Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friends

The last week and a half...

Ashley, the executive director of CNP, flew into Port Au Prince a week before the convention was to commence where the Hospital hoped to make great strides in resurrecting it's existence in Leogane. In that week Ashley, Kara, and I were busy with meetings and planning for the expansion of the existing programs and surveying opportunities to upgrade our infrastructure on the ground. This week was very busy, especially the latter half...

Mitch and Sherry from Chattanooga and Lisa and Cynthia from Ann Arbor flew in that weekend and were willing to help HSC by hosting out patient clinics on both Monday and Tuesday prior to the meetings in Port Au Prince. Mitch and Sherry work along side a Haitian Cardiologist and were able to see 75 or more specialized cardiac patients during those two days performing EKG's and Echo Cardiograms on almost every patient. I was able to observe some of their work and it was evident that these consultations were very time consuming and more intricate than a normal mobile clinic. Big thanks to Mitch, Sherry, Lisa, Cynthia, and Dr. Casnel for the time and skills!! Also, while they were servicing cardiac patients the hospital was providing primary care through several doctors from the community that were volunteering their time along side of nursing students from the local school. It was great to see everyone doing their part to provide a great couple of days for the community.

Everyone headed into Port Au Prince for the next few days to engage in meetings that we hoped to be the frame work for the future of CNP and HSC. The Haiti Connection convention is a gathering of organizations that are involved all over the country and was kicked off with a great speech from Ophelia, Paul Farmers long time colleague and friend who is currently the Executive Director of Partners in Health. The following days were a mix of meetings with potential partnering organizations and networking among friends with a common goal; to end the viscous cycle of poverty in Haiti. Among many positive things that came out of these meetings, most importantly, the HSC board met and to the excitement to many, a governing board was elected and everyone on the board agreed to and signed into action a set of bylaws by which they will function. This is very exciting news and we hope and pray this is a giant step in the direction of resurrecting HSC!! Thanks for all the prayers...

At the conclusion of this week Kara and I had to say goodbye to a set of friends, but welcomed in another...

Thomas, Drew, Jonathan, Ann (Kara's mom),  and Lynn (Kara's aunt) arrived in Haiti on Thursday staying that initial night in PAP and then heading out to Leogane for the remainder of their visit. Kara and I were thrilled to be surrounded by friends and family and were grateful for the sacrifices made from everyone  in order to come see us! Their time here was fast but was a great taste of Haiti... from tours of the hospital, shopping in the market, hikes in the mountains, a day at the beach, visiting a LWI well site, sausages on a stick among other Haitian cuisines, and of course salsa dancing of which everyone participated!! It was a great trip and Kara and I hated to see everyone go, but look forward to seeing some of the same faces again in the spring.

On a side note, I wanted to briefly touch on Guerline and let everyone know that has been praying...

She is alive and well!! While Thomas, Drew, and Jonathan were here we took Saturday morning and traveled to check up on Guerline and here family!! It is always an adventure in Haiti when you head to the mountains, but I would love for some of your guys to pick those boys brains about the roads, the mountains, four low, and most importantly the emotions from their encounter with Guerline's family. 

Briefly... when we rounded the corner to their home Guerline's mother was the first to see us and she began screaming out in Creole, "my people are here, my people are here!!" She ran over to the house and scooped up Guerline to bring her to us as we approached from the other direction. She was still healthy although riding the fine border of malnutrition, but thankfully still leaps and bounds better than the first day we found her!! While we were there we gave her another weeks worth of plumpy nut and also delivered seed to her father who we hoped could plant in the community fields and provide nutrition to his family and others. Before we left Guerline's mother made another comment in Creole that was powerful and I was glad my friends were there to witness not only the impact but also the necessity of CNP and our programs. She left us saying, "You are all Guerline's father and I want to thank you for that..."

Thanks, as always, for the continued encouragement... I am sorry if I ever sound redundant in my gratitude, but knowing that someone is praying for you has taken a whole knew meaning during my time here...

THANKS

PS. Out of time... I will post a picture soon!!!

5 comments:

The O'Briens said...

Thanks for the update....glad you have had some company there and so glad "G" is doing well. So powerful. Looking for a picture next time!

rebecca michaels said...

nathan, that's really cool! i hope i get to meet guerline one day. :) we will miss you at the beach next week...but will, as always, be thinking and praying for you! maybe we could all talk on skype.

the Watlingtons said...

Nathan, what a wonderful post! I can just picture you guys hiking the mountains and seeing little Gerline. As a mother, I can identify with the thankfulness her mama felt....the Lord used you, Nathan, to save that precious girl's life. Good job! The Watlingtons are so proud of you and pray for you often. See you soon. hugs, Deb and Rob

regalo1225 said...

Nathan! Great to get an update, especially encouraged by the news on HSC. Hope things continue to move in a positive direction....

N a wè pita, si dye vle.

Ashley Davis said...

I continue to lift you up each morning as I continue to read and reread Job. The Lord will shine his light on a pathway just for you.I promise.