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Tidbits from Haiti!

Enjoy this update from Sr. Vicky about her ministry in Haiti. She always provides some interesting bits of news from her experiences and about the lives of the people with whom she works. 

It’s been a very busy month since we got back from our Christmas visit in the states.  As soon as we arrived, we began our preparations for a group of 21 doctors and nurses who came for a week of service among the people. They set up different clinics in different villages each day from Monday through Thursday. People came from villages nearby and far away to receive medical care.  Sadly the doctors told Sr. Jo and me that each year they come—this was their fourth year—the problems seem to become more and more serious.  The most heartbreaking part is that by the time the people with these serious conditions come for help, it’s sometimes too late. They had an 11year old girl with a serious heart condition which was so advanced that there was nothing they could do.  The child died the next day.  The nurses at our clinic are going to work with the health monitors—people in the villages who have been given training in first aid—to encourage people not to wait too long before seeking medical assistance.  However, it’s easier said than done because the people don’t have any money to pay for services. We try to give financial help to those who come to us with serious problems but we, too, are limited in what we can do.   It’s a very humbling experience.

Flanking Sr. Jo (center), members of the visiting medical team, Dr. Paat (left) and the dentist (right) display the large coconuts given to them by the villagers.
People from the village wait to see members of the medical team.
The same week that the medical team was here, the teachers and students in our little St. Rose de Lima School returned from Christmas vacation.  Some of our sisters had sent them candy canes which the children really enjoyed during their first week back.
(Above) First grade class; (Below) Second grade class.

On my way up to the little school one day, I saw a woman Cutting another woman’s hair in front of her house.  The villagers all cut one another’s hair.  On the way back, they were still going at it, so I said, “Wap toujou koupe cheviy li.  When they gave me a strange look, I realized that instead of saying, “You’re still cutting her hair (cheve),” as I had intended, I said, “You’re still cutting her ankle (cheviy).”   Becoming proficient in a language takes a while!
As I mentioned in one of my “Tidbits” before Christmas, the Haitian presidential elections as well as the elections for senator, deputy, and magistra (mayor) take place in three different parts. The third and final part of the Election process was scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 24.  However, there has been chaos in Port-au-Prince and other places over these elections.  Some claim that the first two parts of the election process were riddled with dishonesty.  They were demanding that the election process be postponed, new officials chosen to count the ballots, and the voting process redone.  There were demonstrations all over the country, many of which  became violent.  As of now, the elections have been put on hold until they can decide what is going to be done.
When Sr. Jo and I arrived back here at the end of December, the weather had changed from hot to warm.  This is Haiti’s winter season which is a lot like our spring season in the states. Last year it never really got cooler so this is just wonderful. This is normally the dry season but in the aftermath of the blizzard up north this past week, we had two straight days and nights of rain which refilled our cisterns and empty water barrels!   Mesi, Bondye, Mesi!

This post first appeared on Franciscan Life, please read the originial post: here

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Tidbits from Haiti!


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