Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Electrical, Medical, Painting Brigade

Getting Folks to Haiti and to Papay
(Note: Photos in this post were taken by Keith Hare, Bill Gettys and Tim VanFleet)

Dr. Tracee Karaffa, Bill Gettys and me (Mark) at St. Joseph Home for Boys. Tracee and her group were finishing up a week of medical work when Keith and Bill arrived on Thursday and Dr. Tim Van Fleet and Nurse Mary Beth Poland arrived on Friday.

Charlie, one of the boys at St. Joseph Home for Boys, during the dance-theater presentation Friday night.

The crew--Jenny (left), Mary Beth Poland (behind Jenny), Bill Gettys and Tim VanFleet, before getting in the MAF prop plane to fly the twenty minutes to Hinche.

A slight delay while the folks in charge of the national airport figure out how to get a plane with a flat tire off the exit way. NOT an MAF plane.

A view from the air of the highway leading up over the first chain of mountains, on the way to Hinche and Papay, in the Central Plateau. Fenes, the MPP driver and I took this route at around 4:00 AM, arriving in Hinche at 7:00, plenty of time to pick up the crew at 10:30 when they arrived.

Arriving at the guesthouse at MPP's National Training Center.

Part of the welcoming committee, Jenel and Belinda, two of the children of Marimode St. Amour, one of the women working with the Road to Life Yard crew.

Sunday, after the church service at the local Catholic Chapel, the Papay soccer team played a demonstration match, originally organized in honor of Mom and Dad who were supposed to be on the trip. I (Mark) am the "Godparent" of the team, which has been a lot of fun and a good excuse to stop working and go to a game, or take the team in the Landcruiser to where they have a game. Jenny often comes to the games when they are at home.

The Clinic Work

Jenny with our neighbor friend, Laura (in Jenny's arms), and Mark, discussing with Nurse Marie (far right) the best strategy for using the services of Dr. Tim VanFleet and Mary Beth Poland in MPP's integrated health clinic. Jenny suggested to Marie that the pair work two days, Wednesday and Thursday, after the crew had put in some new receptacles and painted the laboratory. Nurse Marie agreed and told us how we would organize the patients. I agreed to be the main translator.

Monday morning's work. Jenny with new receptacles, conveniently located so that she doesn't have to use extension cords, or overextend the cords, on expensive lab equipment.

Monday afternoon's work. The lab is painted a bright yellow, making it a more cheerful place to work, not to mention the lighter color makes everything easier to see. This wall was artistically designed by Jenny and Mary Beth.

The finished product.

Jenny back at work, in the newly painted and electrically improved lab. Just in time for Tim and Mary Beth to see patients on Wednesday and Thursday.

Bill Gettys, finishing up the gallon of paint in Nurse Marie's pharmacy.

Nurse Marie in the clinic's pharmacy and me, after two days of translating. Not pictured are Nurse Tyresiana, Nurse Miriam and Louity. Louity and Mary Beth worked together to take basic data with the patients who came and Miriam and Tim worked together doing the official diagnosis, with me translating. In two days, we saw more than 80 patients. There were no really dramatic cases, fortunately for me. But there were a number of interesting ones, including a "clicking" kind of sound in the chest each evening (Tim thought it might be related to the patients acid indigestion) and a "growth" on one side of the body, just above the hip (Tim diagnosed it as being some extra muscle from the woman carrying her very healthy son always on the same side). The patient I appreciated the most, though, was the older man, over 70 years old, who's main complaint that with age his feet had become sensitive and he couldn't work barefoot in his fields during the hot time of the day. Boots are not an option, so Tim's best shot was that the man would have to learn to work in flipflops.

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