Day of Rest

Port Au Prince Travel Blog

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Inside the post op clinic

After 8 straight days of 12 hour shifts, I've decided that I needed a break from medical.  As I've said before, Mercy Works has numerous groups to choose from, not all of it medical.  One option was setting up tents in tent cities.  Most people living in the tent cities just have sheets and a few lucky ones have tarps over their heads.  With rainy season fast approaching, it’s imperative that these people are given something sturdier and able to with stand the heavy rains.

I was super excited to help out, see more of the city, meet the people and get dirty.  Unfortunately, it rained heavily last night, making everything muddy and the group we were going to help pitch tents called and postponed until things dried up a bit.  

We didn’t find this out until the car for Miami Hospital had already left.

Clothes sorting on the big hot tarp
  So I looked for something else to do.  It’s easy to keep entertained at an orphanage.  The children are so fun to watch and interact with.  Some helped me with my Creole, they laughed a lot at my accent

Here’s what I know:

Li fè cho- it is hot              Li fè fret- it is cold

Kòman ou ye?- how are you      

Mwen trè byen, mèsi- I’m fine, thank you

Wi- yes           Non- No          Mèsi- Thank you        Tanpri- Please

Eskize mwen- Excuse me      Bonjou- Good morning          Orevwa- Goodbye

And my all time favorite: Bonswa- Good afternoon (said after 11am)

A large shipment of donated clothes arrived at the orphanage and needed to be sorted.

The Seabees are challenged to a game
  So those that were on the tent team suddenly became the sorting team.  We spread a large blue tarp over the ground and quickly went to work.  It took longer than what we thought it should because the sun baked us on the blue tarp and we had to take numerous water breaks.  Oh well, we weren’t on a time table.  Please note: if you are going to donate clothing, which is an excellent idea and thank you for doing so, but please, please, please remember some simple words of advise.  Remember, people in need still have their pride and dignity- that being said, please do not donate clothes that you would not wear yourself, ie: torn, stained, inappropriate, etc.  Also, please wash the clothes before you donate them.  If not for the people receiving them, but for the people sorting them!  Also, no one wants your used underwear, underwear is cheap and if you want to donate some, please buy new- it’s a little gross.
J-Me and me in a taptap- public transportation- you taptap to get off
  Thank you for listening.

The Navy Seabees have come by the orphanage to help rebuild and improve the compound.  I’ve got to say, I love the U.S. military- they always seem to be willing to do anything and are an immense help.  They are helping to repair the outer security walls, fix the sewage issue and install a water purifier.  Not only are they helpful, but the children loved to play with them too, soon after arriving a game of basketball started, the post op kids were brought out on their beds to enjoy the beautiful day under the large shade tree, and the air is full of laughter.

I regret not spending more time in the post op clinic at the orphanage.  These children are amazing, going through what they have and still have the ability to smile.  A small team of devoted volunteers work with each child, helping them adjust to their new situation.

To give you an idea of how close to the runway we are- the planes come and go at all hours
  Some lost their legs, some broke bones, some are malnourished, all were traumatized.  The atmosphere inside the small church is one of happiness and security.  As soon as you walk in, hands are reaching up to you from the beds and you are welcomed with open arms.  Children have the ability to bridge the language barrier and are more patient than adults; they know how to get their needs and wants across. 

They plan on enlarging the post op clinic in the next couple of days.  A large tent, like what we have at Miami, is planned on being put up in the middle of the soccer field and will house 50 patients.  It will allow us to serve more people and give the orphanage back their chapel. 

It was nice to take a day off, my body really needed it.

Britnee works with a patient in the post op clinic
  I think I was more tired not doing anything- if that’s possible.  It never got super hot today, it kept threatening to rain and the clouds kept it cool- actually had to get my sweatshirt in the early evening!  Ended the day with worship under the big shade tree with some of the post op kids.  Thank God for music!

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Inside the post op clinic
Inside the post op clinic
Clothes sorting on the big hot tarp
Clothes sorting on the big hot tarp
The Seabees are challenged to a ga…
The Seabees are challenged to a g…
J-Me and me in a taptap- public tr…
J-Me and me in a taptap- public t…
To give you an idea of how close t…
To give you an idea of how close …
Britnee works with a patient in th…
Britnee works with a patient in t…
Beautiful smiles in the post op cl…
Beautiful smiles in the post op c…
Strong hearts
Strong hearts
Quiet souls
Quiet souls
Loving arms
Loving arms
Taking a break from PT
Taking a break from PT
Things get a bit out of control
Things get a bit out of control
J-Me models some of the clothes
J-Me models some of the clothes
Port Au Prince
photo by: Bluenose