Category: 2015

Good Morning From Ayiti!

After some well-deserved rest everyone is up and ready for a full day. After breakfast we will make the long drive to Grande Saline and begin our work there. This is a fantastic team and we know they will accomplish great things!!

Clean Water Changes Everything

The World Health Organization estimates that hundreds of millions of people in the world do not have access to clean water, and that every year over a half million people die from diseases related to drinking dirty water. Since March 2015, SUNY Broome Community College’s Health for Haiti program has been providing clean drinking water for hundreds of families in Grande Saline, Haiti.  This clean water effort has been a true collaboration between Health for Haiti and the community in Grande Saline.  For this community, the local river is the only source of water. The Health for Haiti water system filters the water from the local river, making it safe to drink. The system was donated by the Pall Corporation in Cortland, NY and ongoing technical support is provided by their engineers (assisted by SUNY Broome students).  The clean water means better health for the families living in this cholera-affected area.

Last week over 14,400 gallons of safe drinking water were distributed to families in the community.  Health for Haiti donations help to provide a salary for the local operators who run the system each day and to purchase gas to power the filtration system.  Clean water is fundamental to good health.  Access to clean water has changed and saved lives.  This year we hope to build on this success and change the system, which currently relies on gas, to solar power. The system will be less expensive and more efficient if the community does not have to purchase gas and rely on generators. Gas is expensive and hard to obtain, but sunshine is free and abundant. Thank you for your past support of our clean water project.  Please consider a donation to help purchase solar panels and batteries so that we can make this system more sustainable for the community. Click here from more information on our “Solar for Water” initiative.

Hello, Port au Prince!

Greeting from Haiti! Today we enjoyed a great final breakfast (pumpkin soup) at Le Gou T and headed to church at Mission House Freedom Center. We were all moved by the music and emotion at the service. It was such a wonderful cultural and spiritual experience.

After that we traveled from Saint Marc to Port au Prince and were so happy to arrive at Estinfil Guest House. Jude welcomed us to our “home in Haiti” and gave the students a tour. We went to the DeliMart for water and snacks and then had an amazing dinner at Estinfil. Everyone is ready for some well-deserved rest. Tomorrow will be another busy day! What a wonderful group this is. Professor Hankin and I are so proud of the students, the kindness they are showing to the Haitian people and to each other is inspiring. We already feel like a family, and we look forward to the work we will do together here in Port au Prince.

Please enjoy some assorted pictures from our day.

Bon nwit from Haiti!

Goodbye to Grande Saline.

Greetings from warm, wonderful, Haiti!

Today was our last day in Grande Saline and it was another productive and joyful day for our team.

Medical saw ninety-seven patients today, twice as many many as yesterday. We saw babies and the elderly and everything in between. In addition, thirty-six patients received reading glasses.

Fifty five children were seen in the dental clinic today and over 200 permanent teeth were sealed. Twenty severely decayed teeth were treated with silver diamine fluoride.

The water team did some troubleshooting on the older air compressor and was unable to find the source of the problem. Greg will contact the manufacturer for assistance. They completed their work with some clean up and organization. The system continues to provide clean, safe drinking water to the entire community.

The education team presented a lesson on science and scientific observation that is meant to prepare students for an upcoming lesson on microscopy. The eight teachers were each asked to each choose a student to attend the lesson with them. The goal was to teach the teachers so they can deliver the lesson to all of the students. It was so fun to use magnifying glasses to make observations and recored them in their notebooks.

We also provided lunch for the kids, and visited the garden again (for the students who did not get to go yesterday) and planted okra. After that we returned to the hotel for some fun and relaxation and to just enjoy being together.

We have accomplished so much in the past three days and cannot say enough about these students. They are amazing.

Tomorrow we will attend Haitian church and head to Port au Prince.

Bon nwit from Haiti.

A Pretty Perfect Day in Grande Saline

Greetings from Haiti! It was a wonderful day in Grande Saline. The weather was perfect today and, although we had some “bus stuck in the mud” issues, our day was pretty perfect. We accomplished so much, and I am so sorry we don’t have enough wi-fi to upload pictures.

The hard-working medical team, led by our Haitian doctor, Dr. Gary, saw fifty patients and the students did an amazing job taking care of each person. The dental hygiene students provided oral hygiene instructions, state of the art dental sealants, and fluoride varnish, to forty-eight children. These preventive treatments will protect the children from future dental decay.

The enthusiastic education team provided a fun music lesson for sixty children. The children learned to play recorders and after learning the basic notes: “B”, “A”, and “G”, played “Hot Cross Buns”. The instruments and song books were donated by students at Tioga Hills Elementary School.

We also met with the Grande Saline teachers to prepare for tomorrow’s microscopy lesson. We brought them a light microscope for their school and they had a wonderful time learning to use it.

We then visited the community gardens and planted tomato seedlings and beans with the farmers. It was so exciting to be a part of planting the food that will feed the local children. Thank you to Pastor Berlando for giving us this opportunity.

The water team also had a productive and successful day. They fixed the compressor, did a chemical clean, constructed some new storage in the container, fixed a processing error, and were happy they did not find any dead frogs in the feed tank.

Thank you to these incredible students and our talented and tireless staff for making this day one of our best ever in Haiti!

Bon nwit from Haiti!

Rain and Rice in Haiti

Greetings from Haiti! It rained all day, and we are all soaked, but it was a wonderful day. Of course our bus got stuck in the mud (AKA Haitian Snow), but our fabulous staff pushed us out. The students spent a few hours bagging rice, beans, fish, and oil. They made bags for 300 families and then distributed them.

Dr. Gay gave a presentation on economics, entrepreneurship, and soap-making for some wonderful ladies in the community. Thanks to Sweetcakes Soap for the donation of materials!

We also visited the water system (in the pouring rain) and Greg explained how the system cleans the water.

We are so grateful for this amazing team and these incredible students. Everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved rest and another busy day in Grande Saline in Haiti.

Sorry I can’t post more pictures. Haiti wi-fi is a challenge.

Bon Nwit from Haiti!

Safe Arrival in Haiti: Go Health for Haiti 2018!

Greetings from Haiti! We left SUNY Broome at 1:30 am and, after only 18 hours of bus, plane, and one very tight bus ride in Haiti…we (and our 49 suitcases) made it to our hotel in Saint Marc! We went from 4 degrees in Binghamton to 80 something here in Haiti. Everyone is tired but fine and ready for our first day in Grande Saline tomorrow. Bon nwit from Haiti!

Hot Stuff: Health for Haiti Summer 2017

Health for Haiti had another fun and productive (and very hot) trip to Haiti last week.  We began our trip by visiting Grande Saline.  We spent three days with the community there.  We had a team (led by Greg) who performed some maintenance and operator training at the water system.  The system was busy and the operators report that they distribute 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of clean water each day.  People come from near and far to get the safe drinking water. Dr. Gay and I met with the Water and Power Community to review our plans for converting the system from gas to solar power.  We are very hopeful that we will have the funding to complete this project in 2018.  We also met with members of the Saint Marc Rotary to discuss their role in the project. This was a wonderful meeting and we are fortunate to have such great partners in Haiti.

We also had a wonderful time doing crafts and sports (kickball and baseball) with the children.  We enjoyed watching an amazing soccer tournament (thanks Union Endicott High School for donating their old uniforms). On our last day there were races and dance competitions and everyone had a wonderful time!  Prizes were awarded to the first and second place competitors. We even played a game that is kind of a Haitian version of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, but involves dizzy blindfolded people walking around with scissors. We also were very happy to help to provide a nutritious lunch to the local children each day.  Thanks to Daniella D., Daniella S., Eveline and Veronique for cooking and washing all of those dishes! Thanks to Pastor Berlando for excellent organization and to our wonderful security team in Grande Saline who helped us to work safely and effectively with some very large groups of children.

Please be sure to check out our Haiti Dance Party video to see some of the amazing dancing that was going on during our visit.

Haiti Dance Party

We visited the community garden and were very happy to see the rice growing there.  We also saw the sewing students working hard in class every day.  With Dana and Chesnil’s help they are making beautiful blouses and skirts. I was measured for a skirt and I can’t wait to pick it up next time I go to Grande Saline!

We spent one day in Port au Prince where we visited Mother Teresa’s Children’s Hospital and Lambi Orphanage. At Lambi we provided lunch, handed out toys, toothbrushes, shoes and clothes, did some crafts, and socialized with the children and staff.  We also were fortunate to have Dr. Pierre Louis meet us at Lambi. She and her staff saw each of the children to do a baseline health assessment and we hope will be working with us to put a much-needed nutrition plan in place for the kids.  Thanks to all of the people who donated much-needed clothes, toys, shoes and over the counter medications for the children at Lambi. Your generosity is overwhelming and was so appreciated by the children and staff at Lambi.

Many thanks to Greg, Darlene, Dr. Gay, Tom, John, Ally, Brian, Jack, Michaela, Shea and Tyler for all of there hard work. It was so, so hot. I don’t think any of us have ever been that hot!  And our bus got stuck in the mud a couple of times. And it was the usual wonderful, crazy, colorful, Haiti chaos every day.  Thanks for working hard, never complaining (especially on those seemingly endless bus rides)  and showing so much love to our friends in Haiti. We also thank J.J., Schneider, Brigida, Roosevelt, Patrick, and Jean Frico for their tireless help with everything from translating to pushing the bus out of the mud (even when the wheels were buried or it was sideways across the road).  We could not have accomplished what we did without the six of you. Thanks to Stevenson for driving us and keeping us safe on the road.  It was an awesome (but very, very sweaty) team!

Professor Hankin and I look forward to being in Haiti agzin this January with our 2018 Health for Haiti class.  Interested students should apply now to join us in January. As always, thanks for supporting Health for Haiti!