We woke to rain on the tin roof and thunder rumbling in the distance. It was 3 am and we gathered our gear, meds, and selves to load into three trucks for the two hour drive down the mountain and the ferry below to return to the mainland of Haiti. The past three days have been spent on the island of La Gonave, in the town of Mapou. Pastor Benny Guerrier and his wife, Dominique, hosted our group for three evenings. The village is remote and life is challenging, particularly with respect to water. They were gracious hosts and skillfully managed the logistics of organizing the church for two days of clinics. We saw over 400 people in those two days and touched the lives of young children and elderly alike with malnutrition and infection, young pregnant women,and older folks with hypertension and other chronic illness. Lack of access to clean water and inadequate nutrition are some of the biggest challenges facing this community. Pastor Benny is working to bring these resources to his community through education, harvesting and storing rainwater and spreading his faith and message of hope to the village of his birth.
The sunrise was enjoyed on the dock of the daily 7am ferry on our return to the main island of Haiti. After a beautiful journey back, we had a quick cleanup, checked in with families and friends at home and were off to Escole Congreganiste St. Francis de Sales for a full day of clinic for local school children, both sick and well, and many parents. General health education, infection, malnutrition, the stress headache of a 10 year old boy brought on by the continued uncertainties of life post earthquake and the common maladies of adults were all part of the day's experience.
Tomorrow we rise early to provide services for the children of a Govaines orphanage Children's Lifeline has served for several years and check in on the progress seen in the care of these beautiful, hopeful young people.