Friday, April 29, 2016

Haiti highlights

Here are some highlights from the past weeks here in Haiti.

March was a a busy month. After the nursing student team from UMass Dartmouth left, Dr. Terry came to spend two weeks at PID working in the clinic. Terry did a lot of work with Samuel in the Hypertension programs and Diabetes programs, refining how he keeps data. She saw so many patients during her two weeks here and we can't wait to have her back!

In early April I got to participate in the PID annual celebration. I saw so many familiar faces of folks who come to Haiti on trips. I got to share some stories from PID Haiti at the celebration. One story included the success of a little boy here named Ederson. He is 3 years old now; and 6 months ago he was so, so, sick. He was malnourished despite months of receiving the nutritious mamba cookies through our program. His belly was so distended that some speculated he might have had a tumor. after taking him to several hospitals, it turned out that inconsistency with eating was causing his troubles. Through donors' generosity and the small business program at PID, Ederson's mother Cendy is able to give her children food daily. This family's life has truly been changed. At the Celebration, I got to share pictures of Ederson standing up straight! It might seem as though a 3-year-old learning to stand is not an impressive feat, but for those who know him, we know that 6 months ago that standing on his own would seem impossible.

Soon after returning to Haiti, Connor joined us at PID to start his 2 month internship. Connor spent the prior month in Haiti at a music school so he already has quite a bit of Creole under his belt. Here, Connor is helping Ederson practice his standing.

Connor and Ederson

Avery also got some really good news about little Babylove, a child in our malnutrition program. For those not following Babylove's story - she is a TINY baby who has a dangerous hole in her heart due to complications from Down's Syndrome. The PIH hospital in Mirbalais consulted her last Saturday and concuded that she could be eligible for an operation to repair that hole in September -she just needs to hang on until then. The challenge with Babylove is keeping her weight up. So please pray for Babylove and her wonderful mom Cynthia to keep going strong until the Fall.

Senthia and Babylove

Senthia and Avery (holding Babylove)

On Sunday night Lizzy (Barnes) Koah arrived. Lizzy (now a married madame!) is the previous Field Director here in Haiti and is here for a week-long trip. On Monday morning when she appeared in the Clinic and Admin building to greet staff, there were so many happy faces, hugs and even some tears of joy. Lizzy is so, so loved here. And she loves her previous co-workers so, so much. This has been such a special visit so far.

Betty, Darlie, and Lizzy

Lizzy and Jonnette

Yesterday afternoon we also got the opportunity to visit employee Jonnette's house-in-progress. Like Sultanne, another employee, Jonnette received a PID loan to build a house in the area. She is excited to have a space for herself and her husband one day. Jonnette and Lizzy are good friends so it was nice for us to all be able to visit the work site together.

All of us at the work site of Jonnette's new house

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday in Ixtacapa

Dr. Rob worked all day seeing patients at the clinic. There were many new faces that had never been to our clinic. They are very thankful for the service we provide that they would otherwise be unable to afford. We had a pregnant woman who was six months along and didn't have any prenatal care - no vitamins, no ultrasound , nothing at all!

The construction crew is making some real progress on the house in Desierto. They enjoy interacting with the village kids that live near the site. Today the kids were around all day since classes were cancelled and their parents had to go and receive their report cards.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Rainy Thursday Afternoon

Today was another great and productive day in Guatemala.

The team saw patients at the clinic this morning. They worked hard and had a steady flow of people to see. The afternoon  was busy as well.

The construction crew continued building the walls of the house in Desierto. In the afternoon their work was cut short by heavy rains. Rainy season has arrived!! If you are planning on coming to Guatemala in the next few months don't forget your raincoat or poncho!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New Team in Guatemala

The next team arrived at Hotel Mazatlan here in Guatemala. They will be seeing patients in the clinic and working on the construction of the house for Familia Colop Muyuc which was started back in January. After a long day of travel we enjoyed a delicious meal and they are off to rest up for the busy week ahead.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Prenatal Team in Guatemala

Monday morning was spent doing a teaching and training class with the midwives of San Antonio. Topics included newborn CPR, breastfeeding, what to expect post-partum, and the symptoms of dengue, chikungunya and zika. The midwives were able to learn some new things and also teach our team members a few things and share experiences. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fun with Fluoride!

The dental student Astrid who is working at the clinic this year goes out each week and applies a fluoride rinse to all the kids in 4 local schools. Today two of the team members went out and assisted her. They were able to put fluoride in about 900 kid's mouths. It was a bit chaotic at the schools and the kids loved chatting with them and taking pictures.

Back in the clinic Dr. Matt and Dr. Heather worked hard all day long pulling teeth. There were a few tough cases. Lunchtime was extra special and we celebrated the birthdays of Tali and Abby. Marcelina made a delicious lunch and we shared cake.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day Two of Pulling Teeth

Today the dental team continued working with patients and pulling teeth! They are also doing hygiene classes teaching them how to properly brush and the importance of diet and not eating too much sugar.

Before lunchtime we went on a tour of the village and got to see some of the houses that PID has built over the years. A few team members even got to try making corn tortillas with Marcelina who makes the team lunches. She was very excited to show off her new stove and was using it with pride and joy because she is no longer suffering from smoke burning her eyes.