August 2016 (Notes written as emails by Lynette Kerrane-Darragh)
Day 1: Hello to all - We have all safely arrived as a group to Haiti. We had a smooth transition from the airport to MTM. We had a warm welcome and a yummy meal followed by meetings that help us prepare for our new day tomorrow at the clinic. We have extremely limited internet connection. Please do not expect personal replies. We will be sending a daily group email as internet connections allow. Looking forward to the new day.
Best - Little By Little August 2016 Team
Best - Little By Little August 2016 Team
Day 2: Good Evening! We completed our first day in our clinic and were able to take care of 124 patients. The patients waited patiently outside in a line for their turns to be seen. Everyone part of the team worked diligently to be sure that we were able to help as many people as possible. Our stock room was refilled and it has been noted how nice it has been to have the extra help in the pharmacy this year. The providers have been teaching as they help the patients and the students have been learning through these amazing experiences. The translators have been incredibly helpful so that we can communicate to the patients what needs to be done to address their individual needs. As the clinic closed today, we all made our way home rather it be walking on the road, driving in the atv or truck, or hiking down along the goat trail. We all safely arrived back and missed the rain that was waiting to fall. Some of us enjoyed a few rain drops on the back porch that faces the mountain and enjoyed the beauty of the clouds that hung low in the background. We all said our nightly prayer together at dinner and enjoyed a wonderfully prepared dinner. Dinner was followed by meetings both as a group and then in individual groups with the providers. Looking forward to a new day tomorrow in the hopes of seeing even more patients as we will have an earlier start now that the clinic has been stocked and we have the first day of clinic under our belts. As a reminder, communication is limited due to the wifi capabilities but we will do our best to continue to send daily emails.
Best - Little by Little August 2016 Team
Day 3: Good Evening! Another new day in Haiti!!! We gathered early this morning for a yummy breakfast of porridge, fresh bananas, and watermelon. As usual, we had a business breakfast and we were all off and running to start Day 2 of clinic. Positions were rotated throughout the group so that everyone could understand how the clinic is run more efficiently and to provide the students different learning opportunities from both the patients and the providers. Today, we were able to see between 150 and 200 patients. Our ability to tally numbers were compromised by a thunderstorm that rolled in quickly near closing time and we all had to hurry out of the clinic to be able to arrive home safely. Some team members made their way down and up the goat trail during the storm and felt the beauty of the rain fall. We gathered for dinner shortly after our return and followed up with our meetings as usual. The room was filled with compliments and enthusiasm about the team member’s contributions to the clinic today. The students reiterated how many learning experiences they were being gifted with by experiencing patient care first hand with their providers teaching along the way.
Another successful day in Haiti - Little by Little August 2016 Team
Day 4: Good Evening - We began our day by waking up to the sounds of roosters. Freshly brewed coffee awaited us...a shared love by many. We had our business breakfast meeting as usual and then off we went to Day 3 of clinic. A long line of patients waited patiently to be seen lined up along the road. Some of these patients travel quite a long ways and yet remain patient and appreciative of their ability to have a turn to be seen in the clinic. It truly is remarkable how resilient these patients are. Once again, members of the team switched around duties in the clinic which provides everyone an opportunity to both understand how different parts of the clinic work as well as have the opportunity to interact with different team members in different capacities. It turned out to be a beautiful and cool afternoon to return home both on foot or by vehicle. Some members hiked back via the goat trail which is a little steeper but a shorter distance, while others took the hike back along the road that the vehicle travels along. As some of us returned to home, there was a pause to listen the sounds of singing children in the church. Dinner was served shortly after and our nightly meeting was held. Patient stories were shared by both the providers as well as the students. We are proud to report that we were able to see and treat over 200 patients today. Everyone worked as quickly as they could, all the while trying to provide the best possible patient care. Knowing how this team is needed by all of the people that travel so far for help, feeds the positive energy that runs through the clinic. The compassion expressed by all team members and the level of commitment to patient care was exemplary and it was acknowledged repeatedly by different team members during the team meeting. Truly a special team to be part of and another successful day in Haiti. Best - Little by Little August Haiti 2016 team
Day 5: Good Evening - We just finished up our general meeting where we recapped the events of the day. We are happy to report that we saw 228 patients today. The quote of the evening has been...."We were crankin'!"
We began our day with porridge along with fresh bananas and apricots. It felt a bit warmer than the previous days on our walk to the clinic this a.m. As usual, we were greeted by a long line of patients who patiently were waiting for our help. As a team, along with our translators, we said a group prayer as usual and opened the clinic for the day. Once again, team members moved around in different spots. Everyone moved as quickly as possible throughout the day. We broke for lunch which consisted of rice and beans and returned back to the clinic quicker than usual as rain had begun to fall. The afternoons always fly by extra fast and we found ourselves once again working past 4pm to help as many patients as we possibly could. On the way home, it began to lightly rain, but stopped shorty after it began. The chitter-chatter amongst the members filled the walk home as members exchanged stories of their day. The smiles on the faces and the appreciation expressed in their body language were a testament to the dedication of these members to their patients. Upon our return, we were served an "American meal" that consisted of sloppy joes with other sides. We had the chance to purchase coffee tonight as this region is known for their great tasting coffee beans. The members of this team continue to appreciate these experiences and are continuing to bond with one another. It truly is an amazing experience to be part of this group. Little by Little August 2016 Team
Day 6: Good Evening - Hard to believe this was our last day of clinic. We began the day as usual with our business breakfast and our commute to the clinic by foot or vehicle. The sun shined brightly. Focus remained on providing the best possible patient care while meeting as many patients needs as possible. Everyone continued to work collectively. At lunch time, the group gathered and shouted out our "We are crankin!" motivational theme. Many laughs were shared and we all returned to the clinic to finish out our afternoon assisting the needs of the patients. You could see the joy in the team members as they saw progress from their efforts in the returning patients. Tremendous empathy was also shared as the challenges that many of the patients face are brought to life. At the end of the day, we shared a prayer and a delicious dinner. Members sat around after dinner and exchanged stories of the day. The beauty of these stories is that they both reinforce the learning and teaching experiences which provide for growth. Tomorrow we will all gather for a mass spoken in mostly Creole. The rest of the day’s activities have yet to be decided. We are happy to report that we were able as a group to treat every patient that made his or her way to the clinic. In total we were able to treat 948 patients. This is truly a blessing. Little By Little August 2016 team