Friday, April 3, 2015: We’ve come to the final work day of the Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Team #13 in Haiti. We started at the Alpha Omega Clinic in Cabaret with a prayer and exchange of reflections upon our visit. Dr. Ellen Lawson is on her 11th trip here and has deep insight of this mission. Our sons Patrick and Glenn both spoke of receiving as much or more than they gave. Glenn said that this visit “recharged” us. I agree. This model feels right to me since we are helping build a permanence in this medically underserved community. We come and go, but the Alpha Omega Ministry continues. The workday was short due to Good Friday. There were only two ultrasounds scheduled so they sent me with the mobile team. I even got a stethoscope. On the way to clinic in Arcahaie, we were stopped for ten minutes by a Good Friday procession. It was attended by nearly everyone in town and came complete with a man carrying a cross. As soon as I saw it I knew the clinic schedule would be light. I only saw a few patients but it was fun. Dr. Lawson helped with my rusty prescribing. One patient was a 30 year-old male with diabetes. I was impressed with how many visits he had made to the mobile clinic as I scanned his chart. They are watching his sugars tightly. This wouldn’t be happening without the mobile program.
After clinic, we packed up and said our goodbyes to the wonderful mobile staff. We then headed a little further north to a resort. Yes I said resort. We were just looking and doing some “souveniring” from the local vendors. Is there such a thing as tourism? Come take a tour of the tourists! That’s what we were doing. It was something. I didn’t know this existed in Haiti. Immaculate grounds with an open air restaurant. Pool with tiki bar, beautiful beach overlooking crystal clear water in the shadow of cloud-covered mountains. It’s about $125 a night. Not too many locals can afford it as most Haitians live on a dollar a day. Talk about juxtaposition! Our next stop was Drs. Vlad and Merline’s home to enjoy lunch and to visit with their young children VJ and Annie. We finally scored some fried plantains! I even got to see the “banan pressé” used to flatten the fruit. VJ spent the entire meal in Ellen’s lap sharing her plate and fork. We are now back at the compound packing up and enjoying our last few minutes on the roof. I feel tired…and recharged. Bonswa, John Ende, MD
[After an over-sold return flight from Charlotte to Asheville, Team Mercy #13 arrived safely home very late the night before Easter.]