The October medical team has arrived in Haiti safe and sound. Our journey from Port-au-Prince was longer than usual. There was a detour along the coast and another one to get around the lake in the Artibonite Valley — a lake that formed during the recent hurricanes and flooding. The drive through Gonaives was eye-opening for all of us. For some members of our 14-person team this is their first time in Haiti. And for most us, this is the first time we have been here after such a disaster. The streets in Gonaives, which was hit especially hard during the flooding, are lined with mud that has been shoveled out of homes and businesses. Most of the flood water has receded but some residents are still living on their rooftops.
Outside the city, a river near the Clinic of Hope has torn away the land near it. The flooding left behind rocks on what used to be farm soil. One family lost their entire millet crop along with half of their land to grow it on. The good news, which sometimes seems hard to find, is that a new millet crop has been planted on the remaining land and it is growing. A young woman who works at the clinic, cooking meals for the medical team, lost everything when the flood waters struck her home in Gonaives. She had to escape to a friend’s house. The good news in this story is that she survived and is well.
These are hard times in Haiti. We hope to provide some encouragement and comfort to people who come through the clinic in the coming week. Thank you so much for your support for this team and for the people living in Haiti. Mesi anpil.