From Paper Hats to a Solar Cooker: Day 2 in Grande Saline

The 2017 Health for Haiti team broke all records today and worked on 9 projects during the time we spent in Grande Saline.  The entire team of 35 people worked very hard and provided services and education to hundreds of people in the community.

The medical and dental teams, led by Maureen, started seeing patients right away.  Working with Haitian doctor, Dr. Gary, the students and Physician Assistant Kristy Rodgers (who came all the way from Honolulu!) triaged 64 patients. Patient ages ranged from 18 days to 96 years.  They dispensed over 200 prescriptions. Sixty-seven children received toothbrush instructions, an exam and a fluoride varnish treatment. Health data was collected and recorded for all 131 patients.

Marcia provided a fun day full of art for over 80 children. They made colorful flowers out of craft foam and pipe cleaners, drew favorite animals and happily joined the paper “chapeau” craze started by Jean Frico. The kids also played a version of “freeze frame”.  The kids danced while we played drums and when we stopped playing they froze in the pose of their favorite animal. A winner was chosen and everyone made the sound of that animal.  There were lots of smiles and giggles!

Today Lynn, back by popular demand, ran a teacher’s workshop.  With Lynn’s help, the teachers continued their work on multiple intelligences by creating a Jeopardy-style game that could be played with their students. Teachers were teamed up, then created categories for the game, including communication, music, geography and computers.  The final category was a quiz on Haitian Kreyol made especially for Lynn.  The teachers received their second professional development certificate.

As if that was not enough, Lynn also worked with some local women and girls to make yarn out of plastic bags cut into strips.  Tomorrow, she plans to teach the women how to crochet the “yarn” into mats.

Jen and another team presented a “ProjectP” workshop for 30 women and girls.  The workshop included a lesson on puberty, female reproductive anatomy, the menstrual cycle and feminine hygiene products.  The workshop included a discussion of the economics of purchasing sanitary pads.  The ProjectP team taught each participate how to create their own reusable sanitary pads.  They received all of the sewing supplies they needed to make their own pad during the workshop and received a take-home kit with supplies to make another pad, soap and underwear. The reusable pad provides a more cost-effective alternative for the women and girls.  It can also be made and sold for a profit. This project actually started a few months ago as a classroom project at SUNY Broome and is now being implemented in rural and urban Haitian communities. For more information visit, a website created by Health for Haiti and Art of Science students.

Greg and Nick completed an inspection to check for any equipment issues.  All of the equipment is in good working order. The system was operated to fill the water tanks.  The water flow and operating pressures were in line with expected/desired performance.  Once the water tanks were filled a complete chemical clean (high and low pH) was performed.

Gay’s Solar Team started construction of a solar parabolic cooker. The team started by using a template to trace and cut 32 ribs for the parabolic dish. The assembled the base and cut slits in the ribs so they would fit a disc. They fit and spaced the ribs, made sure they were upright and not tilted, and glued the bottoms of the ribs to the base. The team plans to finish the cooker tomorrow.  The finished cooker will be able to boil water in 5 minutes!

All of the children and workshop participants enjoyed a delicious lunch of rice and beans with fish cooked by the amazing lunch ladies.  The money for the food and drinks came from the Health for Haiti student fundraising efforts.

Professor Hankin and I, along with the entire staff, were so impressed by the tireless efforts of our wonderful students and translators. Every student worked hard and did amazing work.  Everyone was very tired after this productive day and was glad to get back to the hotel after the two hour hot dusty bumpy drive back to the hotel.  We enjoyed a diner of goat, plantains, potato salad and rice and beans.  Tomorrow we will be up early to do it all again on our final day in Grande Saline.

Good night from Haiti.

  5 comments for “From Paper Hats to a Solar Cooker: Day 2 in Grande Saline

  1. Maryalice Pauley
    January 7, 2017 at 9:58 am

    You are a real life example that love truly is infinite, as you continue to work harder each day!… Thank you for the rich postings – I feel your strength and passion… Role models for the world

  2. January 8, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Amazing work down there everyone! Love the projects. Great photos, Silvia! I’m curious… what volume of water boils in 5 minutes using the parabolic solar cooker? Cheers. Bill

  3. January 9, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    You are all doing AMAZING and INSPIRING things!! Keep up the good work!! Hi to my med term students Brandon and Joleen. Hi also to my yoga friend Lynn and faculty friends Maureen and Jennifer. And know you are all in my thoughts and prayers!! Safe travels!!

    • January 12, 2017 at 2:09 am

      OMG, I am so sorry Marcia. You are one of my faculty friends too. To all, keep up the good work and stay safe!! I read the blog every night and see all the smiles and smile too!!

      • January 24, 2017 at 8:10 pm

        OMG, I meant Shelby not Joleen. I am so sorry.

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