March 15th, 2017
Wednesday in Haiti.
This morning we worked on organizing supplies and then I decided to go pick up more trash. The clinic was full of mamas, babies, nurses, midwives and students. There were prenatals and vaccines happening. Busy stuff.
When you contemplate vaccines do you ever contemplate the developing world. We see so many volunteers with such a variety of beliefs. Here we offer and many people come. It’s a thing to think about.
So while I was picking up trash I learned that I should really hire a crew to clean up my field. So this is what I did. Five mean worked so hard. Cleaned up the field in front of MamaBaby Haiti and burned that trash right up. You see there is a lot of trash in Haiti and the infrastructure at this time just doesn’t have a perfect solution. For today, this was ours and this was what I was called to do on this trip among the countless, literally countless other things I’ve done. Oh like I chased and petted a baby goat. I mean it did happen but it probably wasn’t a calling, or maybe it was 😆.
Back to my morning. After my initial trash pick up plan I walked back to the birth center gates. A beautiful mommy rode by me on the back motorcycle with a few day old baby in her right arm and a big red and blue umbrella in her left that she was holding up over her head in the hot sun. They stopped at the gate. Mommy’s hair was beautiful. She was wearing really nice jeans and a hot pink shirt and her baby was all dressed in hot pink. Yes the less than a week old baby was cradled in her right arm on the back
of a motorcycle. Contemplate the world. It’s a different and very efficient world. People work very hard, get where they need to go and love their families. It’s just different.
After that we had a mama with a blood pressure of 164/125. We decided to transport. Her Matron brought her here. A Matron is a traditional typically untrained midwife, take it as you may. I’ll add before I go on that there are many trainings offered to the Martons from many organization. So the ones that seek training do get some. I have a heart for midwives so please hear no complaints in my words. She was lovely. She brought her mama to us. A mama that has received prenatal care here, she brought for a complication. I gave her a couple boxes of gloves and several sterile gloves to take back home because she sees many many women.
Regardless, we packed that mama up. She was so stressed. The family was very worried because they have no money. At the same time I found out that the mama we transported on Saturday for preeclampsia was still at the hospital. They wouldn’t let her leave until she paid. So thank God I had some extra money in me.
2000 gourdes per mama. One to go to the hospital, one to get out. Then 2000 gourdes for five guys to clear a field of trash and to burn it.
For reference I encourage you to go into a currency conversion and learn what Haitian Gourdes are to US Dollars. It will be very educational.
Oh my goodness speaking of I met a group of women today that have a clinic about 15 miles from here from an organization called Soaring Unlimited they have a primary care clinic and are opening a birth center and they brought a couple of women from Construction org called Building Goodness Foundation. They have been using MamaBaby Haiti as a birth center to model after.
It was really cool to meet them and know they are a primary care clinic we can refer to if needed.
What happened next? Oh so many things.
We waited for the tap tap to return. Then we went to buy new batteries for the solar panel system. That was expensive. Oh my word. We had to pick up the man that sells the batteries at the hospital in Cap Haitien. He is also an administrator for the free vasectomy clinic there. So I not only got new batteries. I also got free vasectomy pamphlets.
Then we went back to the market. Honestly, I could be there everyday. I saw every fish you could imagine for sale. I also bought a plaintain smasher. So that I can make real Haitian plantains at home. We bought, plantains, bananas, and oranges that look like big limes. Darren was very popular with the ladies when he pulled out his money in the plantain section. He was even hugged and held onto.
It was a good day at the market. Claudin may have bought a turtle. Emily told him not to because it will live 100 years and she knows because she has a 10 year old turtle she loves named Franklin at home. He said he bought it to mark this time with us. It was a really cute turtle called a red eared slider. He also bought a big container for it. I just love the market. I just love my friends here. I just loved today.
We headed back home to MamaBaby after that. On the way back a motorcycle pulled up next to Darren, we were in the back of the tap tap going down the road, and the rider said hello to him, asked him how he was and asked Darren how do you like my country? Darren said it’s beautiful. The motorcycle rider thanked him smiled very big and rode off.
How can I explain Haiti?
So many think oh poor Haiti and yes there are many things that people struggle with here but overall Haiti is amazing. The Haitian people are strong and beautiful and proud, as they should be. They stood for their rights and their freedom and won. This country is lush and beautiful, surrounded by oceans, filled with rivers and mountains. It’s an amazing place. Are the struggles here real? Yes, they are very real. Haiti is still an amazingly beautiful country filled amazing people. Please remember that. I feel so passionate about my work here because I see the people here as my friends and I love them and I love Haiti. Please hear that. When I ask for support in Haiti I ask because #1 I was called here by a force bigger than myself, #2 I love the people here, #3 amidst the beauty here the struggle is real. Thank you for reading that.
We arrived back to MBH our trash was burning and the sky was filled with smoke. I’m not proud but I’m proud. The field that was full of trash is clean.
We were tired.
Darren set up the new batteries. They seem to be working. Yay!!
Then I got called in to check on a mama. She had been in labor at home with a Matron and pushing for some time. She was swollen and tired.
I checked her dilation and her vitals. She was 1cm. There were other factors but none were to big a deal. I said she’s not in labor. She needs to sleep. We gave her a glass of Natural Calm magnesium and put her to bed. We will likely send her home in the morning. She was so tired.
Then two more moms came in. One will stay and have a baby. The other will go and return when labor picks up.
Our days and our nights, each and everyone are full. We have had so many rich experiences this trip. I’m sad to say that tomorrow will be my last full day in Haiti for this trip.
What will tomorrow bring?