Thursday – Tent City (Two posts received from Dr. Lawson on 5/16/14)

We had a steamy day at Tent City today and the poor Church now has a blue metal roof that seals in the heat.  We still saw febrile patients with Chikungunya today and many more patients with hypertension and diabetes. We gave out lots of clothes to the children today. This afternoon we will go to four orphanages to distribute first aid kits. This morning our van got broadsided by a motorcycle but no one got hurt and the van got dented but still runs fine. I saw it coming and like yesterday’s donkey I leaned away from the impact and turned my face in the opposite direction.  Peace!  Ellen

Today was a long hot day…up at 5:30, John and I made 14 sandwiches.  Breakfast was French toast, little hot dogs and bananas.  We had a good day at Tent City; by that time we had all forgotten about the motorcycle encounter.  We went back to Cabaret and since there were no babies to birth we walked to a nearby orphanage to deliver one of our first aid kits and play with the kids.  We then piled back in the van and drove back to Bon Repos and visited two more orphanages the last being our favorite  that I have been to five times.  The kids are always so excited when we come back and they know us. The ride there and back was one of those rocky rugged limestone roads where you are squeezed by concrete walls on either side that I fondly refer to as the bowels of Port Au Prince. We arrived back at Grace House just in time to unload the van and wash our hands before dinner.  After dinner we resorted medical supplies and clothing so we will have everything ready for Vlad tomorrow.  Just had a cold shower and am ready for some down time. Cloudy sky but still no rain. Ellen

May 15, 2014

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Received from Dr. Lawson on 5/15/14

Haiti can be a harsh place at times.  Today at Tapyo I saw a woman riding up the mountain on an old donkey.  Besides carrying the woman he was burdened with two large side packs.  He struggled on the rough stones and she kept striking him with a stick.  I felt as sad for him as I did for the live goats strapped to the roof of the tap tap upside down in the blazing sun yesterday.  I don’t think St Francis would have approved.  We did treat a lot of very sick children today and gave out packets of mamba, which is peanut butter laced with vitamins.  The kids loved it.  Dr. Vlad told us that Mission of Hope, which is very well endowed by US, gave him 50 cases of food to help the other orphanages because many of them receive nothing.  We had to postpone the fire training until tomorrow because of the labor and delivery at Cabaret.  We had another nice Haitian meal and are ready to retreat to the roof for the evening. Tomorrow we will work in Tent City with the very poor.  After four years there is actually a blue tin roof on their church now.  On another note Vlad has asked if we can host Tamara, a Haitian medical student, for one or two months this summer so she can get clinical experience. How about it, Gary — a daughter for the Lawson family? I will also need to get dates from Vlad when he can visit NC and meet our board members.  It may require a special meeting because the dates he needs to leave Haiti do not correspond to our scheduled meetings. Time for my turn in the shower. Good evening!  Ellen

BonRepos in the Evening (Two updates received from Dr. Lawson on 5/14/14)

We had a busy day but made it to two orphanages today to deliver the first aid kits prepared from the wonderful items and contributions from the NC Mercy Associates.  The first one, called Victorious Children, had 23 children and the next one, Emmanuel Orphanage had 46. We were told it is not an easy place to be but God put the children there and they know He will take care of them.  They explained they had nothing to offer us but they would pray for us and our work and our families and they would sing for us.  They ranged in age from less than one year to teenagers.  They were very sweet.  Patrick played soccer with the boys at the first school.  They were most appreciative of the first aid supplies and Dr. Vlad was too because he gets called in the night for fever and they have no Tylenol to give the children.  They will be well supplied now. We returned to another nice Haitian meal with ground corn meal and some spicy stew-like dish and a side of fresh avocado and lime.  Dessert was peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies. I will be the last to shower and head to the roof for the subset over Haiti. Then we will sort and size clothing for the orphans and divide up the toys and coloring books and crayons and then ready the toothbrushes and paste for the kids.  Special thanks to all who made this possible.  Mercy is kind and compassionate.  Ellen

After dinner and showers with solar heated water we retreated to the roof to watch the sunset and then the rising of the full moon over Haiti.  It was warm and there was a balmy breeze and it was peaceful except for the raucous outbreaks of the rooster still crowing at the wrong time. As the light faded we iced to the second floor to size and sort the clothing for the orphans saving the warmer things to take to Tapio on the mountain tomorrow.  After all the patients have been seen tomorrow we are all going out to Vlad’s property to build some bonfires for the fire training.  Vlad has invited the neighbors so they don’t think we are doing anything strange.  Good night. Ellen