Monday, December 3, 2007

Cap-Haitien Haiti -- leptospirosis, dengue, typhoid, yellow fever?

Hello Everyone,

FInally, we have electricity. We seem to be in the midst of a medical AND hydro-electric crisis. Whatever is making our kids ill is very hard to detect by conventional analysis. I had a visit from an American doctor yesterday who offered many suggestions -- leptospirosis, dengue, typhoid, yellow fever -- but ended saying the symptoms to not EXACTLY fit any one diease. That's my conclusion as well, after searching web sites (when the hydro comes on at 2 a.m. for 30 minutes).

Our neighbour had again branched into our hydro lines, so we were paying for his family electricity. Again, I had to pay an electrician to take down HIS lines.

I've just sent Gaby, Rosenie and Guilene by taxi, along with Dieugrand, Wisky and Daniel to help them. They will see Dr. Jerome (private practice.) The hospital 'gen grev' (is on strike -- doctors and nurses not paid). Each clinic had tested and prescribed and each patient had gotten worse. I sent them to Dr. Bell, but they learned that Dr. Bell is sick, and his office is closed; His brother, also a doctor, is also sick, and HIS office is closed. I secured a phone number for Dr. Jerome from Soeur Giselle a neighbour, and Dr.Jerome is working today so I have sent everyone off to see him.

Marlene is in Sen Rafayel. We have had no communication since she went last week.

Yesterday (Sunday), we had 46 in for food sacks. Next week, we will add a second distribution, and charbon {charcoal} for cooking.

The boxes Pat sent in July from Orangeville arrived last week. Perfect timing. All of the vitamin C has been distributed. Hopefully it can provide a boost to immune systems in desperate need. We are using copious amounts of hand sanitizer as so many unknowns and seemingly contagious.

Christamene needs glasses and will rendevou with Auguste at Optika next Monday.

Most students are writing exams now and will finish by the 15th. Claudy and Louisena came down from Sen Rafayel on Saturday. The food situation in the village is desperate, as the gardens which has just started again were wiped out when cyclone Noel went through. We discussed the possibility of weekly distribution there as well. However currently that would mean trucking up the mountain. Will talk again midweek.

Visitors due today at 8:30 a.m. It's now nearly noon. Hopefully, they'll arrive before those scheduled to arrive tomorrow get here.

We are trying to add some pizzazz to our birthday box. If anyone would like to send a one of a kind item (a watch. a game of checkers, a game of dominoes, a makeup kit for the girls, a nail kit, a hair cutting kit, a small radio, a walk man, a Brazil team jersey (soccer) etc), so we can offer students one item from the birthday box and also give them a Haitian-made card signed by the staff with 100 gourds in it (just under $3). So many students have no one to remember them.

That's all for now. There's someone at the gate, and Rosenie is at the Doctor. I have been doing her job for the last week.

Pi Ta


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