Thursday, April 30, 2015


"April come she will... when streams are ripe and swelled with rain..."  so wrote musical genius Paul Simon a century ago. (It feels like a hundred years some times)

Wouldn't it be a treat if April showers really brought May flowers? But after a week of heavy rain which clogged our gutter, it brought the gift which keeps on giving --- mosquitos. It also gave way to summer temperatures around the 30 plus degree mark . July in April... too soon. 
April showers show off the newly whitewashed security wall (miray), 
a surprise by staff for our visitor.

Our gutter was clogged ...  a haven for mosquitos.

Lakay Jasmine in Sen Rafayel welcomed new staff member Elanie, a former student who will return to school in the fall to complete Philo. She fit in like an old pair of shoes - comfortable  and familiar.
Welcome Elanie, newest staff member. Here she prepares kasava flatbread.
We have it made in Cap-Haitien and truck it up weekly.

Our clinic, run by Nurse Gaby is open on Thursdays but Gaby is on site the rest of the week working with our senior students getting them ready to write State National exams in July. In addition to diagnosis and treatment, much of Gaby's job is education. The kids are comfortable with him and trust him.  I'll be looking for Malaria testing equipment in June. We don't need a full lab but that will help.

Gaby checks Furmancia's blood pressure.  
Tansyon is a problem for many ages.

If there is a medical emergency, Gaby is on site
5 days a week. Here some Gr 9 students prep for exams.

At Lakay Fondasyon in Cap-Haitien, similar activities. We are on the look out for another staff member as the staff are stretched very thin, especially when I am out of the country.

Coordinator Lusnot goes over a report card
with Stephen, setting up weekend study sessions.

Dieugrand works with high school students Celine and Melane on a
homework assignment. Computers are becominga must at all grade levels.

Lusnot works with 2nd year nursing student Myriame. 
The clinic in Sen Rafayel is proving to be an asset. With no nurse in Cap-Haitien, we deal with emergencies as best we can and staff are becoming adept at first aid. Fatia and 4 year old sister Maniella were injured when an allegedly drunken driver slammed his gravel truck into a taptap. We sent them to Milot hospital next day. All soft tissue damage. We had applied ice and Arnica cream and tablets. They are still stiff but getting there.

Ice and Arnica for accident victim Fatia.

Wednesday Inea came in for a dental referral - a filling had fallen out and she was in pain. We sent her to Dr. T. who works at Justinien as well as private practice. Instead of just replacing the filling, she noticed a cyst on the roof of Inea's mouth and proceeded to cut it out. Inea had no one with her and somehow made it to our door before collapsing. We kept her here for 2 nights. Her face was still very swollen . Joceline stayed over and to-gether we provided the care she needed. Yesterday Auguste and I delivered her to the tikay she lives in by herself. The next week she ended up in the hospital in Milot on IV. Thank goodness Gaby was available for a home visit. We agreed it was yet another reason multiple student housing is important. It would have provided her with the support she needed yet able to stay in her own bed. Fritzman has told us he found a house for rent with 4 bedrooms near the Semi-Lycee which 14 of our students attend. We checked it out and hope  that we can bring in some of our students who have a 5 mile trek to and from school each day as well as 2 of our boys who have recently lost their housing.

Inea would benefit as well as her place floods when it rains. When she is well enough, we will take her to see it. If she is ok with the move, we'll rent , clean and paint and move them in.

Joceline and Senkyeme look after Inea post dental surgery.
We are still a community of readers -- our new admissions read with as much thirst as do our seniors. 

Fritzman - new glasses, headaches gone

Travel up and down the mountain takes longer and longer for many reasons.  At Easter we were held up by a band of RARA musicians looking for money. It's not quite as aggressive as Kanaval but still demands one hand over money.

A RARA band stops traffic on the mountain
and demands money. It only happens at Easter.

This week it was another protest on the bridge. In  a previous blog, I wrote about the houses and businesses that were torn down along Airport Rd. in order that the 'tourists' could see the water when they drive in from the airport. This 'manifestation' was those displaced. Many came with their bedmats  strapped to their backs and laid down on the bridge.

 All one  can do is wait it out. Police presence means a lot as far as resolution of the protest. It doesn't provide solutions for those displaced but usually brings about an end to the activity.

A trip up or down the mountain used to take about 2 hours. With all the stops we now make, that has changed our schedules. Our trusty Nissan truck is now recognized on the mountainside and people stop us and ask for help with animals, schooling, food , free ride to the market - you name it. Sometimes we can accommodate.

One of these dogs had been severely cut by a machete, the other was blind.
We provided food and an antibacterial vet. spray to clean the wound. 

Natalie's big brother touched my sandals and said he liked them, he didn't have shoes.
We bought 10 pair in the market in Sen Rafayel but none fit Natalie or sister Esmonia.
So I traced feet.

Auguste helps passengers sit safely. They asked for a 'wou lib' (free ride)to Dondon.
 Unfortunately inside was full.

Auguste - first informal interview with potential admission to our program.

 Now that we are posting on Facebook several time a week, I had intended to try to write a monthly blog - several entries each week. You know about good intentions. It is now April 30, 1:17 pm. We have had electricity for an hour. I'm writing as fast as I can. A month goes by in the blink of an eye.

The shoes we purchase in the Cap market were a good fit. Dieugrand delivered them the next trip.

Dieugrand fitting Princess Natalie's first shoes.

Camiose (2nd yr Nursing) diagnosed with Typhoid.
We still deal with nasty illnesses.

Our 6  month old Shoset injured or was bitten on her
paw and still limps after more than 2 weeks.

This little one is still alive and getting stronger time we see him.

It is now 2:17 and the electricity has been gone for about 20 minutes. This battery isn't holding a good charge any more. Which brings me to the end of the month.

When I began to write, we had enjoyed (?) rain and temps had soared to the 30's. A month later, not a drop of precip and temps in the 40's every day. Summer in April. Heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunstroke are all making appearances along with the usual list of characters - Malaria, Typhoic, HPylori, Cholera, EColi ....

We've started making frozen water bottles to distribute and are giving out baseball caps and sunglasses to help. Fritzman, Fatia and Camiose display their caps and glasses.

I'm telling myself it can't get any hotter - but experience tells me I know it can.Talk to you in May when I will have some REALLY BIG NEWS!

Until the next

Be well, be safe, be happy


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