Haiti 2013: Day Three (Class of 2016)

Today’s post was co-written by Brian Peccie and Stuart Luter, both GHF ’16.

Our day began with a trip to the market in central Hinche. Wyatt, Aneesh, Stuart, and Ms. Massey experienced the many positive and negative aspects of the local market. Using the funds Bridget raised last month, they bought the final 12 mosquito bed nets from 3 different vendors. While doing so, Wyatt took blood pressure and heart rate readings and Stuart and Aneesh interviewed the different men and women in the market. Upon leaving the market, they walked through Hinche and found more interviewees. Doctor Wyatt Miller took 30 blood pressure readings, discovering that many Haitians have high blood pressure — some even as high as 170/106. Aneesh and Stuart interviewed a few more of the locals to inform their projects.

Wyatt taking blood pressure readings in the streets of Hinche.

Wyatt taking blood pressure readings in the streets of Hinche.

Next, they walked to the United Nations MINUSTAH (India) peacekeeping compound so that Aneesh could translate for Emmanuel, our translator, whose vacation bible school is receiving support from some of the men stationed there. This turned out to be an extremely interesting and unique experience.

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Receiving water, orange juice, and coffee while relaxing in the AC was a great break from the heat of Haiti. They met the main commander of the force, Commander Shidu, and an officer Ajay Sharma, as well as other soldiers and doctors. Aneesh had great conversations with them in Hindi. They invited us to lunch, which was an amazing experience. The rice and dal, Indian sweets, and finale of ice cream was such a treat! They had many great conversations about Haiti and the UN’s job here as well as what Haiti’s future has to hold.

With our new Indian friends from the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.

With our new Indian friends from the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.

While Stuart, Aneesh, Wyatt, and Ms. Massey were out in the market, Brian, Elizabeth, Bridget, and Mr. Doar headed off to the Midwives for Haiti mobile clinic in the village Rhode. The clinic was located in a home of one of the midwives. Although it was smaller facility than the one the other group visited yesterday, the midwives still were very productive in working with the limited space. Brian took the blood pressure of the patients, Elizabeth and Mr. Doar sorted pills, and Bridget continued her distribution of bed nets to the pregnant women. They then all sat down with a few of the women to continue interviews that will inform their projects. After an exhausting hour of work, they took a quick hike up the nearby mountain to take a look at the breathtaking views of the countryside and the distant mountains. They also walked to a local school. It is exam time for the kids of Rhode, so the group was not able to interact with the school kids as much as they would have liked. However, as with wherever we go, there were other children curiously following behind. The group made their way back to the clinic where they continued interviewing more patients of the clinic. They left the clinic on a cheerful note by seeing the smiling faces on the patients after Bridget gave them the bed nets.

In the afternoon we all reunited and traveled as a group to St. Therese Hospital, the Ministry of Health’s hospital here in Hinche, where we spoke with Emily Dally, Curriculum and Training Specialist for Partners in Health.

Emily Dally, of Partners in Health, speaks to the group at the St. Therese hospital in Hinche.

Emily Dally, of Partners in Health, speaks to the group at the St. Therese hospital in Hinche.

At some point during our tour, each one of us noticed that the hospital looked more sanitary and less crowded since last time. Before departing, we dropped off some donated medical supplies from Norfolk Academy’s athletic training room. When we returned home, we tried to play a game of “futbol,” however a storm interrupted those plans. That didn’t stop us from having fun though! We ended a long day in the scorching heat by cooling off in the pouring rain.

Stuart met with some of the midwives after dinner to discuss her plans for the young women’s empowerment and health education curriculum. It was a very informative and helpful conversation that will steer her curricular design efforts over the next few months.

Highlights of the Day:

Stuart Luter: Talking to the midwives about my curriculum and getting their feedback

Aneesh Dhawan: Eating lunch with the officers at the U.N.

Brian Peccie: Improving my research by surveying more people at the mobile clinic in Rhode.

Wyatt Miller: Experiencing a morning in the Haitian market in Hinche and talking to the men and women in their stalls.

Bridget Dickinson: Seeing the change in the pregnant mothers’ facial expressions at the mobile clinic after we finished the surveys and handed them the bed nets

Elizabeth Lilly: Watching the midwives’ incredible work at the mobile clinic

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