Haiti 2014 (Day 3: Nov 22)

Today’s post was written by Claire Cunningham ’18 and Liz Heckard ’18.
This morning we woke up to go to mass at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. This mass was especially interesting as this daily event also serves as a funeral for those who passed away the previous day at St. Damien and St. Luc’s and whose family cannot afford a funeral for them. It was a beautiful service and was the first time we experienced the Haitian culture and way of mourning, which is very different than our own. It aroused strong emotions in all of us and the singing was beautiful.
After mass was finished we got all of our things and left Hotel Francesca for Hinche in the

The '18s at HUM.

The ’18s at HUM.

Central Plateau. On the way to Hinche we stopped in Mirebalais to visit HUM (Hospital Universitaire de Mirebalais), the hospital founded by Partners in Health after the earthquake in partnership with the Haitian government . We received a tour from Maggie Smith, the External Affairs Coordinator for PIH in Haiti. The hospital is incredible and the services provided are extensive.

After we finished our tour we went to the Nourimanba factory which produces enriched peanut butter that is very caloric and is used to treat children under 5 years old with malnutrition. This peanut butter is prescribed for 8-11 weeks at a time to a child. We were astounded to learn that 85 percent of children under 5 years old are undernourished in the central plateau.  While the factory produces a great deal of Nourimanba, they still don’t produce enough to reach all the malnourished children under 5.
After the factory visit, we went to Cange to have lunch at “The View.” As you can tell from

Group in front of the view from Cange.

Group in front of the view from Cange.

the name, it had a spectacular view of the mountains and the Haitian border that is shared with the Dominican Republic. Maggie Smith joined us for lunch and it was delicious as it included, pasta salad, fried chicken, rice, avocados, plantains, and very sugary coke. After we ate, we visited the Cange hospital, the original PIH/Zanmi Lasante site, and again

The hospital at Cange is an oasis of trees!

The hospital at Cange is an oasis of trees!

Maggie Smith gave us a great tour alongside Dr. Val, the Assistant Medical Director of the hospital. Dr. Val pointed out a poster that shared a declaration of human rights created by the first fifty patients at Cange. It explains that all people are people and should get equal care and treatment. He said that this fully explains their mission as a hospital that is dedicated to serving all members of the community, especially offering a preferential option for the poor. After reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, about PIH’s founder Paul Farmer, and actually visiting the hospital, we fully understood the reason people are so dedicated to creating a healthier community.

That concluded our day, because after the tour we headed to Hinche, our final destination for the day, and got settled in at the Midwives for Haiti house. We spent the evening preparing to conduct our needs assessment surveys in the community of Clory tomorrow.
Prepping for tomorrow's needs assessment exercise.

Prepping for tomorrow’s needs assessment exercise.

Highlights of the day:
GHF ’16:
Stuart- How powerful mass was this morning
GHFs ’17:
Graham- visiting Mirebalais and the hospital and seeing how it changed
Nathalie- Going to the beautiful mass at St. Damien’s
Ryan- Touring the Nourimanba peanut butter factory
Justine- seeing the Nourimamba factory
Helen- Returning to Zamni Lasante ‘the view’ and MFH and seeing familiar faces
GHFs ’18:
Claire- Visiting the Nourimamba factory and talking to Maggie Smith in the car
Gabi- seeing how advanced the hospital in Mirebalais
Elizabeth- Visiting the kids for 10 minutes at the Cange hospital
Olivia- Playing with the kids at the hospital in Cange
Lawson- Visiting the children in Cange
Hunt- Giving the little kids at Cange high-fives

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