Lakay Nou, Hinche
We've named it: Lakay Nou, in Kreyol... "Our Home" in English. This leamed house is now the home of Midwives for Haiti.
After years of running a program out of borrowed closets, classrooms under trees, volunteer sleeping in guesthouses and motels, we've landed.We have a home, and are starting our fourth class. Midwives for Haiti has landed like that baby giraffe, and is on the ground, running!
Therefore we're all over the map, crazy busy.
In one day:
-Vitamins/medicine/prenatal supplies loaded into suitcases and into the truck.
-Folding chairs for our classroom, nametags & blouses for the students, 5 American midwives to hospital.
-2 Haitian Midwives left for a rural mobile clinic. Still managing out of Ronel's ancient, rusty Hilux truck which hemorrhages oil and gas. We are praying for our lovely, pink, "Jeep La"! to arrive...it will not be a moment too soon.
-Class #4 with 15 beautiful,high qualified students started, prayer and singing ringing off of the concrete walls.
-Shopping til we Drop - I bought a Haitian cell phone....I guess this is a sign the relationship is getting more serious...! It's just so much easier to have one, here. My trusty guide and ride, Manno's motorycle, needed gas...it took a half-hour to find a gas station on the edge of town that had some. Filled his tank so he can run me around. Made purchase of 40 Klorfasil bucket systems to be delivered in the village of Naran tomorrow. We arranged to buy a 500 gallon water tank for the roof of our house.
Paint, brushes & rollers. Plastic baskets for recycling and storage. 6 giant bottles of water. Can't find a "stand" for the water tanks to save our life. Landlord Jean-Louis says they come from the "Old Country"...ie, the USA!
Meetings Galore-- and these are not Quaker ones!
-Landlord meeting with Jean-Louis LaFort: Many issues with house resolved... guard/security, barbed wire,doors, electrical, water tank issues. Oh, shucks....the tank we bought is not needed! Arranged to return it tomorrow and buy light fixtures for outside the house. Carpenter, electricians, consulted, haggled with, etc. Not exactly complaining, but this stuff is not like Home Depot, folks. It's a little more complicated.
Cara Osborn, inspired by advice & helpful contacts from Jean-Louis and our desperation, will try a trip to St.Marc/PortauPrince tomorrow...and try to get the Jeep out of hock in customs. Who know what sort of persuasion she may try?? She's a powerful woman who gets a lot done....and we're frantic for that darn Jeep.
Pregnant Ladies and Babies....of course!
I saw my first Haitian patient of the week: Manno's wife, Nathalie, complaining of persistent nausea...a urine pregnancy test done in the living room clarified the reason....she's expecting baby #2! We'll start prenatal care later in the week.
Second patient of the week: our cook, Diuny's one-year old baby, was vomiting, her friend told her he had an ear infection. But!--it all started this week, when she began working for us, and leaving him bottles of powdered milk to drink when she's away working during the day. A quck examination, and we quickly decided that we can't even call ourselves "Midwives for Haiti" if it involves our cook weaning her breastfed baby so she can work for us, and he gets sick from not getting breastmilk. We arranged for her to have her baby nearby in the house so he can nurse and be cared for by her little 10-year old babysitter. So M4H will have a baby in the house!! How appropriate! He's cute, fat, and healthy as can be as long as he doesn't get that nasty powdered stuff.
A "Quiet" Evening at Lakay Nou--NOT!
No, not a quiet evening....Nadene had visits from 2 different M4H-trained midwives whom she hired to staff a clinic and a family-planning education program. The 5 bags that had been delayed in New York finally arrived via Moliares' SUV, along with furniture ordered in PaP...So the evening activty became the Allen Wrench Olympics, seeing who could assemble what with a flashlight, allen wrenches, one screwdriver, and 8 cans of Prestige beer. We had a good time and now have some boxy, ugly, durable, lightweight practical furniture.
I delivered a small Xmas bottle of Scotch to next-door neighbor Xavieran Bro. Mike McCarthy at Maison Fortune orphanage. Asked him to pray for the Jeep. I am serious....non-Catholic, but consulting a priest. We need "Jeep La" really bad, folks....please do exercise whatever spiritual powers you all hoave, ye who care for us. Otherwise, and still, it's a lovely night in HInche!