All of the photos taken from the trip have now been uploaded to galleries hosted by Mercer University. They can be found at http://gallery.mercer.edu/Medical-School/Haiti-Trip-July-2010
Hey everyone, I finally finished the video I’ve been working on for the Haiti trip. I tried to capture the highlights of the trip and show a storyline of our time while we were there. Hope you enjoy!
Be sure to click on the HQ on the video screen to see it in high resolution and click on the square next to HQ to view full screen (MUCH BETTER.)
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.
Hey everyone. All is well here in Haiti. Sorry I haven’t been able to post anything till now and you won’t see any more photos until we get back home. Our schedule has been very busy and it has completely drained me where I simply did not have time to update the blog.
We had a great last day at the clinic at Cambry yesterday and we traveled to Port Salut today to see the kids at the orphanage there as well as spend a short time relaxing at the beach to end the trip. I will post photos of both once we are back in country.
Tomorrow is our travel day back home and we are leaving at 4 am to begin our bus trip from Les Cayes to Port-au-Prince. We have to allow enough time to get through all the traffic jams and bad roads as well as the Saturday market they have in Port-au-Prince.
Our flight out of Port-au-Prince is sometime around 12:30 if I remember correctly. They like you to be there way ahead of time just like in the states but you usually want to allow even more time because of how things are run down here.
So, please pray that we might have a safe bus trip (this was an exciting part of the trip if you remember from my first day post) from Les Cayes to Port-au-Prince as well as smooth flights from Port-au-Prince to Miami as well as Miami to Atlanta. In addition please pray that we might make it quickly through immigration and customs in Miami.
We hope to see you all soon and thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.
Day 5 was a fun day with the kids. We did face painting for the kids as well as a slip and slide with baby oil down a very large blue tarp. It was a riot to see the kids on the slip and slide. It took them a while to catch the hang of it. Once they did it was loads of fun. It didn’t last for too long though as the hot Haitian sun and baby oil don’t seem to mix too well.
In the clinic we saw many interesting cases. One patient came in very dehydrated and had to be put on an IV to get some fluids back in her. She told us that she had already been to a witch doctor about her illness. Because of the trip to the witch doctor, she had some sort of voodoo belt on under her shirt that supposedly helped to heal her sickness. We also ran into another case of HIV on Day 5.
Another interesting patient was a woman who was a preacher who walked from village to village and had developed acute achilles tendonitis. We wanted to keep her out there preaching so we gave her a large supply of anti-inflammatory medication and sent her on her way.
Great news today as well. Amy Mason has recuperated and made it to our nightly devotional. She is still slightly weak but she says that she is planning to work in clinic tomorrow.
Again, please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and the team.
Take a look through some of the photos from Day 5.
A large crowd of patients was awaiting us again as we arrived at clinic today. Even though many of the people have to wait for most of the day to be seen, not a one of them grumbles or complains about the time. They are so gracious and thankful that we are providing them free medical care. It’s very humbling to see this same attitude day after day.
We also began to see more serious illnesses today. We saw both our first Malaria patient and our first HIV patient. The ability to test for such illnesses has been a great asset for us while we are here. Dr. Walker brought a battery powered microscope and proper tests to be able to screen in detail for such diseases.
Yesterday was our first day of clinic and we had to make due in the clinic without any electricity. Everyone was using portable lanterns, headlamps, and flashlights. We had another blessing today because the power to the clinic began to be repaired and we had proper lighting in several rooms.
On a very positive note, Amy Mason is slowly recovering from her stomach illness and no one else on the team has come down with anything so we are very thankful for both of those facts. We also had one of the patients accept Christ today which was just another humbling result of God’s work through us.
Ministering to the children has been an important part of our time here as well. The team members working with the kids today spent a lot of time just sitting with the kids. One of the neatest things was seeing some of the guys playing guitar with the kids. For a while the kids would strum guitar and the guys would do the fingerings for the notes.
Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and the members of the team.
Take a look through the photos from today.
Day 3 was our first day of clinic. When we got to the clinic, which is just down the hill from where we are staying, there were close to 50 people waiting for us. Dale, our group escort from the states, informed us that some of the people had walked several hours to come to the free clinic. It was very humbling to see all those people already waiting on us. We saw over 50 patients throughout the day, some with minor illnesses, others with more serious conditions.
Robby Bosshardt, 4th year medical student, got the opportunity to perform surgery on a man that had a large growth in his back. Robby managed to remove the growth and we believe that the man will recover nicely. There is a photo of what was removed included below. (Caution: For those not conditioned to seeing graphic medical photos, prepare yourself.)
Robby’s father, Dr. David Bosshardt had an interesting case with a young boy that had an abscess on his neck that had previously been worked on by a Haitian doctor. A wick or packing had been placed into the infected wound to prevent the top of the wound from closing first and sealing the infection under the skin. This allows the wound to heal from the bottom up and pushing all the infection out through the surface. The only thing wrong was that the wick had been left in place too long. It was supposed to have been removed a small amount each day until completely out. The wick was all bunched up under the skin and created a large impacted wound. There is a graphic photo of this included as well. Dr. Bosshardt cleaned up the wound and removed what he could of the packing. He then instructed the boy’s uncle how to properly remove the remaining portions of packing in the days to come.
Again, for those of you following along, please pray for our group and the people of Haiti. On a more specific note, please pray for the leader of our group, Amy Mason. She became fairly sick with some sort of stomach illness on the afternoon of the 3rd day. She has been given several IV’s to rehydrate her and seems to be doing better this morning(4th day) but is still sick in bed trying to recover. Several people on the team have had some minor stomach problems and we would ask for your prayers that nothing more than this would occur.
Each day we also get the opportunity to play with and just love on the kids of the orphanage. It’s eye-opening and heart wrenching to see how hungry they are for attention. Many times they just want to sit with you or have you hold their hands.
See photos from our third day below.
Our 2nd day was much less hectic than our first. The day started with church at 7 am in Les Cayes. We were treated as special guests at church and had a reserved section near the front of the sanctuary. I had hoped to snag a couple of photos of church in progress but found it difficult to do so without causing unnecessary interruption. I managed to grab one shot of the interior of the church right before we got back on the bus to head back to base.
The rest of the day was spent sorting drugs and supplies for our first day of clinic tomorrow. It stormed quite a bit so a lot of time was spent inside. Whenever it stopped raining we spent a lot of time hanging out with the kids from the orphanage. It was a relaxing day compared with our first day. This gave us the much needed rest and preparation time that we needed in order to be ready for clinic.
Please pray for the people of Haiti and the team as we serve the people of Haiti.
Here are photos from day 2.
To all those back home waiting for news from us…WE MADE IT HERE SAFE AND SOUND! All of us made it here and are doing well. Thanks for the prayers! Keep reading all about our first day here.
Today was travel day. Our day started as early as 1:45 am as we had to travel to Atlanta to catch our early morning flight. We connected through Miami on our way to Port-au-Prince and we managed to get everyone onto both flights without any hiccups.
We arrived in Port-au-Prince around 11:00 am local time. We then left the safety of the plane and stepped into Haiti. Many of us had no idea what to expect once we left the plane. We were directed down a long hallway before being boarded onto buses that would take us to the immigration area.
The immigration area was a large metal building at the edge of the airport. It was very hot inside to say the least. Think of a large chicken coop in the heat of South Georgia. It was chaos inside. You stepped off the buses and into the immigration line which immediately dumped you into the baggage claim area. Baggage claim was hectic so we formed a system where we had several baggage pickers on the conveyors and then several travelers in between the conveyors and the temporary storage location. Everyone not picking or moving bags was set up as a guard for the bags until all bags were located. All of this was done amidst several hundred other people. Absolute chaos in incredible heat. Most of us were drenched with sweat by the team we finally had all the bags and made it through customs.
We then left the airport and found our transportation from El Shaddai Ministries. We were all thankful for the guilty pleasure of air conditioning when we entered the buses. I think this was a welcome surprise for many of us. We then began our bus trip to our final destination near Les Cayes.
Just as we thought we were through with the adventures for the day, we realized that a bus ride in Haiti is nothing like a bus trip in the States. Cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, & pedestrians all share the same space on the road and without any real definition of lanes, speed limits, or right of way. As I sat in the front seat of the bus snapping photos of the wreckage I caught myself bracing for an impact for most of the ride. We barely missed too many different obstacles to list.
The city of Port-au-Prince was still absolute devastation. The evidence of the earthquakes was everywhere. After we continued to see mile after mile of destruction, you began to become desensitized to what you were actually seeing. I thought we would see an end to it before we arrived in Les Cayes but the earthquakes caused turmoil and carnage across the entire country.
We traveled out of Port-au-Prince on National Highway 2 and headed towards Les Cayes. Highways in Haiti are again, much different than highways in the states. For most of the route, it was much like a paved farm road that then degraded into gravel forest road and then into off road territory. I believe we ended up fording several different rivers on the way.
But after 4-5 hours of driving through disaster and beautiful tropical countryside, we made it to our final destination of Les Cayes. We are actually staying about 10 minutes outside Les Cayes in the small community of Cambry.
We are staying at a facility that is designated for groups just like us. It is connected to an orphanage where we will be working with many of the kids there. We got the opportunity to interact with the kids a bit after we arrived.
The women on the trip got a bit of a surprise as well when they found a large tarantula in one of their windows. We all managed to find comfortable beds and went to sleep early tonight.
Info on Day 2 coming soon.
See the photos of the first day below.
This is the first post leading up to the Haiti Mission Trip. We are heading out early Saturday morning on our flight to Port-au-Prince before traveling on to our final destination of Les Cayes.
We will share with you more details on our adventures in the postings to come. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, and we appreciate your prayers and support as we serve the people of Haiti.
Check out the Mission & Team page for more about who we are and what we will be doing while we are in Haiti.