|Haiti medical team, 2011|
Some of you probably already know that in January I'm volunteering to serve as part of a medical mission in Haiti. I know, I'm still a little shocked, too. Here I am, a non-medical person needed on a medical mission. Blows my mind. I couldn't really explain why I said yes. Or even all the steps that led to it. Everything just kind of...happened. But I can tell you how I feel. Most of the time, I'm excited and just can't wait to get out there.
|Haitians waiting for medical care|
It's the hurting that will get to me.
|For laundry, bathing, drinking|
So many struggling just to eat day to day or to find clean drinking water. Of course, cholera is an issue there, so we'll see some of that, too.
The first day, we'll hike three hours up a mountain to reach a remote village that might not otherwise ever receive medical care. It's hard work, this mission, where we'll carry our supplies on our backs, be on our feet most of the day, staying in open air quarters. But whatever. That's nothing compared to what so many Haitians have to deal with on a daily basis.
But these are not children like so many of our children. My children have me. No doubt. They know when they need me, I'm there. Any time, all the time. When they're hurting or angry or happy, I'm there. Always. But these kids?
They say sometimes the children will line up just to sit on your lap. That they'll follow you around talking and talking in creole, waiting for a smile from you or a laugh or a kind word they don't understand or for you to hold your arms out so they can jump into them.
|This infant's life was saved last year|
These Haitians? It calls to me, their need. So. I will go.
But I can't do it alone.
So what I'm asking of you is to search deep inside yourself and do only what you can. Of course, your emotional support is just as valuable to me as anything else, but if you can spare even a dollar, less than the cost of a cup of coffee, that's a box of children's vitamins from the dollar store--at minimum. Because we also have pharmaceutical connections and can purchase RX drugs and supplies at cost, so that $20 can support the medical needs of something like 60 Haitians for over a month. Seriously. An American family can blow that in one meal eating out. If you feel that you can, please click on the Paypal Donate button to donate funds for this medical mission, as little or as much as you like.
But please. Only what you can. In exchange, we're trying to procure Internet in Haiti so that I can blog about what we're doing while we're there--and so you can see how your support is helping. But I'll ask you only to do what you feel is right, what you feel moved to do. Dude, just reading and tuning in, caring about the welfare of others, thinking about how connected we really are--that's huge, too.
Anyway, this has been a really hard post for me to write. How do I convey a need I feel inside myself in such a way you might feel it, too? I don't know, honestly. I don't. When you look at these eyes, do you feel it?
It's piercing, isn't it?
Information about my trip in January
Locale: Medical clinic volunteers for Mission Haiti Medical will reside on the compound of L’Eglise De Dieu Reformee in Saintard, Haiti. Saintard is a small village in the Arcahaie region of Haiti, about 30 miles northwest of Port AuPrince, Haiti’s capital.
Accommodations: Accommodations are meager and volunteers are asked to share rooms with other volunteers. The sleeping quarters are open-air, but protected from rain by an overhead roof. Running water for the restroom and showers is used conservatively. Clean drinking water is provided at all times. Electricity and telephone services are unreliable and availability cannot be guaranteed.
Schedule: A Mission Haiti Medical work camp lasts 7-10 days. Three to five days are devoted to mobile clinics, in which the team travels to a rural area to provide a one-day clinic. These are full days and may involve driving through rough terrain and a few hours of mountain hiking. A mobile clinic requires medical professionals, but also relies on a team of persons to assist with procedures,
crowd control, and dispensing medications.
Language: The spoken language is Haitian Creole. Interpreters are used in the clinics.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. Seriously. Even just stopping by, reading, commenting. Huge.
***Please note, in order to prevent unscrupulous people from attempting a scam...while there might be others directing you to my site, I'm only accepting paypal donations from my blog/Facebook for my medical mission.