After an early arrival to the Norfolk Airport at 6:15, the Global Health Fellow classes of 2016 and 2018 began their excursion to the rural village of Hinche, in the Central Plateau of Haiti. We had a slightly delayed departure from Norfolk, but landed in Atlanta just in time to grab lunch and catch our flight to Haiti. The group passed through customs surprisingly quickly, and we were finally able to enter the scorching, humid air, which we had all craved since we last left it.
Once we departed the Port-au-Prince airport, all 14 of us loaded our luggage onto the top of a van, and squeezed in, to begin the 3 hour drive to Hinche. We drove through the mountains, and those of us who weren’t asleep enjoyed a very scenic, nostalgic route where we were reminded of some of our past experiences, but were also greeted with the prospects of making new memories.
We arrived at the Midwives for Haiti house and were immediately greeted by our friends who, (to our surprise), remembered us from previous years. After putting on tons of bug spray, we were re-oriented to the house and learned about some of the new Midwives for Haiti projects including the construction a new midwifery house and neonatal unit. A dinner of pasta was ready for us when we arrived and we were all very hungry, since we had such a short time for lunch in the airport.
Following dinner one member from each project group (Luci Lights, Biosand Filters, handwashing, and scholarships) had a meeting with Manno and Theard, two community leaders in Clory, to map out the plan for the upcoming days.
They have been incredibly supportive of our projects, and they have served as strong liaisons to the community in which we are working. Then we all convened to go over the details for the next day. As a group, we shared our “roses” and “thorns” of the day and began to organize ourselves for the day ahead of us.
– Claire Cunningham, Gabi Diskin, and Hunt Stockwell, GHFs Class of 2018