Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winding Down

Tuesday, July 21 at 4:40 PM
Still not sure when I will be able to post. We are in the middle of a HUGE tropical rain storm that is cooling off everything nicely. The wireless is back up if I can get to the library and log on before our guests arrive for dinner this evening.

Yesterday saw the return of Dr. Rolf Maibach, a Swiss Pediatrician, and Medical Director at HAS. This is the position formerly held by Dr. Duane Dowell who was back here volunteering with me the first 2 weeks of my stay. Dr. Maibach has started the morning conference in an interesting way these past 2 days. He puts a Haitian proverb on the screen in Kreyol and English. Then the staff (primarily MD’s and other managerial level staff) discuss the meaning of the proverb. It is an interesting exercise in culture and language. One of the proverbs today had a slightly different meaning for “blans” depending on how you translated one of the verbs. You could argue for either one, but the meaning is changed. I recommend going over proverbs as an interesting exercise in a cross cultural group. (In people of the same culture, it becomes an SAT test!)

Today I returned from lunch to find 2 white men going around with a cart and passing out food to people in the hospital, apparently both patients and visitors (remember that families must bring in their own food for patients). Out of curiosity, I asked my translator to inquire about them and he came back and reported that they were from “a church in Port au Prince.” They were working feverishly so I was unable to talk to them, but I do wonder what their purpose was on this apparently rather random mission.

Until later, Judy

Monday, July 20 at 6:30 PM (posted on July 21)
Only 3 more days of work to go, then I will be heading home on Friday. Once again, the time here has been what I have previously called a “gratitude fix.” So many large and small things that we take for granted--I will notice more of them when I return home. The list starts with drinkable running water, and goes on and on, large and small, to include air conditioning, infrastructure, and health care.

On the plus side for Haiti, doing without TV is not such a bad thing. I have read 3 books and started a fourth.

This week, though, I am wrapping up, giving away most of my clothes (purposefully brought primarily well worn items) and I am getting ready to head home.

No wireless access on campus today, so will post this when I can connect to a cable somewhere. See you soon, Judy

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