After lunch back at the guest house, we headed to Zanmi Beni, the disabled children’s home that is a joint effort of Operation Blessing and Partners in Health. We were met by Frankie Lucien, the Haiti Education Coordinator for Partners in Health, and she and Crawford of OBI offered us a joint tour of the facility. This home serves as an oasis for these children, offering dignified housing, care, and physical and art therapy. Zanmi Beni’s grounds are also home to a tilapia fish farm project which is marked to contribute to communities nutritionally and economically in the short and long term. Our visit to Zanmi Beni concluded with a very interactive and informative talk with Frankie Lucien of Partners in Health and her colleagues from Rwanda, Peter and Alice, who had just come from the International AIDS Conference in D.C. Frankie took us through the history of PIH and explained the reasoning and background of PIH’s mission to always offer a preferential option for the poor. We discussed the accompaniment model of using community health workers for prevention, education, and treatment previously thought impossible. We ended our conversation by discussing medicine versus social medicine, and I think everyone left the room feeling even more jazzed about our four years together to continue these thought-provoking exchanges.
After saying goodbye to the precocious kids at Zanmi Beni, we headed to the baseball field. In the week leading up to our trip, I asked our fellows to watch the short film “Baseball in the Time of Cholera” to gain a deeper understanding of the cholera outbreak that struck Haiti last year. Visiting the place and people featured in the film was exciting enough, but then our group took to the field and played some ball. Coach Fowler was in heaven! Definitely an incredible ending to “the day that felt like a week.”
After a delicious dinner (including homemade cookies and ice cream!), more conversations, and some journaling, we’re hitting the hay to prepare for another “week” tomorrow.
Aneesh’s Highlight of the Day: Playing baseball with the Haitian kids.
Brian’s Highlight of the Day: Interacting with the Haitian kids playing baseball.
Bridget’s Highlight of the Day: Playing with the kids at Zanmi Beni; meeting all the great kids at baseball.
Elizabeth’s Highlight of the Day: When a dirt patch in Haiti became Yankee stadium.
Stuart’s Highlight of the Day: Baseball and meeting Joseph.
Wyatt’s Highlight of the Day: Discussing the main goals of PIH with Frankie, Peter, Nadish, and Alice.