We had a great final day in Grande Saline. We continued many of the projects that we started yesterday. The medical clinic set a new record and saw 94 patients aged from 2 months to 88 years of age. Once again the students were prepared and efficient. We saw a wide variety of medical conditions. All patients were triaged by students and then seen by Dr. Gary. Over 300 prescriptions were dispensed. All patients also received a toothbrush and toothpaste. Maureen saw 69 children in the dental clinic. Each child received a dental exam, tooth-brushing instructions and a fluoride varnish. All children left with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a sticker.
Marcia’s awesome art team set up three different stations of art activities. The children drew with colored pencils (their favorite), made construction paper and popsicle stick puppets, and the biggest hit was making bead bracelets and necklaces. In the afternoon Lynn, Marcia and Phoebe taught a group of women how to make plarn (yarn out of recycled plastic bags) and use it to crochet plastic mats. Two of the older women picked up the technique quickly and they accepted the challenge of teaching other women to make mats.
Nick, Greg and Louis verified that the system was functioning normally after yesterday’s cleaning procedure and Louie practiced a dry run of the cleaning procedure. After this, Nick and Greg helped the solar team to finish constructing the parabolic solar cooker. Unfortunately, the cooker was not finished in time for us to cook anything, but we were able to feel the how the sun’s heat was concentrated by the cooker.
The ProjectP team worked with another group of women and girls and had so much fun interacting with the workshop participants during the education part and the hands-on sewing activity. After the last ProjectP presentation, we met with the students from the sewing school and they showed us the beautiful clothing that they are making. We learned that it costs $10 to hire someone to make a school uniform. Now the women are proud to be able to make uniforms themselves! They all said that they really enjoy sewing school and were happy to receive all of the supplies we brought for them.
Dr. Gay delivered a presentation on how to start a small business to members of the Grande Saline community. The community had specifically requested this presentation. Dr. Gay talked about how to develop a good business plan and make a profitable project. She gave a practical example with a project that the sewing students could work on. They got started right away and I am now the proud owner of a Haitian cell phone bag. All of the people who attended the workshop learned a lot and were excited to get started.
The children and workshop participants had another great lunch prepared by the lunch ladies.
On our final trip home from Grande Saline we once again encountered a funeral. This time we had to stop and the funeral procession passed around our bus. There were hundreds of mourners singing and dancing. It was a special opportunity to experience a Haitian tradition up close.
Once again, the students and staff worked hard and had a great and productive day. We would like to thank our translators because none of our work would be possible without them. And thanks to our bus driver Stevenson for getting us safely to and from Grande Saline. Until you have taken this trip, you cannot appreciate how long, dusty, hot and bumpy it is!
Tomorrow we plan to attend church and travel to Port au Prince. We all need a day to rest and relax a bit so we will take our time settling into the guest house.
Good night from Haiti!