Today was the class for nurses at Notre Dame School for Nursing which started at 9am.
We had not confirmed the details of the class so did not really know what to expect for the size of the class or the length of it. It can be difficult to get information before you arrive in Haiti, even with email!
So they are ready and waiting for us when we arrive, and turns out we have 65 students and all day if we wish, however I quickly say 3 hours is enough, having truly prepared for 1 hour. But the real clincher was, I had to do it in French, the students did not really understand English well enough, or so they said.
This was a HUGE stretch for me, my French used to be good, but is very rusty. However, with the help of one of the teachers who translated a bit, and the girls shouting out the words I could not remember, we got through it. I covered a little history of homeopathy, some basic principles, and 8 remedies for first aid and things they might need there.
The questions were very well thought out and pertinent, and the feedback was tremendous. They were polite, interested, and want us back for more, even had a discussion with the head of the school about coming every month to teach in detail on each aspect of homeopathy.
We had samples of Arnica to give out, which was one of the remedies I taught, and that was a big hit. Everyone had someone they thought of who needed it.
It was something I never would have thought I could do, and that very morning I had said to my team mates, I can teach anything about Homeopathy, but never in French! Hah!
After that, we went to lunch at a beautiful, old colonial restaurant and enjoyed the view and the ambiance there. There is not a lot of beauty in PaP, but once you get above the city even a little, it can be quite nice.
After lunch, off to St. Vincent’s to teach some homeopathy to the nurse there, Michelle, and leave her with some basic remedies to use. We treated a few people who asked, but were all pretty burned out by then. Back to the hotel for a swim and now a bit of business to take care of. I write this blog and a synopsis for the Board of Homeopaths Without Borders every day.
There is a group of French people here trying to adopt about 8 Haitian babies, some have been trying for 5 years, others only 2. They are staying, with the children at our hotel. It is really something to see, these children so attached to their adoptive parents and yet knowing that once again, they may have to leave them behind if the officials do not let them take them home with them.
So much goes on at this hotel, it is fascinating just to watch the comings and goings and hear people’s stories. I told my husband that yesterday I talked to a 2 star American general without even realizing who he was! He was very nice, too. We met a young woman who was here after graduating with a degree in public health, who had come with a NGO to “rubble” (remove rubble from the earthquake), but had eventually ended up doing excel spreadsheets for the St. Croix Hospital in Leogane, which is funded by the presbyterian and epsicopalian churches. She was happy to leave the “rubbling” for a desk job, but sort of missed it!
We leave tomorrow with mixed feelings, it is so very difficult to be here, both physically with the heat, dust, and lack of amenities, but also emotionally – the devastation really gets to you. Sometimes I ride in the car with my eyes closed, I just cannot look at any more rubble, trash, or poverty. But then, after teaching today, I found myself anxious to return, I thought well, the next class can’t occur without me! I am a part of what is happening here in Haiti and want to continue to be!