Sunday, September 13, 2009

haiti update - september 13, 2009

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17, 18

Hi! This week was busy with the medical program. On Wednesday morning we went with Deedee and Natasha to the village of Bonnette to pick up Samson Felix and Guerdeline Beaubrun. Deedee is taking in Samson and Dorothy is taking in Guerdeline. Natasha is running the orphanage while Dorothy is in the United States. I call the part of the village that we visited downtown Bonnette because the houses are more closer together there. The children enjoy it when visitors come to the village. It would be good if a team could come in to do a vacation bible school for the children one day. There are several children who show signs of malnutrition. Paulna told me that the people think that the children have orange hair because they bathe too much in “l’etang” (a nearby lake). They don’t understand what malnutrition is. It would be good to find a way to provide regular medical care especially to the younger children in this village. We recently got a large donation of vitamins and I want to try and visit the village on a weekly basis to at least provide some children with the vitamins that they need as well as monitoring children that are heading towards severe malnutrition. Samson is one of these children. When Deedee got him home she tried to feed him and he vomited everything up. Chris came over to give him an injection to control the vomiting and he was able to keep some liquids down. Samson’s body was starting to shut down because of the lack of food. He was to the point where he couldn’t eat. He is now able to take sips at a time but the next couple of weeks especially will be important for him. Pray that he will be able to start taking in more fluids at a time as his stomach gets used to having food. If Samson had not been removed from the village he most likely would have died before the end of the week. Natasha had the same problem with Guerdeline. Guerdeline at the beginning couldn’t suck from a baby bottle and she could only take in small amounts at a time. Natasha used a syringe to feed her. We give the Lord thanks for those willing to help children in need. Pray for the efforts of Deedee and Natasha/Dorothy as they bring back Samson and Guerline to good health.
When we were on the “highway” heading from the village to Port-au-Prince we had to stop because a man in his underwear was walking down the middle of the road holding a large rock in each hand. There were some people following him at a distance and a large coach bus that transports people from Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic was stopped too. We couldn’t move forward either and the man walked by Kimosabee and he told us not to bother him. He then went on his way and we were able to move forward as well. There are always lots of surprises traveling on the roads of Haiti!
Wednesday afternoon, on Airport Rd. a vehicle hit an elderly lady as she was crossing the road near Bernard Mevs Hospital. As is common in Haiti, it was a hit and run and the driver took off. The impact caused the woman to have compound fractures of her right arm and leg. I don’t know what internal injuries she may have had as well. She was conscious and was able to provide the phone number of her family. Medecin Sans Frontieres has a hospital nearby and they cared for her. There are no crosswalks in Haiti and a busy road like Airport Rd. can be difficult for pedestrians to cross.
I went to visit a lady in the neighborhood who just got out of the hospital. Last week we were contacted by her family and asked to transport her to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Maternity Hospital. She wasn’t in good shape when we went to her tin shack in Cite Jeremie. She has anemia and her eyes were yellow and she was very weak. Every bump in the road that we drove over caused her pain and we drove slowly to the hospital. Medecins Sans Frontieres is a busy place and they can’t take in everyone. I was praying that they would receive her. Her baby was delivered the next day and she was in the hospital for a week recuperating. She looked a lot better when I saw her this week and her baby boy is in good health! The week in hospital and delivery of her baby cost the family nothing. Pray for the work of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) here in Haiti. They help a lot of people who otherwise would not have access to medical care.
There were not very many children who came for the first day of classes and we will start classes this Monday instead. We registered a few more students this week. The police have a strong presence on the streets providing security for students. Not many students were walking the streets this past week. Parents across the city are having trouble paying for books, uniforms and school fees. Pray for all the missions who offer a free education. The medical and pharmacy students are still causing trouble downtown. Several have been arrested. The state university is canceling the program until the problems are resolved. In answer other students from another faculty at the state university responded by throwing rocks at vehicles. Pray the problems get resolved amongst the students and leaders of the state university.
“Cousin Johnny” of Jeremie came for a visit this week. He is Fedner’s cousin. He brought gifts of food and live poultry products. Benson now has a chicken and rooster to fatten up and Manu has a rooster. The children are looking forward to having chicken dinner once they are big! We are keeping them on the roof right now so that the dog can’t eat them. Cousin Johnny told me to tie up the dog so that the roosters and chicken can roam free but I asked him what would the rooster and chicken do if a thief came into the yard. The first night Benson and Manu were carrying their pets around and wanted to keep them inside the house so that they wouldn’t get wet in the rain. I told them that they make a mess and they said that they sleep at night too and are only messy in the daytime. They learned a lesson that evening and didn’t want to keep the poultry in the house anymore. The children are very observant. Benson came up to me the second day and informed me that his roosters’ foot was swollen. He showed me and told me that if it dies we can’t eat him. I told him that I didn’t have medicine for a rooster. Cousin Johnny says that the rooster’s feet were sore from being tied on the long journey from Jeremie. By the end of the week the feet were not swollen and the children keep checking to see when the chicken will lay an egg. When we get visitors I am going to ask them to build a chicken coop for the children’s pets. Benson is talking about raising pigeons too and Doudeleimy’s father mentioned giving us a turkey during our last visit to the village. Pretty soon we will have a regular barnyard here at Coram Deo!
We finished the week with 3 weeks without electricity. Friday I bought another small line and did what a lot of Haitians do. We paid somebody to get a “prise”(connection) in another location of the EDH line that works. It was legal though because the line was connected through the meter. Saturday morning EDH showed up and replaced their broken EDH line. EDH just got a grant of 5 million US$ from the World Bank to improve electrical service. Maybe this is why they came and fixed the line. I went up to the workers and explained about the prise and told them that everybody in the neighborhood told me that they wouldn’t show up and that is why we didn’t wait for EDH. I asked them if they could hook up our regular line properly and those workers were not impressed with my request. They told me to contact the person who put up the prise. The prise works great! In the middle of the night EDH gave electricity and we were able to pump water to the roof and can live in luxury again with running water, showers (with the rains this week our water reservoir is full) and lights! The invertor doesn’t work but hopefully it is just a fuse. Pray we can get this fixed too. Kimosabee is getting some maintenance work on his front end this weekend. Next on the repair list is to fix the washing machine where someone cut the power cord. Always something to fix!
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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