On Friday morning, the 2016 Health for Haiti Team had one final formal meeting as a class to share and reflect on our experiences in Haiti. We were honored to be joined by Dr. Francis Battisti who helped us to process some of the feelings we are having as we transition back to our lives at home.
The students did a wonderful job presenting on all of the experiences that we had in Haiti. On this trip: the 2016 Health for Haiti team provided free quality medical and dental care to hundreds of children and adults; we helped to feed over 335 families in Cite Soleil; we delivered 25 more laptops to children and young adults in Haiti; we installed two more solar panels on the new classroom that Health for Haiti helped to build in Grande Saline, increasing the power there by 50%; we delivered education and art programs on nutrition and malnutrition, the importance of clean water and hand-washing to health, the miracle moringa tree, and tooth brushing to hundreds and hundreds of children; we delivered many school supplies to the new school in Grande Saline; we delivered new digital lessons created by SUNY Broome Business students to our computer schools; we performed critical maintenance and upgrades to the clean water system in Grande Saline, and Pall awarded Certificates of Achievement to our water system operators; we painted the bathroom that Health for Haiti sponsored in Grande Saline; we visited the Grande Saline Community Garden and met with the farmers to discuss plans for the upcoming harvest as well as future crops; we built a tippy-tap hand washing station in Grande Saline so that the local children can wash their hands with clean water; we provided care and comfort to some very sick babies at Mother Teresa’s Hospital; we provided a fun beach day with lunch that we made for nearly 40 orphans; and we experienced and were inspired by Haitian culture at the National Museum, stores, and church. Thank you to Pall, ETM Solar Works, Johnson City Intermediate School, SUNY Broome, and the many organizations and individuals in our community who donated the supplies and funds that made these projects possible! Funds collected will help to pay the salaries of teachers, water system operators, farmers, and the tippy-tap manager, as well as to defray costs associated with all of these projects, including Internet access, chemicals for the water system, and supplies for the garden and future preparation of school lunches. Due to the generosity of our local community, we were able to leave Dr. Robinson with many medical supplies so that he can continue to provide clinics for the people of Grande Saline. We were also able to provide Ken and Andrea with some dental supplies that will help to support their amazing work with the communities that they serve.
When the students presented about all of this on Friday, despite all that we accomplished on this trip, each of them commented on how much they received from the Haitian people and our experiences in Haiti. I think all of us have a new appreciation for the things we may have taken for granted before this trip, as well as a better understanding of what truly matters in our lives. Thanks again to these incredible students for all of their hard work and for pushing themselves to places they may have never thought possible. Thanks to Silvia Briga, Tom Bucker, Gay Canough, Greg Cempa, Tom Collart and Bill Hollister for all of their hard work to support our students and the 2016 projects. Thanks to our 2014 and 2015 Health for Haiti students for all you did to get these projects going, we love you! Thanks to Jude Estinfil and his staff and Le Gou T Hotel for our food and lodging, thanks to TiJoe for getting us to all of the places we needed to go, and thanks to JJ, Schneider, Elysee, Louie, Esther, Dashka, Scott, Patrick, Roosevelt, Jean Frico, Kenold, and Peterson for not only helping us to communicate, but for carrying so many suitcases, for keeping us safe, and for teaching us so much about life in Haiti. We love our entire Haiti family and we thank you for being with us.
Stay tuned for some videos about our trip and for future updates on the ongoing projects in Haiti! Thanks for following!