Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Final Update from Team 22

Bonjour on this beautiful morning in Haiti As we always say, it is not about numbers, but we were able to care for almost 900 people. On our last day, the Good Lord brought us a smaller number, allowing us to calmly finish patient procedures, gather our thoughts regarding needs in the clinic for our next team trip, and even get our group photos...CHEESE!!!!

I want to turn this over to Team 22 to share with you thoughts, feelings or experiences from our week together...

Sharon Feehan, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
This is my 6th trip with Little by Little. We all come here hoping to give a little bit of comfort and hope to the wonderful people of Gramothe. I am forever amazed that I come away feeling like I received SO much more than I gave. All of our hearts our very full as we conclude an amazing week!

Jessica Ittner, FNP student at UIC
It's been an incredible week.  I'll miss waking up to roosters crowing and walking through town on the way to clinic, seeing smiling faces.  I'll miss our patients in clinic, hopefully we brought them comfort and healing this week.  I've learned so much, thank you to Little by Little for organizing this life changing trip.  Go Team 22, such a compassionate talented group of people! 

Maggie Schumm, FNP Student at CUW
This was my first trip with LBL. I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn from such compassionate providers. The patients seemed very thankful. It was a nice end to the clinic that no patients were turned away. I hope to return some day as a provider.

Jeanna Carlson, FNP Student at UIC
I feel so lucky to have come on this trip for the first time with LBL! It has been an incredible experience. The Haitian people have captured my heart with their smiles. I am grateful to have been working alongside a great team to bring much needed care to them. I will miss my time here and can't wait to return! 

Jacqueline Rincon, FNP Student at UIC
This was my first trip to Haiti. The week has been an emotional roller coaster, but I am grateful for every minute of it. Not only have I learned so much clinically, I have also learned so much about myself as well as the Haitian culture. I cannot wait to go home and share my experiences with my family and friends. We have touched so many lives. The Haitian people have however, touched us in a way that will change our lives forever. Thank you to our wonderful team!

Heather Overmyer, ER RN
What an amazing experience!! I am so thankful I got to travel with team 22 to Haiti and work with such a great team! I will never forget this experience as it and the Haitian people have changed my heart forever!  I look forward to returning to Haiti in the future. Thank you Haiti and team 22! 

Renee Landa, FNP Student at UIC
This is a trip I will never forget. Just seeing how appreciative, lively, and kind the Haitian people are gives a new perspective on life. My favorite was seeing the elderly patients give a huge smile, usually exposing a toothless, gummy smile, but still beautiful nonetheless. I am also so grateful for making new friends who are so compassionate, kind, and FUN!

Debbie Barnes, Pediatric RN
Another amazing trip with a fabulous group of people!!  My sixth trip has been nothing short of incredible - love, laughter, healing, sharing, compassion, and beauty.  We were blessed as a group by the unique talents each team member brought to the table.  As I prepare to go home, I find it interesting that I come to help "heal", but going home feeling "healed" myself.  Love you all and will never foget you. 

Joanne McCluskey
Team 22 has been a great experience! This is my fourth trip to Haiti and the gracious people that participate on these trips never ceases to amaze me! There has been so much laughter, love and compassion this week, it has been incredible. As for the people of Haiti and the country itself I continue to see great improvements! I have seen much healthier people this year, and signs of rebuilding everywhere! It is so exciting to see what a difference we can make in one short week!

Kim Hogan, APN
This is my sixth trip to Gramothe with Little By Little. I fell in love with Haiti on my first trip, and it only grows each time I’m here. I never cease to be impressed by the dignity and grace of the Haitian people, and I’m happy to have an opportunity to serve them. I’m also pleased to see improvements in the health of the local people, and the signs of rebuilding in Port au Prince. Team 22 is a great group, flexible, hard working, smart and fun!  I’ve loved meeting up with my old friends and making new ones.

Bernie, RN
This has been the best experience of my life. I loved the people and the place. I have learned so much and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. I am really impressed about how well coordinated the clinic was and how every person on the team helped out. I hope to come back! J 

Robin Afeld, FNP student
This was my first trip to Haiti and wow what a week! As an FNP student, I went into clinic every day with energy, inquisitiveness, and motivation to do as much as I could in just one short week. My experiences with the patients will stick with me the rest of my life. I learned many things, not only about caring for people of all ages, but I learned things about myself and my capabilities as a future provider. Although, I may have returned home each night exhausted, it was a rewarding and fulfilling exhausted. I truly felt like Team 22 touched the lives of many Haitian people and in the process, the Haitian people have left an everlasting impression on ours.

Pat Kalensky
This is my fourth trip to Haiti with the Little by Little team. Each team has been a unique group of individuals but our strengths have blended beautifully to enrich each other as we serve the people of the Gramothe clinic under Mountain Top Ministries. I am grateful for the support and aid we have been able to provide to the people who walk from near and far to trust this team with their health; 900 in all this week.  The improvements and changes I have seen here in Haiti over the past 3 years have been remarkable. I am very encouraged by these people’s resiliency. God bless.

Charlie Yingling, FNP
It is a joy to return to Gramothe and see the changes that have occurred in the community since my last trip here.  New crop fields are planted.  New, permanent structures are erected and there is far less malnutrition than on previous trips.  I am so appreciative that the people of this community continue to invite us back to work with them to improve their health.  The team of professionals with whom I have shared this week are selfless, humble and truly a pleasure to work with. Good humor and flexibility have made joyful a week of hard work.

And thus we end this week of care to our Haitian friends. As always we leave with mixed feelings of excitement to reunite with our families but with a heavy heart to leave this hardworking village of Gramothe. We finished our day today with a very loud crazy game of "garbage", sang Happy Birthday to Team 22 members Taylor and Joanne and enjoyed a pizza party. We are now packing to come home to you.

Thank you for being with us in spirit this week and for your thoughts and prayers.

God bless, Vanda Marsh and Team 22