Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hurricane Matthew--- go away

We are thinking about everyone in Haiti and Jamaica bracing for the hurricane and hoping and praying that it loses strength by the time it reaches southern Haiti..... the warning extends all the way up to Mole St. Nicolai.
Here is the latest update----

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/01/americas/hurricane-matthew/

The first giant cholera outbreak was just after the hurricane in 2010.  Hurricane Tomas.
We remember because we were there.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

What if..........


WHAT IF our religion was each other,
IF our practice was our life
IF prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
IF forests were our church
IF holy water- the rivers, lakes, and oceans
What if meditation was our relationships
IF the teacher was life
IF wisdom was self-knowledge
IF love was the center of our being?

~ Ganga White

Friday, September 9, 2016

Plans change with the wind

Hello all!

So we have a big plan change.......  not surprising eh?

The presidential election in Haiti is on 10/12 and, historically, this can mean a bunch of unrest.

Naturally, no one wants to be involved in anything that could potentially be dangerous, so Sagebrush has decided to postpone their fall trip to Lacoma.

What does this mean?
It means that Peace Love Haiti is going anyway.
 
We are changing our dates to October 19-29 and will all fly in together- Tricia, Diane, Julie, Les, and Dr. Mark.  It will be a week after the election and we will be very very safe and so happy to finally get there.

Thanks for all your support~ we love you all!

Oh--- and we have a go fund me to help us raise enough money for the trucks we need to get to Lacoma!!!

Check it out!

https://www.gofundme.com/2njhe8qk

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blog Procrastination, part 2

Why is it so hard for me to write a little update on the blog?
It does NOT mean that we have forgotten or are giving up.
We are still as dedicated as ever to helping in Haiti!
We are more determined than ever before.
Maybe it is too hard to think too much about what is happening in Haiti when we are so so far away. Maybe it is too hard to relive everything that happens on every trip: trying to help our patients when there is no treatment available, the amazing landscapes,  the poverty, the flowers, the trees, the sea, all the beautiful people that we consider family that we only get to see a few times a year, the contrasts, the sameness, the faith, the love.
Once and awhile I just shut myself into my own little world and the door locks behind me.

I apologize for not posting a single photo or writing a single word about our April trip.
In a nutshell... it was short but so very sweet.

PLH joined forces with a great team from Sagebrush Church from Albuquerque, NM (again) and Dr. Aquis (the hardest working dentist you will ever meet in the US or in Haiti).  We paired with the unstoppable Fabienne Goutier!  Rounding out our team was a bunch of amazing translators and logisticians, without whom we would not function for a minute.

We saw many patients and Sagebrush installed a gigantic diesel generator.  Now- for the first time ever-  the clinic has power when it really needs it!  And boy does it need power to run the lab, nebulizers, and to see after 8pm.  No more suturing, delivering babies, or starting IVs by head light or cell phone.  Progress!!!

Thank you so much- we could not have helped treat over 500 medical patients and over 300 dental patients without YOU. Yeah, you.  Thanks a million.

Here are some photos......
The generator sends electricity right to the clinic

Waiting to see the best dentist ever

Cute shy ti gason



our HUGE and WONDERFUL team!!!

Sagebrush gets all PeaceLoveHaiti as they head home to Albuquerque

Baby Scale

Our translators are the BEST





Donkey parking only
Bonjou everyone! No shortage of patients, ever

Kids always flock to Kervens- but this is really his son!

Dr Aquis injects some anesthetic before he fills a cavity

Pastor Gesnel hands out some food
Madam Pastor wearing a flashy tshirt!

The best day is a beach-after-work day!



Nurse Fabienne Aquis and Madam St. D help us do everything

Hot diggity digging to bury the cable from the generator
THE GENERATOR!!!


Dreaming about the moringa farm of the future

This is an OLD moringa tree
Moringa flowers- yum!
Haven't seen this since 2010- look to the right to see what it looked like before the earthquake ->
The Palace is gone completely


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter in Haiti

Easter in Haiti is much different than it is here in Etazini (the United States).

3 years ago we were staying in St Louis du Nord for a couple days over Easter- it wasn't safe for us to be out and about the area due to rain and other factors.  We stayed at the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and our dear friend was the director then.   NWHCM was a GIGANTIC resource for the area at that time.  They fed thousands of people daily and that was amazing.  They housed us and fed us during the huge cholera outbreak in 2010.  They have a beautiful surgical suite for surgical mission teams to come and use. They have an orphanage for babies/toddlers and an orphanage for disabled kids that is still running.  Some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life I met at NWHCM.  Sadly, the mission wasn't all bon bagay (good stuff). Anyway....we were stuck there as I said.

Easter.  Haiti.  Rara bands.  Thunder storms.  Torrential downpours.  Mud.  There were fervent, heartfelt religious ceremonies that we didn't understand happening continually.  All the electrical energy that goes along with the ceremonies and the thunderstorms was hitting us nonstop-- everything was so intense! And we were not working; we couldn't run a clinic during this special time of year.

So this was Easter 2012.  Church started at 730am but people started arriving around 530am after spending the whole night Rara-ing.  We watched the Christian ceremony from the rooftop of the mission- of course the sermon was in Kreyol so we didn't understand the words.  The whole town and both orphanages were in attendance, as well as all the missionaries.  The courtyard was PACKED with people standing everywhere inside, outside, and on the street.   The sermon was intense and the volume waxed and waned as the clouds swirled around, unpredictable....  finally after about 90 minutes the sky turned black and CRACK BOOM!!!! The loudest thunder and the most intense lightening display hit right over our heads. I swear that Tricia's hair was standing on end. The entire congregation- including us rooftop viewers- immediately went running for shelter.   It rained for the next 24 hours.  To be honest, ever since that day I have felt more than a little unsettled over the equinox.

Rara bands are marching bands in Haiti- they have a certain distinct rhythm.  They march for miles and miles, with people joining in all along the way.  The leader of the band is usually a big religious and/or political leader and usually has a whistle and a whip.  They march to celebrate Vodou and to have their voices be heard by everyone.  The bands are active for 6 weeks between lent and Easter and seemingly the night before Easter is the big one.  I have no clear idea how the religions or Vodou and Christianity intertwine during this time- or if it is an African thing that involves the spring equinox-or if it is something more.
The main instruments in the Rara band are the vaksin (bamboo trumpet) and the klonet (a type of horn);  there are also drums,  tcha tcha (maracas), bells, kes (a stick-like thing), graj (metal scrapers), flutes, rattles, and twompet (trumpet).  The leader toots away on the whistle and whips the whip around to clear their path as they march for mile after mile.  This marching can happen anytime during the day or night.  If two Rara bands meet up head to head there will be a confrontation.  We have stitched up more than one laceration from this sort of thing.

We took the MAF Flight out  of the the Nord Ouest! No way could you drive through the rivers




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Update on the Spring

Well, things have a way of being fluid.....

Our spring plans have changed and the May trip to Lacoma is being postponed until fall.
We are still going in April though!
Out of our control.  
Many factors have gone into this decision.  Some changes here on the home front have forced us to postpone our 2nd Lacoma trip of 2016 until fall.  When I look at the sketchy nature of the elections that are scheduled for exactly when our trip was planned, I feel like it may be a good thing.
*sigh*

Here is something that was written on our blog years ago.... I can't remember where it came from but it rings so true!

"When you care enough about strangers to leave your comforts behind to help,  something inside of you happens.  You discover that life is not what you have, it's what you give away."

Love to you all from team Peace Love Haiti




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spring trips are brewing!




THIS IS OUR 6th YEAR OF PEACELOVEHAITI!!!
Thank you so much for all these years of support- we love you!

We will be joining forces with the Sagebrush team (from Albuquerque) from April 8 through the 19th and will zoooom up to Lacoma!
We will support our regular patients and also hope to do some mobile clinics as well.  There are no roads of course so we will just head out to the remote areas on a couple of dirt bikes.   It will be amazing to help those that are not mobile enough to walk into "town" to come and see us.
Does anyone have a mostly decent backpack they are willing to donate for the mobile clinics? We will need 2 backpacks for medications and supplies.

PeaceLoveHaiti returns to Lacoma in May with a small but mighty team... Dr Grace and Julie Louise will be providing the medical care along with Kervens and Marc translating and running the pharmacy.   We need some big suitcases and also items from the Dollar Store like PG kits, clotrimazole and hydrocortisone cream,  sunglasses, antibiotic ointment, and lubricating eye drops.  And TUMS!!! Always TUMs.  Everybody loves TUMs.






When is Dr Mark going you ask?
Mark will be going in May too-- with dates to be determined!
He will continue supporting Dr Bordes in Canaan ..... I think the OR must be close to completion.
We hope to have some pictures soon of what the buildings look like nowadays.
Imagine! C-sections will finally be available to this area and we can't thank you enough for helping us get to this level.  We plan to send teams to this clinic sometime soon to help with both medical and surgical interventions and also to provide education for the Haitian medical team that runs this clinic every day.

 I need help organizing the donations in my basement!
Email me if you are willing to come over and spend a few hours with me....... peaceloveHaiti@gmail.com

If words were leaves, would you prefer fall or spring?

Here is a lil video from days gone by titled "QUICKSAND"... filmed by Tricia back in the serious clown show days......

https://youtu.be/9mnTLlj_Vvs