Many thanks to the folks in Pennsylvania for their generosity of spirit. The Christmas boxes arrived over the course of several weeks and were distributed in Sen Rafayel and Cap in January. Unfortunately the customs changes have caused great challenges. Items shipped in Sept. and Nov. are still sitting waiting to be processed. They may never arrive.
Prices have soared on all products due to scarcity. Also eggs and poultry from the DR (our main supplier -- see this news report ) have been halted due to bird flu scare. Contemplating buying a couple of hens and producing our own eggs.
Are continuing twice weekly food distribution on a pilot basis (Pwoje Byen Manje = Healthy Eating} and have begun Pwoje Dlo Potab (Potable water project). With so many gravely ill, we have started distributing from the 5 gallon jugs we purchase daily. Cuurrenly sterilizing 1 gallon containers and giving to those most ill. Cannot provide for everyone due to high cost and scarcity of containers. We have folks in several states working on a solution to our contamination problem -- thanks everyone.
Congratulations and thanks to Lucie, Peggy and all those who gave so generously of their time and energy in Charlotte NC. The fundraiser last week was a great success, with an amazing number of donated items being auctioned off to help support our young people.
The third of our pilot projects -- Pwoje Bon Sante' (Project Good Health ) -- is being headed up by one of our grads, Jhennie C. We did not have a sponsor for her to start university this year so she is glad to be working rather than sitting each day. Hopefully she will be able to return to school in Sept. ( although she is proving to be very valuable here).
All projects are for 6 month trial, if funds allow. As small clinics are understaffed and overworked, we are sending all serious illnesses (about 99% of the complaints we hear) to Dr. B, and Jhennie is liaison with both he and the lab. It is more expensive; however, many are too ill to sit for hours in emerg or a clinic, or go back and forth from lab to clinic, so Jhennie creates necessary paperwork, arranges taxi and funds, they see Dr. B in the a.m., tests (those not requiring xray or sonogram) are done in the lab on his premises, then Jhennie travels in the afternoon for results and consults with Dr. B for rezilta sonde (diagnosis) and meds and/or follow up needed.
She maintains a list documenting visits, purchases necessary meds and distributes next day. Also she is liaison with the dentist we use, and she distributes funds and necesssary paper work to students and keeps track of last appointment, creating a list for 6-month check ups. We haven't started the check ups yet as all dental cases are emergencies. Only have one who has seen a dentist before, and that was 10 years ago.
Illnesses mount. Camiose is being tested for 'microfiliare', yet another terror from the mosquito. Testing must be done at night and only can be done at Lopital Justinien. She is apprehensive about staying on a bench at the hospital during the night, so Julia will accompany her.
Jhon Charlee has malaria and needs a chest xray as well. Have a taxi arranged for [this morning] for Karfoumoustik. Julia will accompany him due to his weakened condition. Markendy's diagnosis was pneumonia not TB as initially suspected.
Daniel was diagnosed with probable appendicitis Jan 16. and Dr B said send him to Milot. It was the 21st Jan before we could arrange transit, then after sitting for 5 hours in Milot, he was told no surgeon would be available to consult before 15 March. Back he came in the taxi and went to Justinien next morning. They had no electricity so sent him to Karfoumoustik for sonogram. We arranged that for the next morning. Another day of sitting then back to Justinien the next day for lab work. Friday, back to hospital for final consult -- NO diagnosis given but meds for ulcer prescribed. Pain the same.
Five new diagnosis of gastric ulcers and an assortment of fungal infections, giardia etc. Jack's brother Wisky is working with us now. The Bos mechanic he was apprenticing with was paralyzed (kokobe) in an acident and has closed the shop. This is the third mechanic he has lost. The first died, the second was sent to jail. He has chosen to work and get his driver's licence (chofe). He will look after the grounds -- grass, garden, garbage and security -- when I am in Canada, freeing Auguste on weekends.
Jack and Bos Mason (M. Franck) are working on the addition we began last summer to open the kitchen staircase. Rough work is almost finished. We will begin the painting in a few weeks.
I am completing a 4th round of antibiotics for Typhoid. To add insult to injury, I've picked up a head and chest cold. Will retest Wed. Others in Cap have the same challenge -- a strain of Typhoid that is Cipro resistant.
On the good news front, the sun is shining and for the moment there is electricity.
PS Anyone with first hand experience with high functioning autism please email me. Info needed.
PPS Auguste and I found a potential student housing site when making a home visit 2 weeks ago. It is a half consrtucted house with potential 7 bedrooms, common room, kitchen and bath when completed. Any one or any group interested in a fund raising project please contact me by email for particulars.