Haiti 2013: Day Two (Class of 2016)

Today’s blog is co-written by Aneesh Dhawan and Bridget Dickinson, both GHF ’16.

Our morning began with a quick breakfast as midwives arrived at the house for training. We split up into two groups- one going on the mobile clinic at Los Palos and the other to the market. Bridget, Elizabeth, Brian, Ms. Massey, and our translator Emmanuel departed for the local market in Hinche. Our first stop was to exchange some of the money Bridget raised to purchase mosquito bed nets. We exchanged $500 USD and received 21,000 Haitian goudes. We ventured into the market and decided to buy from multiple vendors to support the local economy.

Bridget purchasing mosquito bed nets in the Hinche market.

Bridget purchasing mosquito bed nets in the Hinche market.

Prior to our trip this week and stemming from our end-of-year symposium projects, we each crafted a survey of questions to ask people in the community this week to better inform our work for our projects. Emmanuel translated for us  as we asked the vendors questions from each of our surveys. After purchasing seventy bed nets from four different vendors, we delved into Brian’s investigation of food security and hunger. Brian visited the food portion of the market along with the shops on the street and was able to gather data on the cost of various food items. It was amazing to see our projects in action and how much we learned from interviewing just a handful of community members.

Brian interviewing food venders in the Hinche market.

Brian interviewing food venders in the Hinche market.

The eventful morning left us very tired, but all we needed was a quick rest back at the house. We continued interviewing residents of Hinche, mostly women who were at home, and learned about perceptions of disease in a rural community. Many were intrigued by what we were doing beyond the simple question-asking; with these concerns in mind, we returned home with an even stronger resolution to translate our research into lasting change. We even met a local pharmacist who is a week away from opening a free community clinic in Hinche! We are hoping to collect some eyeglasses for this new clinic to be able to distribute to those in need.

Interviewing residents in Hinche.

Interviewing residents in Hinche.

Meanwhile in Los Palos, Aneesh, Stuart, Wyatt and Mr. Doar accompanied the midwives on their mobile clinic. Wyatt took the blood pressure of 30 pregnant women, while Aneesh and Stuart checked and recorded their weights. Stuart and Aneesh also interviewed many of the women waiting to be seen by the midwives. Stuart’s survey concentrated on women’s health empowerment and Aneesh’s survey focused on access to water. The three helped support the clinic by sorting pills and then went on a tour of the village.

Heading out on the mobile clinic on the Midwives for Haiti pink jeep!

Heading out on the mobile clinic on the Midwives for Haiti pink jeep!

Their translator, Gladius, was able to show them the high school and introduce them to Father Gee. Father Gee is a very well educated lawyer and priest who ran the church and also taught constitutional law at a university in Hinche. Our topics of conversation varied from Notre Dame to Haitian politics. We thentrekked back to the mobile clinic, packed up the medical equipment and headed back home in the MFH hot pink jeep. Both groups met up back at the house and had a delicious Haitian lunch.

The group tried to use their negotiating skills as they haggled with the Haitian vendors outside the gate of the house to buy some souvenirs.

The last adventure of the day was to the Azil, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries for Charity’s Center for Malnourished Children.  The group thoroughly enjoyed returning to this special place after a year. Each chose an infant to bottle feed while bonding with them over multiple burps and dirty diapers. Playing with the kids, their smiles and happiness on their faces lit up the day. The soccer game back at the house expended the group’s last burst of our energy.

Feeding the children at the Azil.

Feeding the children at the Azil.

As both of us sit down and look out in the distance from the balcony of the MFH guesthouse, we are so excited to continue exploring the beauty Haiti has to offer. We are already saying that just a week isn’t long enough to be here.

Highlights of the Day:

Stuart: Interviewing the pregnant women on the mobile clinic and finding out some really different and unexpected information. Also visiting the Azil and feeding Lwines.

Bridget: Seeing my project put into action and the feedback we got.

Brian: Gathering facts about food security in Haiti through interacting with people at the market and around town.

Aneesh: Spending time with the children at the Azil.

Wyatt: Taking the blood pressures of the many pregnant women who visited the Midwives for Haiti mobile clinic.

Elizabeth: Spreading awareness about cancer and the importance of detecting it early

1 thought on “Haiti 2013: Day Two (Class of 2016)

  1. Ned Lilly

    It’s exciting to see how you guys are throwing yourselves into the details of your respective projects already. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!

    Reply

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