Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Full week comes to a close for Loras students

Loras students with local workers

Today the Loras students conclude their week-long adventure here in Haiti and they head back home in a few hours. The week has consisted of hard costruction tasks as well as lots of cross cultural social work and medical shadowing experiences. The team especially bonded with the workers showing them the ropes on the sites, and of course the dozens of children around town as well. 

Josh, Kate and Reily inside the soon-to-be-Latrine

The social work shadowers were able to see what it is like to contact a family in our PID circle when that family doesn't have a phone. Earlier in the week, I took three social work students on a somewhat long walk to one of our sponsorship children's houses, where we left word with the neighbor that PID needed the family to come to the office. Four days later the family came to the office: very different than the United States where you would simply call the family on the phone, and give a specific appointment time for the family to arrive. In Haiti, the family comes at a time when they were able.

One of the Loras students also began sponsoring our little friend Doudley this week. She was able to meet Doudley and his mother. In July Doudley will be 3 years old, so in Haiti that means he is old enough for Pre-School. Because of the sponsorship his mother is looking forward to being able to send him to school in the fall. :)

Lauren, Olmilie, and Doudley

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Final Friday

After 4 weeks of teams we have come to our final day!

We ended the week with 25 stoves installed in homes in Desierto, Norte and Concepcion. The team was touched by how welcoming an appreciative the families are when we arrive to install their new stove.

The two doctors continued seeing patients in the clinic today. It was their second year and they have built friendships with the clinic staff and translators.

The children's craft program was a huge success! Today was our day to finish up craft supplies and we made more masks, more coloring pages and some shaker plates. The kids had a blast playing soccer with two guys from the team.

Loras College hard at work

Madame Adeline burst into happy tears when she learned her family was getting a toilet.
Bathrooms are more than a conveniece: they are a public health concern.
Loras College continues the work on the duplex in Canaan that is almost finished, as well as the single. They are also building a special project that a department of their school fundraised for: a latrine toilet for Madame Adeline, a very loved member of our staff. Adeline's house was damaged after the earthquake, and a PID team repaired it. Eric Eller, the team leader (and professor) for the Loras students remembers working on that house on one of his first trips. After meeting Gale and starting to work at PID, Adeline is now a very well known and loved staff member who trip participants always remember.

The team has to dig a 10 foot hole for the latrine.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Midweek report in Guatemala

We have a total of 14 stoves installed so far this week! Meaning 14 families that are no longer living in an environment filled with smoke. The stove team is on a roll and has a great system where everyone has a job.

The clinic was busy yesterday and today. Many patients coming through seeing the doctor and then getting their medicine. We also still have a few more stuffed animals that nurse Kelly B. brought down last week. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teams in and out in Haiti

Loras College arrived safely this afternoon only hours after Gordon College left us.

The Gordon students had a great week continuing the two duplexes and the single house in Canaan. Before they left this morning they were able to hear from Madame Mesadieu, who lives in the neighboring duplex to where they were working. Madame Mesadieu shared the impact that stable housing has had on her family. Due to the stability she now sells charcoal (for cooking) successfully to the neighbors and is able to provide for her family. Teams make building houses possible for PID!

Earlier in the week Gordon student team leaders presented us with a map of Haiti covered in prayers written by Gordon students back home. This is a special gift and we can't wait to display it as an encouragement to our staff.

Loras College students have arrived and are wiped out after an especially long travel day. They are looking forward to a fantastic week ahead.

First stoves installed!

On Monday the team from CT jumped right in to work in the village. We started off the day with a tour of Concepcion where we saw some of the houses that have been built by PID. We also got to visit Marcelina's home where our lunches are made everyday.

After that we unpacked the suitcases filled with donated items and then started work! The stove crew got 3 installed in the morning and the 2 doctors were busy in the clinic. Our first patient of the day came in complaining of foot pain, and when he took off his shoes and socks we discovered a very bad abcess on his foot. Lucky for us Dr. Alan from the Centro de Salud (Health Center) in San Antonio happen to stop by the PID clinic and he was able to assist and drain the abcess.

In the afternoon we had 25 kids ages 3 - 12 doing crafts out on the back patio. It is amazing how long you can entertain them with coloring pages.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

End of Greenfield and Beginning of Next team

The group of nursing students from GCC finished off their week seeing patients in the clinic and working hard on construction. The houses are coming along quite quickly.

The final day nurse Kelly B. went to go and visit her old lady friend Maria who is 89 and lives down by the river. She also went to visit Leybi (our nurse at the clinic) and her almost 2 yr old daughter. Its great when team members are able to come back year after year and establish relationships with the Guatemalans.

Today we spent the day in Antigua. They did a chocolate workshop and made their own chocolate bars. Afterwards they continued to Guatemala City to stay over night and will fly out tomorrow. We had a great week and I look forward to working with GCC again.

Our next team from Christ Church arrived Friday afternoon and travelled to Lake Atitlan. They will spend the weekend there and come here on Sunday evening to start their work on Monday. They will be working in the clinic and installing 25 new plancha stoves.