Labor Repose

Labor Repose
LaborPayne during her 6th homebirth (9th baby) at age 44

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 7- Operation Haiti

Today we all got up early and headed off to the Bel Aire Clinic in Port au Prince. I have gotten a better look around the neighborhood here in Petionville and it actually is full of gorgeous mansions. The neighborhood is nicer (ie cleaner) and I see more businesses that are transnational chains, more restaurants, more nightclubs, more grocery stores etc. Here is evidence of the class distinction. So far I had only seen poor and poorer and poorer still. I still don't know any Haitians who live in these mansions. However I have met far too many Haitians who are intelligent, and civic minded who are unsure of what the future holds for them. Many of or interpreters such as George, Innocent, Mose, Reginald and many others are bright and energetic young men with unlimited potential, but very limited opportunities. Their is no clear cut route for them to attend college (especially now when many schools were lost in the earthquake). Haiti seems poised to lose its best hope for the future if there are no educational opportunities for these young men (and women). I cannot say what will become of them. If the potential of this generation is not fully exploited, that will be the true tragedy.

The Bel Aire Clinic is housed on the second floor of a church. We had four physicians this morning seeing patients. My students, Rebecca and Sr. Marie did triage, I worked with two nurses in the treatment room (patients came into us to get shots, private exams, wound care, or other special treatments. We had a constant flow of patients. Three other nurses worked the pharmacy including Chris who teaches pharmacology. He really worked hard during the week and got the Bel Aire pharmacy organized and cleaned. I helped, remove a rock from a child's ear, cleaned and redressed some pressure ulcers, dressed a burn, did some bandage changes, assisted with a GYN exam, and cleaned and organized the treatment room, labeling and organizing supplies. I should not use the term room since there are no walls on the second floor and room divisions are by function or walled off petitions. As usual, you make do with what you have. My work to day in the the clinic was my most enjoyable clinical experience. After we finished we went shopping for souveniers. We stopped at two separate market places and purchased paintings, boxes, wall hangings, and Haitian flags. Some of the more adventurous (ie younger) folks then went out to eat at a restaurant while the rest of us came home. I had a nap and got back to the business of blogging. Its been a busy week, We take the plane out in the morning and will take 12 hours to reach home. I wish I had down time to 'recover' but first thing Monday morning, I start teaching again and I have a test to take, and a second draft of my thesis due. No rest for the wicked I suppose.

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