I arrived in Port au Prince on Sunday morning to a sunny, cool day. I can’t believe how much cooler it is this month than in September, really comfortable temperature in the 80’s during the day and 70 ‘s at night. We have 3 new volunteers with us this time, so our first meeting was to brief them on how things would go at St. Vincent’s and what to expect for the week’s activities. One of the volunteers if a good photographer who has contributed the pictures you see, which is such a treat.
We went to St. Vincent’s on Monday morning and were pleasantly met with lots of activity there. Much construction going on in the courtyard of the school: new classrooms, offices, dormitories, and a place to build the prosthetics were all done or under construction.
We saw several children we had treated on previous trips, and many new ones. School was in full session this week, so there were many who wanted our services. Some come just to have the opportunity to see what we are about, and have some private attention. We don’t turn anyone away, and for the small ones, we give sugar pellets that are unmedicated so they feel good about coming to the clinic!
I did notice that there is less rubble, less trash in the streets, but not much building is going on. I hear that more building is happening in places like Jacmel, Gonavives and Leogane. This is largely because there is more available land, and the land is not owned by people who have no money to rebuild, it is mostly owned by the government.
As always we have met the most interesting people doing relief work here. Two men from Minnesota are setting up a bio-diesel plant in a small village outside PAP using a plant called Jatropha. An easy to grow, quick growing plant that can provide cooking oil or fuel for a generator or car. So they want to develop land here to grow the plant and provide jobs for locals.
Tomorrow we go to teach again at Notre-Dame in the morning. We are beginning an acute care course for the nurses that will run for several months. Things seem to be moving along a bit, but very slowly. More tomorrow…