving a bus since he was nine. He was a very good driver and did a great job getting us to Grande Saline.
In Grande Saline we picked up right where we left off yesterday. The medical and dental clinics began seeing patients. Today they saw almost 150 people! Dr. Gay led the solar team as they finished the installation of two more panels. The students who were working on education taught lessons on nutrition, including a lesson on the many benefits of the Moringa tree, as well as hand washing and hygiene. They talked to the children about how we use water, how it can be contaminated and how to stay safe and healthy. They also continued to teach the children how to properly wash their hands at the tippy-tap. The laminated “whiteboards” made by kids and teachers at Johnson City Intermediate School were a huge hit with the school children in Grande Saline! Dr. Hollister and Kaylin painted the inside and outside of the new bathroom, which is looking really great! Some of the students had the opportunity to visit the water filtration system and the community garden. We had a lot of company on that walk! The water team made some additional upgrades to the system and worked on some plumbing upgrades. As you can see, it was a very busy day for everyone on the Health for Haiti team. We would like to give a special thanks to our interpreters, who help to make all of these activities possible. They are such a vital part of our team, and we have really enjoys spending these days together at the hotel.
Because we had a long trip back to Port au Prince, we finished up by 3pm and started back to Le Gou T for dinner and to pick up our bags. On the way back we passed Tidjo’s bus, still on the side of the road. But while we were having dinner, it was fixed and he came to pick us up. After transferring our many suitcases from the replacement bus to his bus, he took us “home” to Jude’s.
We are all tired but we are happy that we were able to accomplish so much in Grande Saline. Team water had to stay behind for another night to complete the upgrades and maintenance on the water system. JJ stayed with Greg, Tom and Joe to spend another night at Le Gou T and head back to Grande Saline in the morning. The rest of us will be heading to work with our friends Ken and Andrea Taylor at their clinic and community center. We will once again be offering medical and dental clinics as well as education and art projects for the children.
Once again, I want to close by saying that every student worked so hard today and did a wonderful job working on all of our projects. We are once again so fortunate to be joined by such special people on this trip. There are so many projects going on and, when possible, the student have been so generous about rotating around and working wherever they are needed. They are hot, sweaty, dusty, hungry and tired, but they are giving it their all and it seems as if wherever I go to take some pictures, I see students smiling and interacting in such a caring way with the Haitians and with each other.