Haiti Visit June 2012

 

There is an environmental engineering PhD student from Stanford who is staying here at the guesthouse, working on a sewage removal/treatment program for slums in a city on the north coast of Haiti – was really interesting o talk to him about his project – he got a grant from the Gates foundation…. also several church groups here building schools and funding nutrition programs…

Taught class on Monday / Tuesday with therapeutics for gastritis, dental abscess and other issues that were frequent complaints in case work in the tent camp last time.  The students were much more involved in class this time, lots of discussion –  last class they were very difficult to draw into discussion – this time they were  asking questions, posing scenarios where they were having trouble in their clinical work – was really quite a relief to see their eagerness – they have been having some good results and some failures in heir case work and seem more motivated in class now.   The electricity to the building went off about 10 minutes before class started (both days!!!), so all of my carefully prepared and translated powerpoints and images and videos were not a possibility – the one fan in the room did not even have power to work…  We had a roll of thin whiteboard type material with sticky backing that we stuck on the dusty and patched wall – it was at a jaunty angle, but we were hesitant to reposition it since we were not sure it would stick again…  The white board and markers took the place of the  projector / presentations and we carried on…

Volunteer Ruja Nothaft in clinic with students

Volunteer Ruja Nothaft in clinic with students

We saw 72 clients today – had new students dispensing remedies and those with a bit more experience taking cases and defining treatment protocols.  We have been walking back and forth between clinic and the guest house – it has not rained and there is soooooo much dust… today we saw a baby goat wandering in the street on our walk home, was very cute.   Came back to the guest house and stepped straight into the cold shower with my clothes on to wash off the dust and the rest of a long 97 degree day.  Lots of wind, so – hooray – no mosquitoes (but more dust – did I mention dust?  very fine and white).

Meet Chef, the guard dog for the guest house

Meet Chef, the guard dog for the guest house

The pit bull guard dog here at the guest house, in true Haitian fashion, has a rock that he plays with, tosses and chases it, chews on it. He has decided that I am a favorite person and comes to see me and nudge me and lick my leg and try to lay on my feet and bring me sticks – everyone else in my group thinks it is very endearing, but I do not….

We have another day of clinic in the same location tomorrow, then travel into the mountains to Fermathe on Friday to do clinic there – forecast is for rain –