Cloudy Skies and Bright Smiles

Today was a fun and special day for our team.  After a hearty breakfast of Jude’s oatmeal we loaded up our suitcases and headed out to Centre Evangelique Orphanage in Port au Prince.  It was about a two hour drive through the busy crowded streets of Port au Prince. It was cloudy and a little rainy today, but still nice and warm.  The orphanage we visited is run by a good friend of (our translator) Schneider’s.  Schneider asked if we might be able to visit because the children at this orphanage are in need of support.  All of the kids are malnourished and in need of medical care. We were joined by Dr. Johnny, a Haitian doctor who is a friend of JJ’s.  We also wanted to provide some education, food and some fun for the 45 kids who live there.

As soon as we arrived, we got right to work.  The medical and dental teams set up so that they could provide medical and dental services for all of the children. Marcia and a few of the students organized some art and music activities in the two classrooms.  Lynn also helped the students to set up a “store” for the kids with donated clothing, flip-flops, jewelry, toys and soap.  The kids had so much fun coloring, making crafts and instruments, playing with the toys, and shopping at the store.

Our ProjectP team set up in the privacy of the girl’s bedroom and worked with about ten adolescent and teenage girls. They provided some reproductive health education and then worked with the girls to make reusable pads.  The girls really enjoyed the sewing project and each one was able to make a pad.  We also distributed underwear and some reusable pads that were made by a sewing group in the US and donated to Health for Haiti.

Some of the students taught the kids how to brush their teeth using puppets.  The children really loved playing with the puppets and brushing their teeth. We also provided a nutrition lesson for the kids to teach them about what kinds of food will help them to grow and have energy.  The lesson ended with a fun game (with prizes!) to test the kids on the new information that they learned.

In addition, because of the successful fundraising efforts of the 2017 Health for Haiti students, we were able to provide lunch for the kids and donate money to help them purchase food for the next month or so.  The medical team triaged all 45 children and teachers.  Dr. Johnny prescribed medications as needed.  The dental team provided toothbrush prophylaxis and topical fluoride varnish treatments to all of the patients that were triaged.  Every patient received toothpaste, a toothbrush and a sticker.  We also collected health histories for each patient.

We had a wonderful time with the children but it was difficult because these kids were not well.  We felt privileged to at least give them a fun day and some basic care.  Once again the students and the translators really went above and beyond all expectations.  They all did an incredible job and pitched in wherever was needed.  And a special thanks to Silvia for taking all of these amazing pictures for us.

After we finished all of our work, we went back to Jude’s. The traffic was horrendous and it took us over three hours to get home. Jude was waiting with pumpkin soup which made us feel better. Tonight the students are hanging out, relaxing and writing in their journals.  Tomorrow we will start our day at Mother Teresa’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Good night from Haiti!

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