Sorry and thanks for your patience...
The Internet situation down here has not gotten any better, in fact, it may be a little worse!! Hopefully some ideas are on the table and they will come to fruition soon!!
As far as what has been going on, there is a a lot!!! I will try to summarize the week with the mobile clinic from Chattanooga and a update of Guerline...
The team arrived two weeks ago from today and let me tell you, it was so good to see some familiar faces and hug the necks of those that have supported me so faithfully!! It wasn't a homemade apple pie, but they brought a little bit of home with them and I sapped it up like a biscuit does with gravy!!
All in all the week was a huge success! The Hospital here is going through some trying times and in order to support them here we began the week hosting a clinic for the city of Leogane right there at St. Croix. The turn out was impressive and actually we had to limit our services to, i believe, 260 patients. The setup was quite comfortable and as always the dental team, Deb Watlington and Alan Crisman, were inspiring!! For those of you that have participated in a mobile clinic you know how hard the dental team always works, and for those of you that haven't I am not doing it justice by briefly describing their efforts. But, let me tell you, at the end of everyday they are the last ones to finish working whether that is because of the lack of lighting, the approaching thunderstorm (which many times they work right through the rain), or because they successfully treated every patient. They are the last ones standing and deserve every bit of recognition for their valiant work!!
The rest of the week was filled with a lot of hope and a lot of heartache, as most clinics are, but as Mitch always reminds everyone "you can only do as much as you can do and you have to let yourself be OK with what hope you gave." If you focus your thoughts and efforts on the negatives, which it is so easy to do in Haiti because you are surrounded by them, it's easy to lose sight of all the help you gave. I think that it is safe to say that most individuals when they leave Haiti after a clinic week feel pretty beat up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The weather and other elements takes its' toll on the body and then the situation of the Haitian people and the images you see seem to ring your heart out dry. But there again, when all is said and done you must dwell on the fact that without your work think of where the Haitian people would be and with strength from above you press on seeking to give HOPE!!
It truly was a great week, and of course, it was filled with what Haiti always offers: salsa dancing (Deb stole the show one night), french fries and beer, roads that never seem to be remotely passable but somehow you do, walks through riverbeds, tropical fruit and a wonderful week of Haitian cuisine, sunsets that will leave you feeling enchanted, and most importantly humbly spending time with your Haitian brothers and sisters in their world and at their level. All these things are truly a blessing!!
Thanks to ALL that participated and I look forward to the next time we can serve together!!
As for my girl, Guerline, her story is truly amazing and the book gets better with each passing page. I know I mentioned to some of you that I was heading back to the mountains if we didn't see her and/or her mother back at the hospital after her supplies of medicine had been depleted. Of course, they didn't come because they have no money and couldn't afford the transportation to the hospital, therefore, myself, Louis, and Guesly took to the mountains to take her more medicine and to check her progression as her body continues to re cooperate from the lack of nutrients that she went for so long without.
Once again, there are not enough words to describe to everyone the feeling you get when you round the corner to her house and in that instant that she sees you her eyes light up like the brightest stars in the sky. Her smile was larger than I had ever seen and her embrace was worth any 2 hour hike ten times over!! It is amazing to witness a miracle with your own eyes!! I feel blessed beyond imagination and can only hope that everyone grasps, if only a smidgen, these emotions I am attempting to describe...
We spent an hour at her house playing and feeding her and taking necessary measurements for our records to track her continued progression. She sat in my lap, unfortunately I don't have these specific pictures, and I fed her her medicine. The picture above is right before she crawled up into my lap. Although I still don't speak the language great, the gratitude could be seen from miles away on the mother and fathers face!! Honestly, right now, I am at a loss of words and I know I will never completely describe my emotions of this experience. All I know is I am extremely blessed and thank the good Lord for showering my life with experiences such as these...they are truly life changing.