Friday, October 21, 2005

Back on line!

I held a baby a few days ago.

It was only a few hours old.


And weak.

And suffering.

He died in my arms.

I've been in Haiti for the past several days. It is a sad place. It is a poor place. I've seen deeper poverty in India and Africa, but in Haiti the poverty is not only deep -- it is universal.

I've been at a hospital that is dark and hot and stuffy. In the pharmacy there are bare shelves, with a few bottles of water and fewer bottles of medicine. On the floor of the operating room where the child was delivered were muddy footprints left by the Haitian nursers.

For those of you wondering where I have been, a group from our church went to Haiti and at the last minute someone dropped out - so I dropped in.

There are 5 of us. We used our carry-on luggage for our personal needs and filled the check-in luggage to capacity with medicines. Three of the others are doctors and there is one nurse. I have no medical training but in Haiti that does not matter. Put me in scrubs and let me hang a stethoscope around my neck and everyone things I'm a doctor. Well, I can do the temperature, respiration, blood pressure, etc. I just did whatever the doc's told me to do.

We flew into Port au Prince and then took a flight to Cap Haitian. We often take a bus to Leogane in the south, but the area around the Port au Prince airport is too violent. These are not good times for Haiti.

We have been in several little communities throughout the northern part of the island. We've visited people who have never seen a doctor, providing what medical care we were able to give. Most of what we did, however, was to re-visit some villages -- we have been trying to set up a rotation system with other churches and medical teams in an effort to provide ongoing care to a handful of communities.

We usually are able to get a little time on the Internet, but not this time.

We are back home in Miami.

We'll go back in December. I won't be with the team but there will be doctors, nurses, and others who go. They will do a lot of great work.

But Haiti will still be poor.

And there will be other babies who will die in someone's arms.


Anonymous steph said...

very sad. I'm glad you are back though - I was getting worried

6:21 AM  
Blogger jbb said...

thats heart breaking....but its really awesome that you guys do that. next time if you have some time post and ill deffantly pray for you. i hope you had a good trip and even though it was heard it helped with your walk. oh and yes you were missed!

2:44 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

oh goodness. I can only imagine. Poor little babies.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Angelique said...

It's amazing that in this day and age that people are suffering. It's easy to disassociate yourself from suffering when it is shown on television but not when it's right in front of you. Thank you for being part of the solution, John.

12:37 AM  

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