Tracking Ed Monroe as he travels to Haiti and other exotic(?) places
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
There are 40 children that have no sponsors. Could you consider sending $25.00 per month to FOTCOH so these kids can have food and go to school? The boy that I sponsor is 12 years old and now that I am sponsring him, he is in First Grade. That just tears me up.
There is more information at www.FOTCOH.org
Thanks. I had these pictures and wanted to share them with you.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I plan on posting pictures today to previous blogs before I write more here.
God Bless You!!
Please pray. Thank you
Monday, May 29, 2006
We enjoyed lobster, fish, rice & beans, pickly (a spicy cabbage salad), fried bread fruit and fried plantains. We gave the left-overs to the children who hovered over us. Some of the team brought inflatable balls & rafts which they gave to the children. That was nice,
My wife’s buddy, the grouchy artist, seemed to remember me. Perhaps it was because we made several purchases in February. He scored a few sales this trip but none from me. The most controversial picture was the pregnant nude which we labeled nude on Rogaine. I leave that for your imagination.
When we returned, the younger team members went to the Bee club from 7:30 to 10:30 to listen to the music and dance. Boyer, one of our main helpers, owns part of the club and Franz, another valued helper, went along to guide. I DO not think they got back at 10:30 as I was not wearing my watch.
Last night was my night on the hot seat. Jody, Jan, Christine, and Linda had questions on drugs, doses, side effects, and “What is the brand name of?” So I got out the popcorn, in loving memory of the February team, and we had a popcorn bull session. We also teased Jody about her hot ___. The inflammation is SLOWLY going down and most of the itching has stopped. Yes, I do get teased about looking at Jody’s ___. Neff said there!
Dr. Bill shared pictures with me so I hope to finish this and go back to add pictures to previous blogs. I am up early so it may happen. The weather is very hot and humid, especially early this morning. That is not a good sign for a Monday. No, we will work in celebration of Memorial Day, and remember our loved ones by our service.
God bless all of you. Thanks for the notes that you send to the blog. I get them right away.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Justin used my camera and we have made progress on the ID badges for the Haitian helpers. With my Kodak Dock, we could download them into Dick’s computer and print the pictures. No, I have yet to solve the wireless problem. Lisa’s mom sent us a tip but it did not work. The lap top is connected but IE will not display the page. Hey Chris, do you think you could take time to call Tim Flynn at American PC Solutions and see if he has any ideas?? Thanks.
We had a nice prayer service this morning for about one hour. Justin played and he and Audra sang. They printed out the words to the songs so we could all join in. Bruce led the service and surprised us with a short homily. Papa Dick and I did our Agape part and we had some sharing to close. This group likes to pray before meals and that is nice. At noon we will be off to Ti Moulage and the beach party. There are some clouds in the sky but not as threatening as in February. Girls are packing their beach bags and the guys are stocking the coolers. The young ones are gathered around a table playing some sort of a number game that I can’t remember how to spell it’s name. I’m NOT tired. HA!
Last night at the Ambians, we had the place to ourselves. The team members who went to town earlier encounter a large group of blancs (whites) from central Florida. The name of the group is “Without Borders”. They travel the world and experience other cultures. There is no other purpose to the group other than that. To us, that is a sad waste of money when there is no great a need here. Maybe by the things they purchase here, they will at least enhance the economy. Oops. Time for the tap-tap ride to the beach. I will try to download pictures tonight for tomorrow’s post.
Praise the Lord for a day of rest!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
We had an earlier dinner last night and I got to bed by nine. I did not stay up for the movie and got some rest. I did, however, fall asleep here at the computer earlier this afternoon and Papa Bruce made me lay down for a quick nap. I have yet to solve the laptop connection mystery. It shows me that I am connected to the network but Internet Explorer nor Mozilla will reach out to the net. My next idea is to check my firewall settings. Bother bother for all of us who brought along laptops. I emailed a February team member who successfully connected then but he had no tips.
This afternoon, as we served our last patient, a young boy of about to 10 years old fainted in the pharmacy waiting line and went into convulsions. With help from Dr Bill and others we carried him into the surgery area and started an IV. He responded slowly so we found some diazepam to inject and he did better. We ended up taking him into Jacmel to the Sister’s of Charity hospital and we will check on him this evening when we go in to town for dinner.
The bracelets that I brought along and the cars are a great hit. I get MORE smiles than ever when I put them on the children. Yes, I cry, a lot. I am a softy for these people. When I see these families with so many medical problems and financial problems it hurts. There is so much scabies again. I did get to see one of our February patients who got an Ivermectin treatment then and she was scabies free. That was a JOYFUL moment to know that what we did then really worked on a severe case. Praise the Lord!!!
Sounds like we will have a prayer service tomorrow morning and I am assigned to do the Agape service with Bruce and John. Justin will play the guitar and we have some CD’s for a sing along.
It’s getting about time to leave for town so I will be brief today. Sorry. There are some juicy stories to tell. Nancy & JC are you reading this??
You will be in our prayers.
Friday, May 26, 2006
I am forbidden to discuss Lisa’s wet spot and Jody’s hot ___. It will be up to them to explain how I got in the middle of that mess. I am an innocent participant who somehow got caught in the middle, but ask them to explain more of the details. I am trying to exit myself from me. Yes, my face is still RED!!
No major problems today but lots of patients and some unusual quiet periods when all of the providers gather around an unusual case and do not see patients. CJ is getting more medical experience than he may have bargained for but, again, I leave it to him to explain to whomever it concerns.
Everyone here is getting along well. Lots of fun and laughs. We do eat and meet later than February. Brice falls asleep in the meetings before I do so I have yet to get caught napping. No MAJOR out of stocks at the pharmacy but we are low on Benadryl and children’s cough syrup but we have 6 gallon of BB Sirop to use (UGH) and limited containers to dispense it in. My helpers are terrific and I am very happy with them. Lots of kids today and I am so happy that I brought the bracelets. I love placing them on the kid’s arms. I am working to get CJ to visit the high school next week and MAYBE I can duck out and visit Jean Dessin at his home. Tomorrow night, we go to downtown Jacmel to the Ambiance and Sunday to the beach at Ti Moulage. We had goat for dinner two nights ago and tuna noodle last night. Tonight is mystery dinner. I found out that the Mac & Cheese boxes got soaked with some sort of liquid and are unsuable. CJ is still crying about that. I did get my two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and have emptied one in 2 days and the other is in the refrigerator chilling. Big rain storm last night and lots of water to clear off the second floor deck. HOT and HUMID today. I just showered and I am already sticky.
I have to find my Memory stick so I can transfer this to the main computer and post. I am still hoping to hear back from some of you.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The almost end of another day in Haiti. Our weather has been WARM and HUMID. We now have a temporary generator as our main one is not fixed yet. You feel sticky and sweaty all day long. The evening shower before dinner is delightful. This is the rainy season but we have only experienced a sprinkle last night. We are grateful for the generator as our Haitian power is off between 6 AM and 2PM (Haitian time so somewhere in that area). The electricity powers the fans and the fridge. This team has LATE suppers and LATE meetings so we do not get to bed before 10 and are up at 5. The nights are short nights, but restful.
Speaking of that, the rooster who was such an annoyance in February has yet to make a sound. I wonder? Did Donna really do something to that chicken? I don’t think so because Mama hen has a new brood of chicks that are about 1 week old. I saw them this morning when I had to go out to the crowd to talk with a patient about her medications that she wanted us to refill based on her prescriptions from Jacmel. I had NO idea what she was taking by the names. And she had no idea so I had her let in to the clinic as a patient.
Numbers? This crew is crazy. We saw over 300 patients yesterday. No wonder I am not getting done as early as February. And, yes, it’s a boy! His name is Gregory and he weighs 7 lbs. Mama showed up at 10AM and delivered at 11 AM. She brought along her two young girls. Dr Bill and Nurse Jody did a wonderful job. Baby Gregory is bright eyed and beautiful. His two older sisters had to set in the pharmacy for over 5 hours. I brought them suckers at first, the water, then breakfast bars (they did not get to eat lunch e=when everyone else did and Grandpa Ed was upset). Then I h=gave them the bracelets that I had brought along. The irony is that they had medical problems and were the LAST patients to be seen tonight. Damn. We should have seen them earlier but Mama was a little busy! Oh yes, I did get a present today from Suzette, one of my pill packers. She brought in a necklace and placed it around my neck. That is new!
Ed did cry a bit today. I have seen or heard of some problems but when they come in to me and I have to deal with them, that is a different story. I will not detail the problem but I spent quite a bit of time outside trying to help as bet I could and finally I had to get back but I broke down as I entered the area and it was very obvious to the three providers who were waiting for me to answer their questions. A good cry never hurts, and they gave me a little space.
My two team members who are helping me in the pharmacy are amazing. They are fun to work with, very cautious and conscientious, cheerful, and most helpful. It is fun working with them and they are doing spectacular work. I am blessed to have them but I told them that they are free to work in other areas to gain that experience also.
CJ was not feeling well last night, as his stomach was upset. We think he had not drunk enough water. He also did not care for the meal of tuna noodles and carrots so he ate some of the food he had brought along. As I had warned him, he would have lots of people to mother him and, you know what? He did. Today he is fine so not to worry. He has been helping out lots all over the campus. He went to town with Christine Meyer today and brought back some nice white wine for me. Yeah!
Our shipment from Illinois, that we sent here two weeks ago, came here today. We do not know how long it may have been in country and Lynx air did not notify us. I checked on it today and there it was. It arrived intact. Thanks, Mark Purcell!
The computer is free, the team is at the beach, and I can send this out right away. Thanks for the notes I got this morning. I had fun with Lisa Merry by telling her details of her sister that I discovered via her email address. I have not heard much from the folks back home so messages are most welcome. Thanks to Chris and nursekay. Oh. we miss cook Larry. We ARTE spoiled in February.
Life is good here, the days fly by, and the people are so appreciative of our services, the team is GREAT to work with, and the only problem is missing YOU at home. The wine should be chilled by now and supper is still quite awile off ( it is 6:43PM now) so I will have s glass or two and say a few prayers for you.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Hello from Haiti
Today is Wednesday and it is 6:15 PM. We just finished the pharmacy line and the team is relaxing (?) in the kitchen area. From the sounds of it they are having a wild time
I need to start at the beginning. On Sunday evening, at 6 PM, I started with dinner at the Fish House, my favorite place to eat. Donna and I were joined by Harold & Emma, our guests from Arizona, CJ Ray, my 16 year old team mate from Missouri, his mother Nancy, and another team mate, Bruce Steiner along with his wife Carol and their son, Dan. Dan, Carol and Bruce had been on the February team with Donna and me. We had our usual great meal and at the end, Donna drove the company to our home. I failed to hear that I was to follow so I stayed quite awhile at the Fish House before I realized that something was wrong. No matter, we car pooled to Bloomington, and after two times missing the street where I was supposed to turn, arrived at the team leader’s home around nine. Funny, we were the only ones there. Did I forget to listen again? Every one arrived by 11 PM and we held a brief prayer service lead by the pastor of john’s church. It was a nice thing. Ext we reweighed the totes and bags and redistributed the items to other bags for those weighing over the 50 lb limit. We ended up with two over weight bags and paid the extra $ 25.00 at O’Hare. Around midnight, we car pooled up to Chicago’s O’Hare airport and arrived at 2 AM. We reweighed the bags on an American Airlines digital scale and reconfirmed our weights. At 4 AM, we were the first in line at the International ticketing counter, where we were supposed to check in. That was a first as we usually show up at the wrong counter. Check in was a breeze and we were to gate H 8 and got that needed cup of coffee. We took off from Chicago, right on time, in a very full plane. We arrived at the A concourse at Miami and would be leaving from same. That was strange. No 3 mile walk this trip? After a nice lunch at the Mexican restaurant, we went to our departure lounge to wait for 2:25PM to come around. Well, it came and went. Suffice it to say that we did not leave until 4: 30 PM which was the time we were to arrive in Port-Au Prince. Oh, No. That is not a good thing. As we sat in the lounge, being the only Blancs (white people) on the plane, some of the Haitians engaged us in conversation. One of them, a girl from Port-Au-Prince, is a student at the University of Notre Dame and I shared my World Youth Day experiences, my Haiti experiences, etc with her. It was neat. Her parents run a factory in PAP. She offered to help us as it was likely that we will be stuck in PAP this night until I told her that there were 20 of us. She did not have that much room but the offer was most kind. When we arrived in PAP, it took a very long time to get through customs. It was exceptionally SLOW. Our bags had just arrived when run through the next customs check. Some of the newbie’s got caught, but passed through okay, and we finally got through and we collected the carts and began to to race for the small airport. Never mind, we are too late, the planes do not fly at sunset as there are no lights at Jacmel airport and a trip over the mountains in the dark would be risky. So we took a bus to Wall’s Guest House. It is run by a Canadian organization and it was clean and comfortable and we had a simple meal and some Prestige beer. I had been up for almost 36 hours, so the passing trucks and pedestrians barely disturbed my sleep, Up at 5 AM, we are off to the small airport to be on the first flight. It finally takes off at 7:15 AM. Cabintair (the airline that hauled us in February and the same pilot). Dick is waiting for us at Jacmel and soon we are at the clinic. Seems that the bags have arrived so, after our oatmeal breakfast, we started to unpack and get underway. Around noon we are ready to go(???). We set up 3 stations, John at one, Sue at the other, and me at Pharmacy. We sent the newbies through in groups and explained what happens in the areas and what was expected of them. So, after our beef log lunch, we start. I have two employees helping me, Justin Locke and John Meyers. They have been on previous teams but never in the pharmacy but they are brave and do not complain. It was herem that it was evident that I was Not ready to be open. We were in a state of catch up all day long. We saw 87 patients and did not get done till 6:30PM. Our line was full al day long and it took awhile for us to find our groove. I am so pleased with my two helpers. They listen, they are cautious; they learn well, they are fun to work with. I miss Carol Steiner, but these two are the best replacements I could have asked for. Most went to the beach after the clinic and the on to Son Son’s bar. We did not get dinner till late, then our team meeting afterwards. Yes, it was after 10 when I finally hit the bed. I am in the early riser’s room, on the bunk that Larry Shank usually takes. It is very comfortable. Thanks Larry. UP this morning at 5AM. Bruce has the coffee ready. The electricity shuts off at 6AM and the generator is broken so we need to get it brewed. Oatmeal breakfast. Papa Dick cooked. Wow!
Down to the pharmacy at 7: 30 AM for another busy day.
First of all, this is a FUN team. There is no tension or politics. It is just like the February team and that is Wonderful. I love it when people can work, play, eat, and recreate together.
A note to CJ’s mom, He is quite a great young man. He jumps in when ever anything is needed, is praised by everyone, and I am most proud of him. I have been so busy in the pharmacy; I really do not know all that he has been doing so I will leave it up to him to detail it. WE are glad he is along!
Today we saw around 200 patients and it was smoother (??) than yesterday. We are dealing with a baby issue at the Jacmel hospital and I can now report that the baby will be able to die with some dignity at the Sister’s of Charity hospital. The baby had been dropped of at the Jacmel hospital by the police and NO ONE was caring for it. The people who run the orphanage next to Tina’s school got us involved. Dr Bill, a pediatrician, went to see the baby yesterday and we arranged the transfer today. You do not want to hear the medical problems with the baby because I cry when I try to write about them, as does the team. Suffice to to say that the baby will ‘die with dignity” sometime before we leave for home but will have been cared for and loved for at least a part of her short life.
I apologize that I have not written. No one’s wireless is working at that makes us mad. We have tried and tried. Our cards connect but our computers do not. I wrote this on a Word document and will carry it to the main computer to send to you. It is open for the moment so I will do a quick spell check and move it out/
I miss all of you, especially Donna and my family. I am safe, sound (?), happy. And tired but so full filled.
Please keep us in your prayers as we are praying for you. God bless you, Ed
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Poverty and Income Distribution:
• 75-80 percent of
• The poorest half of the country survives on average on $0.44 per day.
• The wealthiest 20 percent take in 68 percent of the nation's income.
• Half the population has no access to safe drinking water.
• Life Expectancy at birth is between 49 and 51 years
• More than 5 percent is estimated to have HIV/AIDS.
• 23 percent of children suffer from malnutrition, 13 percent from acute malnutrition.
• Under-five mortality rate is more than 12 percent.
• Half the population is illiterate.
• An estimated 500,000 children do not have access to primary education.
• Less than 60 percent of children are in primary school.
• Only half of
• Only 10 percent of the population has electricity, often for just part of the day.
• In a 10,667-square-mile territory, there are only 380 miles of paved roads, most in terrible condition.
• In the capital, only 20 percent of households have piped water.
• Only 20 percent of the capital's inhabitants have telephones, much less in the countryside.
Economy and Land
• Only 45 percent of adults are employed, two thirds of them in informal jobs.
• Nearly 25 percent of household income comes from remittances from Haitians living abroad.
• 97 percent of the country's forests have been cut down.
• 80 percent of farmers -- half the country's working population -- cannot satisfy the basic needs of their family.
Government and Justice.
• 80 percent of prisoners in
• 4,500 under-equipped, under-trained police officers patrol a country with the population of
• The national police chief has estimated 25 perce
Friday, May 12, 2006
Please keep us in your prayers. Please write back. I enjoy hearing from you. God Bless You!