Members of 6 different churches joined with All Saints to become one team for the purpose of a veterinary, adult and pediatric clinic April 16-23. We all met in Charleston SC the night before and flew out on a Tuesday 7AM flight to Miami and Port au Prince. Pere Vil kindly met us at the airport; we loaded his truck with our baggage and loaded the 7 US team members in the van with Gary. After a neat night at the Wahoo (Genie and the ladies hosted a lovely party for the Minister of Tourism and Canadian journalists) we took the 1PM ferry across to Anse a Galet. It was really hot- 98! After a pit stop at the St Francis compound to retrieve some supplies in storage, we made the 2 hour trip up to Lotore in the ambulance and a dump truck. Artur had already driven up once to drop off other members of the Haiti team. It was cool and beautiful and lush in Lotore.
Our team Veterinary Technician Brian Ling was supervised by Haitian vet Dr. Emile. Dr Emile was assisted by a US intern, a DVM/MPh student from Virginia Tech Chris V. and our Partnership Agriculture director, Jean Thony. Quite a team! The 4 had a clinic on the church/school compound on day one and then took the truck out the following 2 days to set up mobile, roadside clinics for cattle, donkeys and goats.
Dr. Mandy Drosieko and Nicole Dennis, RN provided a very busy pediatric clinic that treated over 100 children. Leslie Jordanger, FNP and Linda Holt, RN worked with Bill Rice Clinic staff Dr Junior Lahens and nurse Ester Beaujolais to staff a busy adult clinic that treated over 200 patients. We were joined by the CHWs from Lotore and Bois Brule as well as 3 members of the Lotore community who helped with registration and lab.
Our 2 youngest team members Savannah Verville (a HS senior) and Simmons Capotosti, a recent Clemson grad pitched in with all 3 clinics. Savannah brought a giant case of donated manipulatives and school supplies that she reviewed with school administrator Carmil Bien Amil and a few teachers. Our team building was enhanced when the oldsters had to hit the hay early each night and these beautiful young ladies stepped up as ambassadors, playing cards and hanging out with the younger Haitian team until lights out. Thanks girls, we just can’t hang like we used to!
Team leader Dr Drosieko chose the spiritual theme of our trip to be “obedience”. Each night we had a devotion provided by a different member of the team centered on this thought. We culminated our time in Lotore with a communal dinner, prayer and foot washing. Our Haitian compadres seemed as moved as we were, with prayer and hymns erupting and joy flooding the room. The next morning in church both Pere Vil and lay pastor Carmil spoke of obedience to the congregation and the spiritual nourishment that they had received from our time together. Mandy and Nicole obediently ventured out into the night to take formula, bottles and money to an infant whose mother had died after childbirth. Linda’s church group obediently donated money for the school. Brian obediently returns to Haiti after experiencing Dengue and a broken ankle on previous trips. We all struggle with our human-ness and stubbornness but we serve obediently. And God fills us with a love and a joy that can’t be contained.