Sunday, October 22, 2017

With thanks to my First Unitarian friends

With deep thanks to many generous donors from The First Unitarian Church of Dallas, I am off to Haiti again.  Thanks to you, patients will have their blood pressure measured accurately before seeing the doctor, germs won't stand a chance after surfaces are sprayed with a bottle of clorox solution, pillows will be easily wiped down between each patient in the PT Department.  And my colleague and I from Health Volunteers Overseas will be able to hold a day long off site planning seminar with the entire staff of the PT Department, complete with delicious Haitian food, cold Coca-Cola, and some time to relax and play.  We hope to spark their imagination to set their own goals for the future, not what we might want for them.  Our goal is for the staff to take charge of their own destiny as Hospital Albert Schweitzer moves increasingly toward predominantly Haitian control.  Being able to set up an entire planning day is a much appreciated gift, thanks to all of you.  Enjoy the service this morning.  I'll be in the air but thinking of you as you gather together.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The last 3 posts

The previous 3 posts were 'cut and paste' copies of emails from 3 of the Rehabilitation Technicians who attended the 2 Saturday Seminars on stroke (CVA) that I taught on this visit to Haiti.  These wonderful notes are the reason and the reward for going to Haiti.  I am home.  Thanks to all of you who have been following on this journey.  

A final email note from another Rehab Tech

Dear teacher Judith , i cant imagine how you still sacrifice your life to help people in Haïti specialy the reabilitation techs in HAS ,i wanted to tell you ,in the exame : we havn't anything new ,only the techs supposed to read and understand befor giving anwer ,it was an easy exam .I think that you had good travel,thanks for your help and the time you spend ,we're watting you soon ,God bless you !!!!! And families

Another email note from one of the Techs

I'm happy about all your help in HAS.Thanks for teaching with us on CVA .

From one of the Rehab Techs a few days after the 2 Saturday Seminars

Hi my jyduth proffesseur, I'm happy to thank you for your successful learning, small gifts, I steep with my notes but I need to try harder, I know without doubt that you stay has a few days still in haiti, I think you're going to retoure Friday I already tell you good trip

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Who to help?

Just a short walk around the area today brought me into contact with multiple people asking for help. Many of them have picked up my name. They tell me some scenario where they have interacted with me before; sometimes I remember. One man was caught up in his own story. He told me I had helped him when he was a child of 8. I asked him how old he was now, did the math and let him know that I had not been coming that long. It was not me. Who knows if some 'blan' did help him as a child. I have already purchased all the Haiti souvenirs I will ever need. So I have finally learned to say a firm no when asked about looking at paintings and other art to sell. Often the request changes to just give some "help." I tell them that I am here to help at the hospital. I am sorry but I can't help them today. As I walk away, most of them are still pleading . . . .

There is progress

People often ask me if I see any progress in Haiti, given the crushing problems that often dominate the news. Yes, there definitely IS progress. Many things are better here at Hospital Albert Schweitzer including their greatly expanded Physical Therapy services. The most enjoyable progress for me is easy internet access. I am spending Sunday morning enjoying one of my most favorite pastimes. Reading the New York Times online, especially the Magazine section. I've been at it for about 3 hours, with short breaks for various small tasks. More time than I would usually spend at home holding the actual newspaper in my hands. Ironically my stay in Haiti is showing me that I may be able to give up the newsprint version and go all electronic subscription. Not quite ready yet, especially when reading in bed where a glowing laptop slows, rather than hastens, sleep.