The First 48 Hours

March 7, 2015

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By Carrie Petersen, team member currently in Haiti:

The first 48 hours in Haiti:

I’ve been to Terre Blanche more than half a dozen times. But I can’t remember the last time I saw so much dust. Terre Blanche, the name of the village where we’ll be working this week, translates to “white earth.” Everything here – trees, rocks, houses, even pigs along the roadside – have the same dull dusty color. There are no crops. It’s been too dry. The wind is blowing, which provides relief from the hot temperatures but is also the culprit for the layer of dust surrounding us.

The bright spots in the village are the smiles on people’s faces and the turquoise paint that accents the clinic building. Haiti Foundation of Hope has been working with community members to test a drip irrigation system.

The test garden is behind the clinic and the results have been nothing short of amazing. There are papaya and banana trees, tomatoes, watermelon and okra. HFH brought down 25 drip irrigation systems to share with community members. Once the training is complete and the systems are distributed, we hope gardens will come to life in this often dry land.

Clinic hasn’t started but we’ve already had two patients. The first was an elderly woman with stomach pains who arrived during the night. A handful of team members, who had a sleepless red-eye flight the night before, took turns during the night to treat her. By morning, the decision was made to drive her to a hospital for further treatment.

The second patient was a young girl in need of stitches on her knee. You won’t see more love from a team than when a screaming child faces a doctor with a needle. Once patched up, she was on her way home in her dad’s arms.

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