Tracking Ed Monroe as he travels to Haiti and other exotic(?) places

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav, the Hurricane

The following is an update from the President of the Friends of the Children of Haiti. I am posting this to my blog. The damage to the clinic is believed to be about $ 10,000.00 USD. There is a medical team poised to arrive at the clinic in a little over 1 week. Please keep Dick & Barb in your prayers. The board will have to scramble to raise the needed dollars and then some.



Hurricane Gustav made landfall this afternoon just west of Jacmel bringing
90 mph winds and very heavy rainfall to southern Haiti.

I just spoke with Boyer who reports that the clinic has sustained some
damage with water throughout the building and damage to the water tanks and
antennas on the roof. The full extent of the damage is not yet known as the
storm has yet to dissipate to allow for a full assessment.

Dick & Barb Hammond were scheduled to arrive in Haiti today, but their
flight was cancelled, so they're still in Miami waiting-out the storm.


I have been in touch with Boyer again today who reports that it's still
raining in Cyvadier and that he has not been able to fully assess the damage
at the clinic yet. But here's what he does know at this point: We've lost at
least one water tank (on the roof) and antennae. The condition of the
generator is still not fully known as it's covered by a fallen tree with
wiring exposed in standing water. All plywood that had been used to cover
windows was blown-off by wind during the storm along with one door. He says
that there is water damage throughout the building but he doesn't really
know the extent of that damage to fixtures and contents.

Everyone in the immediate neighborhood appears to be OK although nearly all
homes were flooded.

Dick and Barb Hammond are still in Miami awaiting the next available flight
to Haiti.

Dick & Barb Hammond were successful in getting a flight from Miami to Haiti
today and are staying at a hotel in Port-au-Prince tonight.

The condition of the road through the mountains is still questionable so
they hope to catch a MAF flight PAP to Jacmel tomorrow.


Dick & Barb were able to get a MAF flight from PAP to Jacmel and have
arrived at the clinic where they are assessing the damage.

Dick described the road leading to the clinic as "devastated" by flood
waters, also, the grounds surrounding the clinic.

Dick & Boyer have been able to get the generator started but don't know how
long that (fix) will hold. They're also making every effort to get the water
system repaired and Internet communications restored.

Barb has begun the massive clean-up + dry-out effort within the clinic.
Doors, windows, appliances and other building contents that have been
damaged will be addressed on an on-going basis as funds allow.

Dick has confirmed that the current medication inventory at the clinic is in
good shape, (thanks to Boyer's great effort to move it above flood waters)
and that they hope to move the European medication order from PAP to the
clinic early next week.

Dick expressed his resolve that they are "going to be ready" for the Sept.
team's arrival.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thursday-Friday July 24 25

Hello from Peoria again.
I thought I would finish the blog with some of the details of our last two days.

Early Thursday morning we awoke to a very pleasant surprise. Dan had prepared a breakfast of scrambled eggs with bacon bits and onions and it was very tasty. I told Dan that he needed to make one without the onions as Jamie had been passing all of her onions to my plate each time she found one. Regardless, I do not ever recall having scrambled eggs during any on my previous missions. I missed the hash browns but you can’t have everything. Ha!
We had planned to see patients on Thursday for one half day. Jamie’s burn patient returned and she was please with the patient’s progress and the care given the child by the child’s aunt. We did discover a medication error where a patient received Tylenol for Tegretol but manage to get that corrected before the patient left the clinic grounds. We also had an incident with the treatment of Esperidon, the clinic caretaker. Some of the older FOTCOH people know him as “Don” or “Asparagus” as he and his large family are a source of conversation on each team I have been a part of. Jamie became very angry and stormed into the pharmacy. I figured that would be a great time to let Gary handle the issue and he allowed Jamie to vent her anger at him. When she left, Gary took a short break and returned as if nothing had happened. Jamie came back a little later and apologized to Gary and all was well in Haiti once more. With all of the pressures, heat & humidity, living with several strangers, being away from home in a Third World country, I am always surprised that people seldom get angry or upset so a little venting is sometimes needed. We ended the clinic by treating 118 patients on Thursday, making the grand total of 2005 patients for the mission. I know it was hard on the crowd control people to close the gate for the last time.
Dan had a great lunch for us and Sue had a short team meeting. Then it was time for inventory and putting the clinic to bed. I had great helpers in the stockroom, the packaging room, and the dispensing area and the inventory went very well. Inventory of the pharmacy and medical supplies is required so we can restock for the next mission. Inventory is never fun but we try to make it as fun as we possibly can.In the pharmacy, I had saved a lot of stock bottles with tight seals and also hundreds of desiccants. We used these to package the bags of prepackaged medications that remained at the end of the clinic so there would be some protection from the heat and humidity. After the inventory and clean up was finished, several took off for 1 more swim at the beach, some began to pack up their gear for the trip home, and some just read quietly. I spent the time tabulating the pharmacy inventory and checking on some items where I questioned the counts or could not read the hand writing. It is not the most exciting of tasks and I know that I dozed off at least twice during that period of time. I have since audited my records and made the necessary corrections that my dozing caused.I did not sleep well the last few nights in Haiti. I must have been ready to get home.
Our final meal is always worth waiting for as the Haitian girls. Neva and Andreta prepare a sauce with lobster, onions, tomatoes and other herbs and it is really good eating. After dinner, we took the bags that would be our checked luggage down to the pharmacy waiting area where they would be taken by truck early Friday morning (4 AM) to the main airport in PAP. Most of the team ended the evening on the roof gazing at stars. Come to find out that Jan & Jon had written a book on stars and Chris was also quite expert at picking out stars and constellations. Being further south in Haiti than in Peoria, the Southern Cross was visible and many of the team had never seen the Southern Cross in the night sky. It was a great way to end our day.
All were up early on Friday. Dan fed us one last breakfast of oatmeal. We did the usual routine of getting to the Jacmel airport very early. I did not pay much attention to the time but it seemed that we were there for over 1 hour before the Tortug plane arrived. Diedudone was there to see us off, as I knew that he would be. An older gentleman arrived. Eric seemed to know him as did Dick and Barb. He presented Dick with a container of eggs. That was funny as Dick and Barb were coming with us on the trip to Peoria. Carol, Bruce and Dan were staying back to do the laundry and shut down the clinic. They will be returning to Peoria on Tuesday. So Dick gave the eggs to Dan. I could just visualize TSA or USA Customs discovering eggs in Dick’s carry on. That would be a scene.
Our plane arrived and we wrote our names and birth dates on the manifest. Our carry on’s had been searched by a Haitian policeman and he passed the wand over the fronts and backs of each passenger before we could board the plane. The plane ride over the mountain was very hot and smelly. All of us were sweating profusely and the smell of the aviation fuel was nauseating. When we landed in PAP, the pilot opened up the front windows and all were glad to feel the breeze. We disembarked the plane and passed through the small airport in a hurry only to walk to the back of the rutted and wet parking lot to our truck which had brought the luggage over the mountains. We climbed into the truck for our usual exciting ride to the main airport. The driver managed to brake without warning and we all slide into the person next to us and then into the bags. It was just another Haitian memory for our memory bank account.
PAP airport was the usual mob scene of pushing and shoving to get inside the airport. We started to get into a long line and when we finally reached the first check point, Sue collected our passports and we gathered at an area near the AA ticket counter while she checked all of us and our luggage in with AA. That process went smoothly as did our passage through Haitian immigration and security checkpoint. Then it was time for one last Prestige beer and the famous Haitian Hot dog. Some folks purchased rum in the 5 pack carrying case and this trip there was the 15 star (best) rum. I had purchased 3 star and 5 star rum in Jacmel and David, Jan and Gary helped me get it back to Peoria as prizes for our upcoming fund raiser, the annual FOTCOH golf outing. We had lots of time in the souvenir shops. Gary found what he was looking for. He collects pharmacy mortars & pestles from all over when he travels and they had one in the shops.We went down to the departure lounge when our plane arrived and passed through the third security checkpoint. This one was manned by AA and we had to remove the laptops from our carry on and also remove our shoes. We waited quite awhile before our plane was available for boarding and we did not leave PAP on time but rather at least 30 to 40 minutes late. We had a fairly short layover time in Miami facing us. There was a first on this trip as Dick and Barb managed to fly First Class from PAP to Miami and then on to Chicago. They enjoyed that privilege greatly. The flight was smooth and we landed right at the immigration area. On my last mission our gate was a very long walk to immigration. We breezed through immigration and arrived at baggage claim. We had to reclaim our bags, pass through customs and then pass our bags back to AA after they had cleared customs. It is here that the people who purchased rum at the PAP airport can put it in their checked bags. We were told to go to carousel # 8 and our flight was posted on that bulletin board. Sometime later, it was announced that our bags were at carousel # 2 so we had to fight our way past a lot of people to get to carousel # 2. Some of our bags had been off loaded so we had to wait until all the bags arrived to collect our things. Amanda took of to return to Seattle, Washington. The time for our departure to Chicago was approaching rapidly when we finally exited baggage claim only to find out we had to go t another terminal and even worse, near the end of the terminal for our next plane. Plus, we now had to pas though TSA security. We were spread out in the TSA area when a TSA agent called us over to the first class check in and rushed us through so we could make our plane. We still had to play OJ Simpson and run through the length of the D concourse to get on our Chicago flight. That run was hard on Dick, I am sure. Fortunately, AA was holding our flight and we all made it before they closed the doors. Our flight to Chicago was a bit bumpy due to some storms in Florida but we manage to arrive in Chicago early. Too early, it turned out as our gate was not open so we sat in the penalty box for a bit before taxing to our gate. Most of us stopped at Chili’s for a quick bite of food. Jon took a stroll all the way to Gate G 11 to see the 8:30 Plane to Peoria off. That caused us a worry as we thought he had gotten lost. Our gate was G 4 and we left Chicago nearly on time and had a quick flight to Peoria, a long wait for our bags, some quick good byes and a fast drive home.
In reflection, this was a really great team to be a part of. Everyone worked really hard, we all got along well, we had no major medical problems with team members, some discomfort from the heat and humidity, few mosquitoes & other varmints, and over all a memorable experience for all of us.
I want to thank you for reading this. I did enjoy all of your comments. I especially like the fact that I was able to link you to the pictures. I still hope to put captions on a few and also to post more when I get them from other team members. Lastly, I would appreciate any and all support you could give to FOTCOH so that we can continue to care for our Haitian brothers and sisters. You can get more information about the sponsorship program or donations at our website :
God bless you!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wednesday July 23, 2008

There is no intent yet. The modem was not working, as I suspected. The repair man came and installed the new modem but he did not have the authority to contact Direct way to initialize the new modem, so the team is still frustrated.

The FOTCOH Pharmacy closed at 2:20 PM today after 196 patients were seen. I took off with Boyer into town to visit the Payless pharmacy in Jacmel. BTW, the stop light at Ambians was working and most of the people obeyed it. Yes, I did say most of the people and I did not get to witness a wreck. The pharmacy is located near the police station and right across from the cannon. With those landmarks, you should not be able to miss finding that hole in the well of a store. The clerk on duty told us we had to talk with the owner and he was upstairs past the guard. So up the stairs we cautiously climbed. I was not sure what I had gotten myself into. Surprisingly, Boyer did not seem to know the guard nor the owner so they talked for quite awhile as Boyer explained who this crazy Blanc was who had entered the inner sanctum of his office. The Gentleman spoke just a little English and told Boyer that I would be welcome to look around at his downstairs inventory. He even provided paper and pen so I could write down names. The front of the pharmacy is a door where the counter (a small board) blocks the customer at the door sill. The medications are in cabinets with sliding glass doors and arranged alphabetically by disease state. He had a surprisingly deep inventory of all of the major categories. I look ate the boxes and they wee almost all from the Dominican Republic. So it is likely he is purchasing his medications from that drug wholesaler who called on me here at the FOTCOH clinic back in March of this year. I wanted to go there so that I could advise Dick where to get some items for patients that we might not have here at the clinic but could be purchased in town. Drex from the Christala Bell story is who told me about Payless Pharmacy. It is always interesting to ride with Boyer as you never know where he will take you, who he will be meeting, or what will happen next. We picked up a lady at the FOTCOH patient staging area and dropped her off in downtown Jacmel. We drove down one street and stopped. A young girl came up to Boyer’s window and he handed her money and we left. No, I have no idea what the money was for. Then we went to the pharmacy. After the pharmacy, we drove around Jacmel until we came to an intersection that was piled with garbage and the workers were cleaning the gutters of the street and adding the garbage to the pile in the middle of the intersection. Also, at that intersection was a 5 foot square hole on one side of the intersection so we had to navigate between the mound of garbage and the very edge of the hole. I love Haitian roads. Ha. Next we drove up a road that resembles the rocky path from the main road back to the clinic except this as in the middle of the town. We drove to the top of the hill , turned around and drove ½ way back down the hill before we stopped at a non descript shop where three men were seated. Boyer rolled down the window and handed the man several Haitian large denomination bills which the man counted. Boyer’s cell phone rang and he talked for awhile then spoke to the man who handed back the money. Something was going on but this Blanc has no clue. Next door to the non descript shop was a building that looked like a hotel and several young ladies emerged in rather seductive clothes. I wonder what that was all about. Next we traveled on several narrow back streets, not bothering with stop signs, and just a toot of the horn to warn anyone who might be at the intersection that we intended to take the right of way. After I became totally lost we stopped at a house and Boyer called on his cell phone to someone. Soon a young lady appeared at his window. She had very large breasts that were scantily covered so I chose to be a good boy and watch the workers at a construction project across the street. I’ll stop at that point. Soon we were on our way back to the clinic or so I thought. We still had one more stop to make on the main road. We stopped at some store, climbed the curb with the truck and a young man took the empty case of soda bottles out of our truck and replaced it with a full case of Pepsi & Seven Up. This time no money changed hands. That still baffles me.

When we got back to the clinic they were all closed up and it was time for the beach for some and almost time for a shower for me. Grant and I packed up Lisa’s treasures but we failed to pack her walking sticks so I told her to open the case and put them in. I also helped Gary pack his treasures in a box. We will place the box in a bag as checked luggage as there is an embargo by American Airlines on boxes and tubs for the month of July. So we put the boxes in canvas bags as they take them that way. It is all very strange here most of the time.

Tuesday July 22

Wednesday afternoon::Important note before I begin, we have been without internet all day long so I am not to be blamed for lack of posts to the blog

Hello. It is 4 AM and I have been awake and sweating in my bed for awhile so I may as well get up, get out on the balcony where there is a slight breeze, and do something productive. I have been sleeping on the third floor in the small bedroom with a large fan blowing on me yet I am continually drenched in sweat all night long. I have yet to use a top sheet this entire mission and that is a first for me as I have always used the top sheet overnight on all previous missions. It is not so much the heat as it is the stuffy humidity that seems to bother me. Papa Dick is also up and prowling around. I will be very glad to soon see my wife and my bed, but in that order.

Yesterday saw the return of the Haitian G I miseries for some of the team but it usually is only a 24 hour bug with mild tummy upset and a few loose stools. I will not name names so as to avoid family worries.

I noticed that the Peoria area had some bad looking (on radar) storms on Monday and wondering if there was much damage. I did chat on line with David Coleman on Tuesday night. He was here last July and plans on being here next July.

We had more job switches yesterday and every one adapts well to their new tasks. I am very proud of this team. We are a little stressed by the numbers of patients. There is a crowd at the gate even at this early hour. Speaking of numbers, here are the patient counts by days so far: Tuesday 227, Wednesday 290, Thursday 280, Friday 283, Saturday 118, Monday 276, and Tuesday 207 or about 1700 patients. It appears we are on target for our 2000 patients and maybe a few more.

Here is a note to previous team members: this team is just like all the rest as we have clean laundry stacked on the tables for days on end. So far, I have managed to find all of mine and take it to my room. All of the new team members have pitched in for dishes and laundry duties and that is a good thing.

I have failed to mention Lisa’s gift to the team and I apologize. Lisa paid for our meal at Ambians on Saturday night in spite of the strong protest put up by Papa Dick. Thank you again Lisa. That was really a nice gesture. I think she might a=have also paid a bar bill at Son Sons.

BTW, we finished early yesterday so I have to do a bit of bragging. On the May mission, Mark Purcell was the pharmacist. He sent me an email that he was done in the pharmacy at 2:30 PM on at Tuesday. We managed to beat that record by 30 minutes as we were finished and cleaned up in the pharmacy by 2:00 PM. That is really amazing to me but it shows how great Carol, Grant, and Gary to work with.

Saturday morning July 26

Hello from Peoria. You may have been wondering why I have been so silent. We awoke on Wednesday morning to find that we no longer had internet service. We tried every thing we could think of to remedy the situation but had no success. We finally determined that the internet modem (surfboard) was not working as there were only 2 of the 5 led's burning and it felt extremely hot. Papa Dick called the service man and he came out on Wednesday afternoon and replaced the modem. He told us he would contact Hughes Net who is the satellite internet service what the new IP address was for the new modem and we would be up and running soon. When we had not heard from him by Thursday morning, Papa Dick called his boss, Hoodrich, to find out what the problem was. Well, it seems that Hughes Net switched satellites and are using a satellite that does not have a strong enough signal to connect to Haiti. Hence we had no internet. I will post what I have written and had intended to post on Wednesday. Sometime, later this weekend, I hope to write about our Thursday and Friday experiences. But, for now, I plan to relax and visit with my wife and family.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday afternoon July 21, 2008

Hello on a muggy afternoon. It is almost 6 PM and dinner will be soon do I must hurry this post and that ii not a good thing. Pharmacy closed at 4 PM today but I have been working in Dick’s palm pilot and playing with a new computer that was donated by Bill Knight and Terry Bibo. It is from “One Laptop for One Child” and is really neat. There is no operating manual as they want you to download the information from their website.

First off, I want to report that Gary has email Lori back home and read her reply and sent along another one. I understand that is some sort of a milestone. He also sent an email to his son but we have not heard back from him yet. I am really enjoying hearing from my wife, Donna, on this mission. I am proud of her internet ability.

This afternoon, my sponsor child and his father came for a visit around mid afternoon and I had time for a short visit. I’m not sure he remembered me until I gave him the picture of the two of us that was taken in March of this year. I did give him the pictures that my grandchildren sent to home as well as their picture that I brought down for him.
Yes, I did get tears in my eyes just as it was predicted. Eric came by with his camera so I’ll have some pictures soon.

We have been teasing Grant and MT a lot. Grant had a rough morning and worked with Chris in the lab. I wanted him to experience other parts of the mission. He returned to the pharmacy at the end of the lab. He is a great help.
I did get an email from Sharon Doran reminding me of the August 4 major fund raising event at Arrowhead golf course. She is looking for volunteers and the chairman of the event is looking for golfers. I would be happy to connect you with them if you are interested.

It seems we have a patient or two after we close. Jamie had to stitch up a little boy’s head around 5 PM tonight. She is testing the power of the Lidocaine gel that I had in the pharmacy. She tells me that it keeps her thumb num for days.
The young ones went to the roof top for a sun tan. I just spent the last half hour star gazing. There is no moon and one can see millions of stars, a few planes, and an occasional shooting star.

We are enjoying Dan’s fine cooking. Tonight’s meal was black bean sauce and white rice, served with avocados, fresh tomatoes and sweet onions. It was yummy.

We had a pharmacy issue today on one of the last patients hat Jamie saw. It seems that Roger, our Haitian helper read the word Tegretol ( for seizure control;) as Tylenol and dispensed the Tylenol. Fortunately Jamie alertly caught it before she left the area. On that same note, we are getting low on our lowest dose of the calcium channel blockers so we will need to make some adjustments to that. I hope to start the dental inventory tomorrow after clinic so that is out of the way. We are really making a dent in the sore room inventory and it is clearing out so we can get it ready for inventory and for the incoming shipment for the next two clinics.
Roger brought in a CD from Colson Mores family that I am to take back to Peoria with me for Colson. I brought down my laptop to make sure it would play and it is a nice CD. I left the laptop plugged in and played Neil Diamond, Amy Grant, and Phantom of the Opera tunes that I have on this laptop. We got to do a little jiving to the music today.

The last thing I want to mention tonight is seeing Christala Belle, She is very healthy, a little shy around strangers, and very beautiful. We managed to spend a few minutes with her and none of us cried. She fell asleep so they wanted to get her back home. That is a wonderful ending to a potentially tragic start in life.

Time to get this posted. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Monday morning July 21, 2008

Good morning from Haiti. The sun is up, I have fixed the internet connection, I have heard from my grand daughter, and life is good. The air is still and the satellite picture shows no storms in our area so it will be another hot and humid day in Haiti. It will be just another day of doing what we came here to do. I want to repeat that I am very impressed with the member of this team. They all work together well and work very hard, and they are all getting along well. It is hard to remember that we have really only known some of the team members for a little over 1 week as every seems very comfortable with each other.
Yesterday started off with Bruce leading a prayer service out on the west balcony. Jon Wagner has managed to get the very old guitar to sound brand new with new guitar strings and some TLC. So, future teams, please take note that we have a working guitar-Hello Josh Bradshaw!! After the prayer service we had a great pancake and bacon breakfast. A special thank you to Dan, our cook and general do what ever needs done person. He has kept this team well fed and happy. Thanks Dan Steiner!!!!! One of the benefits of having a second pharmacist is that I get to do the dishes. On most missions, I get booted out of that job by some one or another. I have managed to do the dishes now twice so far and I enjoy the opportunity.

As we relaxed after our breakfast, Emiel, the lobster man, came to the clinic with a huge lobster. I hope to insert a picture right here, if it works. If it does not work, I have posted it on the Picasa web album. The tail, after Emiel prepared it, weighed 987 Grams on the pharmacy scale. It went with us to be cooked at the beach and it was very tasty. Note-the picture did not upload. I'll try again later.....

I am sure that many of you notice that in my haste to communicate that I often make a few grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. Lynn Garber is not here to tease me so Jamie has undertaken the role after I failed to correctly name her as the provider of the screaming baby in a previous blog. I have corrected that mistake but I’ll bet she will find some more to tease me with.
The time after breakfast and beach departure seemed to drag so when 1 PM arrived we were all prepared to go. The ride to Ti Moulage was the usual one however, I feel like there is less traffic on the roads. With the price of fuel reported to be near the $10.00 per gallon I can understand why there is less traffic. The beach was much smaller this trip with the water less that 20-30 yards from our “beach resort”. Initially it was filled with families, then a lot of little boys and near the time to leave, by a group from an orphanage. The restaurants were filled with Haitians and there were no UN personnel in sight. That was an unusual occurrence as in past trips they were the ones on the beach and in the restaurants. We had lots of merchandise to select from. My wife’s favorite merchant, Joseph, was looking all over for her so she would not steal his art by taking a photograph or two. He finally came over and asked me if she was on this trip. Mind you, that photograph issue was now 18 months ago. Perhaps I have a memorable face-NOT!
The waves were the strongest I have ever seen and every one is reporting sand in places on their bodies that have never been exposed to sand before. I know, too much information is reported sometimes. We had our usual feast of fish, the large lobster, pickly & tomatoes, beans and rice and fried plantains. It was as tasty as ever. Our team managed to boost the local economy with their purchases of art, bowls, statues, and paintings. Some of them will be a challenge to protect for the ride back to Peoria.

Near the end of our beach time, I spotted a Blanc by the name of Drex. He and his wife run an orphanage nearby and are the people who brought us the baby that was born last year in the latrine by the name of Christala Belle (I may have spelled her name wrong as I have seen it written several different ways). Drex reported that the baby is doing well so I gathered some of the team who had cared for her last year and lead them over to visit with Drex. Drex will bring the baby to the clinic today along with one of the orphans that may need medical attention. Again, I refer you to the earlier blogs on my site for a more detailed account of that story.

Speaking of stories, I was asked to report on a budding romance between MT and a local man. I do not think that a marriage proposal has been issued like Princess Diana received on the March mission but there is still a few more days left on this trip. Trina-do not start worrying-YET!

MT was busy last night on Facebook. She and I are trying to teach Gary a few internet skills. MT found out that Chris Robinson and I both have a Facebook web page so now we are all connected. I was able to look on my page and view the pictures of my grand daughter’s birthday pool party at my house yesterday. It was almost like being there, so thank you, Cori. Gary’s progress on the computer is coming along well, so far. I do not expect that I will have him fully trained. He did send an email to Lori so I will turn over future training to her.

Breakfast is over and this has taken me much longer to write this because where I sit is the middle of Grand Central Station. And, I am such a fast typist- Ha! So, I’ll post this and get to work.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday morning July 20, 2008

First off here, I have downloaded 65 more pictures from Becky Reeser’s camera to the Picasa web album. Here is the link: . I hope you are enjoying the photos. It took several tries yesterday before I could connect and then it took almost 40 minutes to down load the pictures. I just sat out on the balcony and enjoyed the breeze. The breeze has disappeared this morning, it is hot and still. There is a noisy bug (I think that is what is making the sound) somewhere out in the back yard. There are 3 men in a boat fishing out back of the clinic and the waves are very strong so they are bobbing up and down in the boat. That is the morning view from the third floor balcony on the south side. People are sleeping in this morning.

We went to Jacmel yesterday for our relaxation. Boyer and Belany were the tour guides. I think Jamie was our only shopper and she only purchased one item. It is a gift so I will not disclose the nature of the gift. I did not pay attention to how long we shopped. On the way back to Ambians Gary and I spotted a sign for a pharmacy so we asked Belany to come with us. It was closed as was the other two pharmacies we sought out so they must not work on Saturdays. We returned to Ambians and Gary purchased a bottle of 5 star rum and some Pepsi so that was the drink of the hour. Later, Lisa purchased some Chardonnay so I was a happy drinker. Ha! I ate Lambi Creole which is conch I am not sure I have spelled that word correctly) and it was the best prepared serving this year. To explain, this is my third mission for FOTCOH this year. I rode shotgun to and from in Son Son’s tap tap. It has a new coat of paint on the body and on the cage and Papa Dick says he is no longer taking any passengers other than the FOTCOH volunteers. When we got back to the clinic, some people came bringing a girl who had apparently stepped in some glass so Jamie, Chris, and Becky began to minister to her. They made quite a team as the one foot required several stitches to close the wound. I think we finished with her sometime after 9 PM. We had an audience of Haitians observing. Belany must have had too much rum. He sat in a chair in a stupor and fell out of the chair a few times. Boyer promised to get him home. I’ll bet he is hurting this morning. There are no reports of throwing up from any team members overnight. That is a good thing.

I want to wish my grand daughter Molly Gibson a Happy Birthday today. I understand that she is having a pool party at my house. I will be thinking of her and all my family all day long. The news from home is appreciated. I am proud to report that my love, my wife, Donna, has successfully managed to use the email to send me messages and that is a really good thing.

This morning we will have a prayer service followed by a pancake and bacon breakfast. Later we will go yo Ti Moulage beach for an afternoon of swimming, shopping, and a nice meal. As Chris just said, it i so nice to not have to rush around this morning because there a patients at the gate. We saw no one outside the gate when we returned from town last night.
Okay, I have rambled on enough so I’ll post this and do some of my back exercises. The mattress is getting to me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday afternoon July 19

Happy Saturday. We finished this morning around 11:00 AM but I do not have the number. I’ll try to get it before I post this update.
Note to Linda Damery: Message delivered and that was fun. I came out to triage where your man works and called out his name, Dieudon. That worried him at the start as to why I would be looking for him. I am usually only out at triage to check weights or to chase Dieudonne with the water gun so he may have been worried that I was coming after him with my trusty squinter. The message back to you is that his wife is doing much better and that the baby will be full term next month and they will bring the baby to the September clinic. We will need to alert Linda and Kent Bryan so that someone in triage takes pictures for you of the family. He reported that, indeed, they lost one of the babies and they are still saddened by that. He thanked me profusely for the message and told me to thank you for thinking of him.
Speaking of babies, we had two hydrocephalic babies come in today and it was very sad. I know the first one really got to Gary and he needed to take a short break. Sometimes, especially down here, you really feel so helpless. On the good side, the first baby was bright and cheerful, very inquisitive, very much in love with his dad, and very healthy. I did not get to see the second baby as I was somewhere else when that baby came through. The same goes for Dory, the little girl who came to Peoria in January for the surgery. I have missed her now for two clinics in a row so I can’t tell you much except the provider who examined her said she had quite the American attitude.

Dr Nelson, our Haitian doctor who works with our surgeon and sometimes as a provider on our teams, came for a short visit last night. He had been in the Dominican Republic for something or another. The DR is where he went to medical school. He will likely join us tonight at Ambians for dinner. He did invite us to come to his clinic for the poor of Jacmel tomorrow morning after church. I do not know if we will make that or not. I had fun stealing his hat off of his head and making him laugh. I have also been doing that to Dieudonne at triage. Nelson took some of our outdated drugs for his clinic.

For those of you who might have been wondering, Eric arrived at the clinic around 10 to 10:30 AM. He tells us that the lovely East breeze that is kicking up the sea caused a few problems for American Airlines and the Missionary Aviation Flyers pilots. So the cool breeze continues today from the East. Yes, I am on the West side of the building-darn it. The wind continues today and the waves a sea are beautiful to behold and I am glad I am not out on it. Rumor has it that the full moon is the cause of this wind. I wonder what effect it will have on Ti Moulage beach tomorrow. The under tow may be so great that we can’t go out very far. Gary brought up the hurricane fan so I’ll get a second good night’s sleep tonight.
From what I can tell from here the link that I posted on the blog for Lisa’s pictures works well. I am trying to load 65 pictures from Becky so you can see some of what we see here. Unfortunately, the internet is not cooperating at this fifth try.

We have run out of vitamins for infants as I knew that we would. I was unable to purchase them until about 1 week before clinic and I could not find the 300 bottles I knew that I would need. I did manage to obtain 100. Note to September and November teams, but the as soon as you can or have some one special order them. We also did not bring enough triple antibiotic ointment. I could only get a few dozen at a good price.
Everything else is going up well and that makes our life easier. We will likely have to do our greasy grind (Griseofulvin) for the small children that cannot swallow a tablet. We are showing the moms to crush the chewable vitamins and give to the small ones.
Jamie’s screaming baby returned today for a dressing change and never cried until Jamie began to apply the last dressing. That was a blessing, but we still had lots of tears today and some major infections today that we gave the Rocephin.

We are still way ahead on pill packing thanks to team members who, without complaining, helped get pills packed so we could get a head start on our mission in the pharmacy. I have two pill packers and 3 interpreters on this mission and I manage to keep the working most of the time.

Okay, I am taking a short break-or it may be a longer one as it is now near time to go to town and all of us are going this trip. I’d better wash up, change out of the scrubs and get with the program. On second thought, I will try to upload this to the blog before we leave.

Saturday afternoon July 19

Happy Saturday. We finished this morning around 11:00 AM but I do not have the number. I’ll try to get it before I post this update.
Note to Linda Damery: Message delivered and that was fun. I came out to triage where your man works and called out his name, Dieudon. That worried him at the start as to why I would be looking for him. I am usually only out at triage to check weights or to chase Dieudonne with the water gun so he may have been worried that I was coming after him with my trusty squinter. The message back to you is that his wife is doing much better and that the baby will be full term next month and they will bring the baby to the September clinic. We will need to alert Linda and Kent Bryan so that someone in triage takes pictures for you of the family. He reported that, indeed, they lost one of the babies and they are still saddened by that. He thanked me profusely for the message and told me to thank you for thinking of him.
Speaking of babies, we had two hydrocephalic babies come in today and it was very sad. I know the first one really got to Gary and he needed to take a short break. Sometimes, especially down here, you really feel so helpless. On the good side, the first baby was bright and cheerful, very inquisitive, very much in love with his dad, and very healthy. I did not get to see the second baby as I was somewhere else when that baby came through. The same goes for Dory, the little girl who came to Peoria in January for the surgery. I have missed her now for two clinics in a row so I can’t tell you much except the provider who examined her said she had quite the American attitude.

Dr Nelson, our Haitian doctor who works with our surgeon and sometimes as a provider on our teams, came for a short visit last night. He had been in the Dominican Republic for something or another. The DR is where he went to medical school. He will likely join us tonight at Ambians for dinner. He did invite us to come to his clinic for the poor of Jacmel tomorrow morning after church. I do not know if we will make that or not. I had fun stealing his hat off of his head and making him laugh. I have also been doing that to Dieudonne at triage. Nelson took some of our outdated drugs for his clinic.

For those of you who might have been wondering, Eric arrived at the clinic around 10 to 10:30 AM. He tells us that the lovely East breeze that is kicking up the sea caused a few problems for American Airlines and the Missionary Aviation Flyers pilots. So the cool breeze continues today from the East. Yes, I am on the West side of the building-darn it. The wind continues today and the waves a sea are beautiful to behold and I am glad I am not out on it. Rumor has it that the full moon is the cause of this wind. I wonder what effect it will have on Ti Moulage beach tomorrow. The under tow may be so great that we can’t go out very far. Gary brought up the hurricane fan so I’ll get a second good night’s sleep tonight.
From what I can tell from here the link that I posted on the blog for Lisa’s pictures works well. I am trying to load 65 pictures from Becky so you can see some of what we see here. Unfortunately, the internet is not cooperating at this fifth try.

We have run out of vitamins for infants as I knew that we would. I was unable to purchase them until about 1 week before clinic and I could not find the 300 bottles I knew that I would need. I did manage to obtain 100. Note to September and November teams, but the as soon as you can or have some one special order them. We also did not bring enough triple antibiotic ointment. I could only get a few dozen at a good price.
Everything else is going up well and that makes our life easier. We will likely have to do our greasy grind (Griseofulvin) for the small children that cannot swallow a tablet. We are showing the moms to crush the chewable vitamins and give to the small ones.
Lisa’s screaming baby returned today for a dressing change and never cried until Lisa began to apply the last dressing. That was a blessing, but we still had lots of tears today and some major infections today that we gave the Rocephin.

We are still way ahead on pill packing thanks to team members who, without complaining, helped get pills packed so we could get a head start on our mission in the pharmacy. I have two pill packers and 3 interpreters on this mission and I manage to keep the working most of the time.

Okay, I am taking a short break-or it may be a longer one as it is now near time to go to town and all of us are going this trip. I’d better wash up, change out of the scrubs and get with the program. On second thought, I will try to upload this to the blog before we leave.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday July 18

Hello from Haiti. I did not take the time to write last night. When I thought about it, Amanda was using my computer and that was okay with me. I grabbed a Prestige and went up on the roof to get a moon tan. Today is reported to be the day for the full moon but last night’s moon was extremely bright in the Eastern sky. The moon light helps me to not trip over the obstacles on the roof such as the rebar and the wires that hold down the water tanks and satellite dishes. I think I spent over an hour there with Chris, Lisa, Jim, Becky and others. There was also a slight breeze. This morning there is a nice breeze here on the third floor porch. We have not managed to bring down the temperature in the room that Gary and I share here in third. We have fans but they seem to blow hot air. As a consequence, I have not been sleeping as deeply as I usually do and awaken several times over night bathed in sweat. There is an industrial fan in the pharmacy that I may drag upstairs tonight.

Yesterday was baby day. One of the most wonderful aspects of the Friends of the Children Of Haiti is the sponsor child program. For a donation of $ 25.00 per month, a child gets the money for food and education. It is administered by Barb Hammond and our man in Haiti, Boyer Gilles. The families sign for the money so we keep records to let you know that the money is going to the babies and is used as it was intended to be used. I hope to see my sponsored child this mission. I was very busy in March-April when he came for a visit. With Gary here on this trip, I should be able to spend a little more time with the little red head. So please understand that when I tell you that Kelly had a baby in Haiti, I mean that she found one in need of a sponsor and it was a beautiful sight to see the baby in her arms. Grant and Mary Therese got to see the child that their family sponsors. Lisa has some pictures which I hope to download to this blog later.

I do have to report that I spent the better part of two hours yesterday morning cleaning up Papa Dick’s main computer. Somehow we caught something and I found 1 windows open on the desktop on Wednesday night. So I had the luxury of leaving Gary in the pharmacy and working through the available programs on the desktop to clean off what ever we caught. The anti-virus had not been run since late May, so that was the first step.
Then I had to clean out all of the temporary internet files, the history files, and even the cache. For safety I reran the anti-virus scan, rebooted the internet surfboard, and rebooted the system. I managed to gain a little speed on the system and all of that took a lot longer than I hand planned but, again, I had the luxury of being only interrupted twice during that time. On that same thought, having Grant and Carol working in the pharmacy and Gary and I supervising I am having a less stress filled clinic. I do not have to calculate every dose, answer every question, and put out every fire. I could almost call this my clinic vacation time. Ha! Time for breakfast- I’ll be back!

It is now 3:30 PM and we are finished with patients, cleaned up, and sitting outside in a very strong cool breeze. The wind is from the east and the surf is pounding against the rocks. The sea is a different color with a dark blue far our and a light green near the shore. I do not recall ever seeing that before. The internet is out at the present due to the string wind whipping the dish on the roof. I am rushing to write this as I have promised to walk with Jamie out to the rocks behind the clinic and here she is so I’ll stop and pick this up later. I do have some news to report instead of the &%$##^ I have been reporting.

That was a blast. I mean a blast of water from a 6 to 10 foot wake that broke over the tocks as Jamie, Chris and Jim were looking into it. They came away quite soaked, from the blow hole that they were looking into as the water began shooting out. I told Jamie thanks for the wet “t” shirt contest. Jan and Jon were also out there with Carol and Patrick, one of the Haitian children of Esperidon ( Asparagus as we refer to him, he is the caretaker with how many children (?) we can only guess). All made it back safe but some are a little wet.

Dinner last night was enchiladas which some call the Mexican bomb for their effect on a person’s bowels. I know too much information. However, I do want you to know we are dining well and I have heard no complaints and everyone is healthy and we have administered NO iv injections to any team members yet.

I promised to not talk about Jon and Jan in the shower together so please do not tell them that I said it is an every day event. Enough of that information for you, but we do enjoy teasing them, and they enjoy teasing us.

And then there are 4 people in the pharmacy. From previous missions you may know that 16 is way too many for the pharmacy but 6 on a busy day is a nice number. So far we have operated well with Roger, our Haitian. Carol our experienced helper, Grant our student that I am trying to talk into a career in pharmacy, and Gary, our newbie pharmacist. Four is good so I sit back and turn more and more over to Gary. My wife tells me I should come home tomorrow. My pharmacy team is doing excellent work.

The last patients today were a family of 9 children and two adults. Sara urged family planning and passed out Trojans to Dad. Four of the children are sponsored so if you have any interest we have 5 more to go, This family lives in Cap Rouge which is a mountain village that is 8 hours walk from our clinic and 4 hours walk if you try to drive a car in that direction it. They were here last year. They live, and I am not joking, under a tree up on that mountain.

I will close this as it is past time for a shower and dinner. My face is still looking very bad from the razor nicks I made when I shaved so I just may have to live with the scruffy look till I get back home. Even I think I look terrible and I have been hiding whenever a camera is in sight.
Thank you to all who are sending the comments. I promise to publish them. Speaking of that, I have posted some of Lisa’s pictures at: However, you may need to make a Google account to view them. I have to put some captions under them so you will know who and what you are looking at. I HOPE to do that yet tonight.

Attention Lynn Garber & Chris Monroe: I am too lazy to proof read this so I expect that you will do it for me.
It is time for this guy to jump in the shower, eat dinner, sit through the meeting, hook up the strong fan, and maybe get some sleep. I need to wish a belated Happy Birthday to Sharon Doran. Sorry I forgot to send a card.
Love from Haiti.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday morning July 17

Wednesday Afternoon July 16 4 PM

I’ll start this now and work on it off and on until tomorrow morning. Not much to tell about since noon. Air conditioner is on and blowing a cool breeze on me here on the third floor. It feels nice. I have just showered and shaved with a disposable razor and managed to get 3 good nicks in my face. I am still trying to get them to stop bleeding. I never have figured out how that happens. Most of the team went to the beach. We finished about 4 PM and the last patients wanted shoes, clothes and food. Also at the end was a very small baby with AIDS. The baby was from Cap Rouge which means hat someone walked here for 8 hours for the baby to be seen by us. We did all that we were able to do. Mary Therese probably had a hard time letting the child out of her arms. I hear we are walking up to Son Son’s bar at 5:30 for some fried okra.
Grant is doing a wonderful job in the pharmacy and Carol is doing her usual excellent job. I continue to turn more and more over to Gary. I teased him that I might come home this weekend so he can experience the task on his own. As far as I can tell he is really enjoying the work and he does get along with team, interpreters and the Haitian people. He tries a few words of Kreole.
Okay, so it is now 8:30 AM the next day and I did not make it back to my laptop last night after all. After Son Son’s we came back and had dinner and our meeting and I just stayed on the second level and visited with the team instead of hiding behind my laptop.
That allowed me to get some information to pas along to my readers.
First of all, Kelli & Lisa deny all knowledge of Rickster. NOT! Thanks to Rickster for the message- it was fun delivering it. Note to my daughter Becky and her daughters, Molly & Cori: When are you planning to com on a mission asks Lisa. Note to Reeser family: All is well with Mom and Dad in Haiti-How are you behaving?
Note to Liz and Renee: Amanda is behaving. I think. Our main computer is running slow. I discovered that there were 61 windows open on the main last night so I am here cleaning up the mess that we have acquired from so many people using the system. I also rebooted the surfboard for the internet as it had lost it’s connection to all of the wireless laptops. The internet is now working much better for all. Now if I can get the main computer cleaned up, everyone will be happy. I have had several interruptions so I will post this before I have to go back downstairs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday July 16 noon

I am sitting in front of a fan to cool off after a quick lunch. Jamie had to treat an abscess on a small girl's leg this morning and the girl screamed for 1 1/2 hrs. I stayed behind at lunch time to fill her order and send her on her way. Message to Bob Hoy, Jean Fredrique got his package-what ever that means.
Thanks to Nancy and Lynn for the comments. Lynn, hope all is well in Washington State. One of our team members now lives in Seattle but I do not know what hospital she will be working at. She is the person that encouraged Liz & Renee to join us in March-April.
Nancy, I'll pray for CJ to make it into that school. I had wondered if he would be able to apply at this late date. I never did hear the name of the school in Simi Valley.
More after clinic-time to get back to work.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday July 15

Tuesday after clinic

Hello from warm and sultry Haiti. I can’t believe how much I have sweat today and how many bottle of water I have consumed and how few times I have voided the water. Needless to say, I am dripping and I have been all day. I am sitting in line for the shower so I’ll pause this when it is my turn.

I do not have today’s total but we finished at 4 PM. That surprised us. It is great to have Carol, Grant and Roger to fill the orders and Gary and I to try to field the questions and do the problem solving. This team packed loads of pill yesterday and things went really smooth today. No major problems for our first day and lots of eye opening experiences for the first timers. Our lady that is frequently seen due to her breast cancer is not doing well and is in terrible pain. There is not much we can do for her but try to ease the pain. Her blood pressure is elevated as is her blood glucose level, probably due to the stress. Unfortunately she came to the pharmacy and there were questions on her dossier and she ended up sitting at the front of the pharmacy bench for over 1 hour while we tried to help her. Finally we filled her order and sent her on her way.

There were many other cases that I’ll learn more about at the team meeting tonight, but right now, I am off to the showers. AHHH! That shower felt good and I am now on the third floor outside the computer area in a cool sea breeze and life is good. Ten people remain at the clinic while the rest are at the beach. I am pleased that they are able to relax. There has been little progress on the property immediately west of the clinic. When I was here in March-April there was a man breaking rocks and throwing them into a dump truck from dawn till dusk. He must have quickly after I left as I do not see much change from then in the landscape. The rocks are sold for building materials. Yes, the goats are still on the east side and the stupid rooster’s clock is still messed up. He crows about 2:30 or 3 every morning. We’ve been awakened by the dog only once so far. That is just part of the Haitian experience. Speaking of that the dark clouds are moving in and the wind has picked up so the waves are really crashing into the rocks. Maybe there is a rain storm scheduled for tonight. There is a full moon on Friday night.

Okay, I just got deserted. Sue, Sara and Lisa joined me here but the breeze is reported to be better on the other side, so off they went. I can concentrate on this a little better that way. Ha! I am still pleased to report how ell this team has come together and worked as if they were all seasoned veterans. That is always a concern but I have never been let down yet. BTW, there remains a rumor that razors are in the lab but I can testify that they are not there. I’m getting a little scruffier as each day goes by. I do not have Bill Edwards here to join me in the ranks of the unshaven.

Saturday we will have a ½ clinic day and then some will be off to Jacmel for shopping and art. We will meet at Ambians for dinner and drinks afterwards. The prices at Ambians are up about 10 % over what they were in March-April. On Sunday, after our prayer service and breakfast, we will be off to Ti Moulage for a day at the beach and our Sunday meal. The food, this year and every mission, is great. Today was the rice, cabbage and vegetables for lunch. Last night was the tuna and noodles. Barb has baked some bread and cookies for us. The beer is good and cold and I do have a stash of Sauvignon Blanc in the pharmacy refrigerator. Swimmers are back and the noise level has risen. They are all competing for the showers before dinner. I have rattled on long enough so I’ll post this. I still hope to hear from you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday afternoon July 14

Hello from Haiti at early evening. I have just has a nice shower and feel much better. Prestige (local beer) in hand, I’ll write a few lines before dinner. We were all up early this morning and breakfast was at 7. Every one pitched in and unloaded the bags. One exploded package of oatmeal and a few crushed vitamin bottles was all the damage we found. That is almost as unbelievable as our making all of our connections to Haiti. After unpacking, we began to pack pill for tomorrow and every one pitched in until about 2:30 PM when it was beach time. We managed to get almost every thing packaged for the first few days of clinic and I am most grateful that all of my team members helped out. We should be in great shape for tomorrow. The weather is warm and humid. Even though it is only 89 degrees you sweat all day and all night long. I enjoyed my sweat free half hour after my shower and am beginning to really sweat a lot now and I am no where near the sun. This morning there were about 25 people waiting outside the clinic. The 8 from yesterday are still there and I am sure there will be quite a crowd in the morning.
I am very pleased with this team. Everyone is having a great time and the conversations are very lively. I had promised to identify the July team so here it is along with their reported jobs. That does not list the laundry duty, dishes duty, and Son Son run duty that may come their way. As a matter of fact, most of the team is on a Son Son run right now.

The July team roster, along with a quick job description and a note of they are new:

Gary Alwan, Pharmacist, new

Eric Behrens, non-medical,

Sue Behrens, APN, Provider, team leader

Jamie Beversdorf, Pediatric Resident, new, Provider

Barb Hammond, non-medical, Triage/Medical Records

Dick Hammond, non-medical, FOTCOH Clinic Enforcer

Amanda Johnson, RNLP, Wound Care/lab

Jan Lundeen,RN, Provider Triage/RTC

Lisa Phillips, Physician, Provider, new

Kelly Phillips, EMT, new, Triage/pateints

Ed Monroe, Pharmacist, Pharmacy

Becky Reeser,RNLP,Triage/RTC

Jim Reeser, non-medical, new,Crowd Control-front

Chris Robinson, EMT-B, Triage/patients, new

Grant Schmidt, non-medical, Pharmacy, new

Mary-Therese Schmidt, non-medical, Triage/Medical Records, new

Bruce Steiner, non-medical, Crowd Control-Back

Carol Steiner, non-medical, Pharmacy

Dan Steiner, non-medical, Cook/lab

Sara Thomas, APN, Provider

David Thorpe, RN/APN student, Provider, new

Jon Wagner, non-medical, Crowd Control- Front

There is really not much else to report at this time and it will soon be dinner time. So I’ll close for now.

Thanks for reading this. I would love to hear from any team members families, I can be bribed for dirty details. Ha.
Ooops. I forgot to confess that I failed to bring along a safety razor and I have yet to find the 200 disposable ones that used to be here. Maybe we can have a contest to see how long I’ll go before I shave,.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday after dinner 7-13

We had that great first meal here that Neva and Andreta fix for us. It is around 9 PM and we are waiting for our bags to arrive by truck from Port-Au-Prince (PAP). It sounds like we have had to hire another truck as the one from Jacmel broke down somewhere on the way to the airport. That is so very Haitian. However the amazing news is that we made all of our connections and in spite of the usual problems getting our checked luggage in PAP which took over 1 ½ hours after we had cleared immigration so we were very upset at the baggage handlers at the airport. It almost caused us to miss our plane from PAP to Jacmel. We made that plane with only 5 minutes to spare or else we would have had to spend the night in PAP or try to find surface transportation to Cyvadier. We landed in the E concourse of Miami airport instead the expected D concourse but we were almost 30 minutes early so my fear of a short connection time was for naught. This team has come together and we laugh a lot so tthat is a good thing. We avoided the storm over PAP on our way to Jacmel and that was good. The generator is working, the internet is working, the Prestige is cold, and lie here is good. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we do for you. I’m tired butt the truck is still here so I’ll jump off line and let some one else get on. More tomorrow. Ed

Sunday Juky 13 2008 1

Quick note more later, we made it here in 12 hours and our bags made it to Port-Au-Prince but the truck has broken down so we may see them later tonight. It is almost time for dinner and past time for a glass of wine or a Prestige so I'll write more later. I just wanted to report that all is well. Love from Cyvadier!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

July 2008

Hello again dear readers. It is almost time for another trip to Haiti with the Friends Of The Children Of Haiti medical mission team. We will leave Peoria at 6:00 AM for Chicago, catch a plane for Miami, run for the plane to Port-Au-Prince, dash to the small airport in PAP for our flight to Jacmel and arrive at the clinic in about 12 hours. That is, if everything goes our way. We only have under 50 minutes to get from the plane from Chicago to the plane to PAP. Also. we are flying a smaller plane from Peoria to Chicago so I wonder f our baggage will fit on that plane. Then there is the issue of getting our bags to the PAP plane from the Chicago plane. Do I have any bettors in the crowd? Out team has 22 members, including Dick and Barb Hammond. We will travel there with 19 people. There are 18 from Central Illinois and 1 coming from the Seattle Washington area where she recently relocated to from the Chicago area. Nine of the team are new to Haiti so we have a nice mix of new and old. I am excited that there is a second pharmacist along and hope I have not scared him already. We will have two physicians and this will be their first FOTCOH mission. We'll have two brand new RN's and I am very proud of them as I have worked with them on previous teams. The wonderful Steiner family is along on this trip, Carol to help me, Dan to cook, and Bruce to tease. Ha! I'll introduce more to you on later posts. I just wanted to get this first post up and running before we leave. I is good practice for all of you to watch out for all my grammatical mistakes. Thanks again for readin this and thanks for all of your prayers and support.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday April 7

Hello from Illinois. We finally made it back but it was quite an adventure. We arrived in Miami around 9 PM. The Air France flight was nice with a free bottle of wine with our snack. I sat next to a lady that I had spoken with earlier in the day. She was a very interesting lady, having lived for 35 years in Africa with her husband who was a contractor. She has family in the USA that includes a grandson who is attending Harvard on a full tuition scholarship and a granddaughter who is attending Columbia Univeristy Medical School on a full tuition scholarship. As we exited the plane and began a very long walk to immigration she became short of breath so I stayed with her until we reached that area. It tool well over 1 hour for us to get through the line and as I was at the rear, I did not get to say goodbye to many of my team mates who were rushing to American Airlines counter before it closed. By the time we collected our bags and crates and got to American it was already closed. Lynn Garber’s husband had rented a 12 passenger van and hauled Katie, Liz, John and myself to Fort Lauderdale and dropped us off at a Hampton Inn near the Fort Lauderdale airport. Lynn has family in Fort Lauderdale and her husband was there and that was a wonderful help. I understand that Katie & Liz ordered a pizza. John and I just crashed only to be awakened by a welcome phone call from Linda that they had arrived safely into Chicago. Returning to sleep, I was awakened by John as he thought he had lost his case carrying his passport and all of the important papers. It was located under his bags and we finally got to sleep. We awoke at 5 AM and helped open the breakfast bar at the Hampton and all of us rode the shuttle to the American terminal. It was driven by a man from Port-Au-Prince. We had little trouble getting to the departure lounge for our 8 AM flight. I managed to cut my finger at TSA security and I have yet to figure out how. Liz and Katie did not have seats and that was a worry as Liz had a wedding to go to that afternoon in Chicago. We were assured that she would be given a seat after all had been checked in and that was the truth. Our flight to Chicago was a little turbulent and the pilot was given instructions from air traffic control to use another route and we arrived earlier than expected. After quick god byes to Liz, who lives in Chicago, and John, whose wife was meeting him at the airport, Katie and I had a bite of lunch at the Chili’s restaurant and took the 12:30 PM plane to Peoria. Katie’s dad met us and hauled me and 3 crates to my car in the far end of the parking lot. I was home a little after 2 PM and very glad to get here. I did take a nap around 6:30 PM and went to bed at 8 PM. I awoke around 6:30 AM and we managed to take in 7:30 AM Mass and had a quiet breakfast. We worked outside in the yard and attended the 2 PM picture part for the February team. It was a great reunion and the pictures brought back memories. We left a little after 4 PM as I was getting sleepy so I took another long nap and again headed for bed at 8:00 PM. This morning I feel a bit more rested but did doze off this afternoon when I sat down on my son’s couch. He is stuck at home recovering from his Achilles tendon surgery so we went over to help him clean his house for an upcoming birthday party of his oldest daughter. Donna explained to me that she had use some wart removing pads and the foot doctor told her she removed the entire wart on the bottom of her foot. She is still frustrated about the hour long wait. So all that remains is to send you some pictures and that may take a week or so as Katie is assembling them onto a CD.
I want to close this portion by saying how very proud I was to be a part of this tremendous team. Your work ethic was inspirational. The cooperation between all of you was outstanding and meant a lot to me. I loved working with you and hope I can do it again sometime. If there is ever any way that I can be of help, encouragement, prayer, or just to be a listened I am always available.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Friday April 4

Friday April 4, 2008

Hello from Haiti. I am starting this at the departure lounge of Air France and it is about the time we were to be flying out of Fort Lauderdale to Chicago on our way home. Today has not been a good travel day so far. It started around 5:15 AM when I awoke to the first light streaming in my window and my good buddy, Sparkey the rooster, calling out the breaking of dawn. I went out and started the coffee and then traveled up to the third floor to put away my computer. It was after 10:30 PM when I finally got to bed. I had left the computer hooked up as it was used by several of the team to email and check on things while we were at the clinic. Around 6:45 AM we assembled and boarded Son Son’s tap tap and Dick’s truck for the trip to Jacmel airport. Our plane was to be in at 8:00 AM. We had chartered a special Tortug Air flight and there was only 1 seat unfilled for our return trip. Here is where the problems started. The Tortug plane arrived at 8:15 AM and there was no Tortug employee to check and load the baggage or to check us in. Fortunately the pilot and co-pilot did the check in and the employees of another airline did the bags. We had a nice flight to Port-Au-Prince (PAP) at the airport for the local planes. We got our bags and took 3 vehicles to the main airport. There was a larger than normal crowd at the airport entrance and we should have suspected problems. Boyer did not have his passport and was not allowed to enter into the airport with us so we waved good bye. He had some business in PAP and was returning by bus to Jacmel. After we were in an long line for over an hour we found out that our 11:00 AM American Airlines flight had been canceled. We managed to get some one at American to rebook most of us on the 6:00 PM flight on Air France that we are presently waiting for in this lounge. It is 4:30 PM as I type this but it is quiet and comfortable so the time will pass quickly, I hope. Linda and Renee managed to get booked on the American flight at around 4 PM and well be back in Chicago yet this evening. It is just pulling out now and is late. Some of the team’s cell phones worked so we first called Dick to alert him to the problem then we began to text message family and friends in the USA for assistance. Some cell phones worked and some did not. American did give us food vouchers so we had the famous PAP hot dog, the 16 oz soda and, after a very long wait, some pomme fries (French fries). I got a message to my son and I hope he was able to reach my wife. I will be sure to call her from the USA. At Miami we will likely split up as some of the team will stay in the area for a couple of days, Diana heads off for Nashville and the rest of us will head to Fort Lauderdale for an 8 AM flight to Chicago. Katie and I will then get a 1:30 PM flight to Peoria, or at least I hope so. There appears to be three other groups of American missionaries on this flight and they were booked on the American flight that was canceled. One team was doing a construction project and I am not sure what the other team was doing. We are trying text message to get American’s phone number so they will pay for our hotel in the US tonight. Every one is tired. All of this waiting around drags a person’s spirit down. The team has shopped the gift shop and is mentally ready to be home. I am typing this on my laptop in Microsoft Word so I can publish it later when I get an internet connection. A funny thing about this airport, there are no landing lights here so we have to leave before dark or not leave at all. Papa Dick had made arrangements at the Wall’s Guest House in case we would have had to spend tonight in PAP. He was relieved that we would be getting out of Haiti tonight. Our leader and I agree that FOTCOH needs to purchase a Digicel phone for use here in Haiti so we can get better communications while we are here. We were so lucky that two of the 14 team member’s cell phones would work. Quick aside, one of the construction team members came over and gave Diana an Eastern Kentucky University hat. That is where Diana has applied for entrance into their nursing program. It is a small world, indeed.
Back to our flight fun, we hope to get to Miami by 9:30 and clear customs by 10:30 PM. Then we will decide if we go straight to the Fort Lauderdale airport and how we will do that. Liz wants to get a hotel room as she has a wedding to attend tomorrow in Chicago. At this point we have yet to decide whether to get a room or just cap out at the airport. It will be a short night in any event. The Air France plane has landed and I will save this for later.
It is 5 AM on Saturday and I am sending this from s hotel on Fort Lauderdale, FL. Details to follow soon.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday night April 3

I am ready to come home. I am packed and we have had our last team meeting, I had a great bunch of people to work with and my inventory went smoothly and they even helped me to clean the pharmacy and pack up everything for the May team. I will be bring two totes home as we found an empty one late this evening so I repacked my stuff into two totes rather than one. Katie will be riding with me to Peoria so I will have some help in case I cannot find my car at the airport. I am playing Elvis off of my computer in the background for Renee, our Elvis fan. And I have just returned from escorting Liz to the spooky pharmacy to get a gallon zip lock bag for all of her treasures. No, I did not get a manicure. The manicurist took almost 1 hour on each of the 5 girls and it was dinner time by the time it was my turn, I know my family would have been shocked if I would have come home with nail polish. Ha! We did reach the 1900 patient level and I could not be prouder of the members of this team. We came together from Washington, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Illinois as strangers and leave enriched by the friendship and camaraderie we have gained by this experience. Yes, we may never again be on the same FOTCOH team but we will always treasure our time together. I thanked them for putting up with me. Those who know me will truly understand that remark. I took time to clean up Dick’s desktop and laptop computer of a bunch of junk that has been growing on his computers. I also downloaded a program that I want him to run after each mission to clean up the websites that attack his system when we use it for email etc while we are here.
I was done with the inventory around 4:30 PM but I did not get to the beach or to Son Son’s but I did not mind. I did compliment Dr Nelson as this was the best job I have ever seen home do for FOTCOH and I was very impressed that he now has gotten used to FOTCOH and has read and will follow our protocols. I am sure the FOTCOH Medical advisory board will appreciate that fact. I also complimented my 3 pill packers and 3 interpreters. I had the least problems with them than on any of the 7 previous missions.
Boyer’s brother Jacky, who is also Andrita’s brother, did an outstanding job on this mission and I was very proud of him I can’t wait to tell his sponsor, Carolyn, how well he did on this mission. It is a hot muggy night and I hope I can sleep better than the past few nights. I do thank the Lord for giving me a pain free two weeks as I worried each day that the back pain would return and He blessed me with His peace. Diana had a beautiful prayer to close our team meeting and Dick said the Grace and brought a few tears to my eyes. I know that I will be back in July and I am anxious to get home and be with my family and friends. Tomorrow we will be at the airport in Jacmel at 7 AM for an 8AM flight and I will be back in Peoria by 10:00 PM if all goes well. This is wild, as I type this I am carrying on an online conversation with my friend, Stella Marie, who is at her desk in Malaysia. The wonders of the internet boggle the mind. It is wonderful to hear from this very spiritual lady. I pray for the day that I can see her again. I met her in Cologne in 2005 at World Youth Days and we became very close friends along with David who was traveling with her. They took such great care on Grandpa Ed. Time for bed for this old man. I hate to stop viviting with Stella Marie. I said good night and she remineded me that It is aleady tomorrow morning over there. OOPS. No matter it was wonderful to hear from her. I'll try to sign on in the morning before we leave for the airport. Otherwise it will be sometime Saturday before I will be back on line. Thanks again for reading this blog.

Thursday April 3, 2008

The sky is becoming lighter with the rising sun so I finally gave up trying to sleep and here I am at the computer. Papa Dick told me hat I spend a lot of time on the computer and my family would attest to that fact. It seemed like the dog and the rooster were having a contest overnight as to which one could make the most noise, Yes home and my own bed will feel very good in about a day and a half. I go on these missions and really begin to miss home during the last few days. I will not get back to Peoria until after 10:00 PM on Friday night-if all goes well with my travel. On the February mission, we managed to get to O’Hare airport in Chicago to catch that last plane to Peoria only to find out there was no first officer so the plane could not be flown. We had to run to catch the Peoria Charter bus and got home around 1:30 AM but we did get home.

Our last clinic day here will be a busy one. We will see patients in the morning, have our lunch, and then take inventory, clean up, and out the clinic to bed until the May team arrives. It was funny to see an email about their upcoming packing party date, time, and place, in my inbox the other day. This coming Sunday, I will be attending the picture party for the January team that I was a part of. That team is made up primarily of people from the Peoria, Illinois area so we get together and exchange photo CD’s and printed pictures and catch up with each other, since this March team is so spread out over the country, Katie has volunteered to assemble all of the digital pictures on a CD for the team. I am not sure how we will see the pictures from the disposable cameras that I have seen.

Papa Dick has just turned on the generator so we will have the electricity for the coffee making and the Internet. EDH power was off at 1:30 AM when I checked. I was supposed to be on until 3 AM. I am told, but I have no faith that this will happen, that EDH will provide electricity 24 hours a day starting on April 14. Diesel fuel for the generator costs over $ 7,00 USD per gallon here. No, I do not know how many hours per gallon the generator gets but I will try to find out. The goat chorus has begun as the small children take them out to the rocks to graze for the day. Somehow, one of them got into the compound yesterday so I told Diana, the veterinary tech, that it needed attention as she has been complaining about not being able to handle small animals. I had so much fun with that remark, I went on to tell John, our leader, that he was now not the only old goat on the property. Yes, I’ll do anything for a laugh!

Wow, I just went on line to check my email and I heard from all of my littlest grandchildren last night. That was a great and pleasant surprise. They had questions about Haiti, questions about my work, questions about different animals that might be on the island, questions about my behavior on April fool’s day, and some love messages that made a tear or two in my eye. As I said earlier today, I really start to miss home about this time every mission.

The Scrabble game went until after 10 last night and it is fun to hear the laughter and joy that a board game brings to people. I just drifted off to sleep and all was dark and quiet a little later in the evening so all must have made it to their beds. Holly just went by and asked if I had said anything mean about her on my blog. I told her that as far as I knew I had told everyone that she had done drugs with me here in Haiti as she has helped us out in the pharmacy when she was done seeing patients. That ought to shock her 17 year old daughter some, and he husband as well. Liz just breezed. She told me yesterday that her sister was broadcasting the things I have said about Liz to all of her friends. Fortunately, I have only divulged half of it. She and I have a “thing” going on in the morning after her shower. I will not say anymore about that but leave it to you to imagine. Ha! Liz is at the desktop computer and Lynn is on the other laptop so the computer center is back up and running. Liz and Renee asked me yesterday if I knew of any single men so here is your chance, you single guys, to meet two beautiful, charming, cheerful, dedicated nurses. Just let me know and I will be happy to make the introductions. Somehow, I feel like I am digging myself into a hole with them but no matter. They have probably gotten used to me by now. I have spent some time with Mo discussing various things. She teaches, runs a nursing agency, has a charter boat, owns some condos, loves to do the book keeping each day, and is just a pleasure to be with. I can say the same for the whole rest of the team. I thank them daily for all of the help that they give me, all of the smiles that I get from them and for their wonderful work here in Haiti.

I’ll close on that note and head for the breakfast table. Thanks for reading this.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday night 9 PM

Hello. This will be a short note after a long day. We saw 258 patients today even with Jeremy gone and David under the weather with tummy problems. He is much better now so please do not get alarmed. Today's total brings us to 1797 patients so far so I suspect we will reach 1900 after tomorrow. I had projected 1500 and John1200. Dick will be right after all. Darn I hate when that happens. Today went very well and we cleaned off the benches so that no one who needed to be seen was left outside and we even saw a few who really did not need medical attention. They wanted what ever they could get free from us-shoes, clothes, tylenol, etc.
A request for a prayer as my wife is getting some foot surgery tomorrow. Thanks. She had her cataract surgery when I was here in February and it just seem to work out that way. I wonder what will happen when I come back in July. Before and after supper I helped Dick make his first Ebay purchase. We tried to bid on two items and lost the bid at the last second. We finally were able to get what he wanted and he will have it shipped to my home and then shipped to him when he is in Florida later this month.
I saw a pelican today. That is the first one in the 8 missions that I have been here. It so reminded me of my place in Florida. The Scrabble game is going on but I will try to go to sleep in spite of that. I had a rough night with David's unrest so I am tired. More tomorrow!!

Wednesday April 2 early morning

It is 5 AM and here I am typing in the dark again. Our EDH power goes off at 3 AM and we will switch over to the generator when Dick wakes up. So I am sitting here, with the aid of my flashlight and the laptop screen and blogging again. This will be a lot of rambling thoughts that I made some notes on last night. After I signed off last night I made a trip up on the roof for a few minutes of star gazing. It is one of my favorite past times while I am here. There is very little ambient light and the stars glisten in the night. One is able to see the entire sky. As I type, Jeremy is preparing to leave for Port-Au-Prince. He is ready to go home. He has been a great friend, a wonderful caring doctor, a patient teacher, and we have had a good time. Thanks again to Lori F for sharing you man with us. I will miss him
Every morning, as soon as the sun comes up, one can hear sounds from the property to the West of the clinic. The sounds are being made by 1 or 2 men as the try to break up the rocks with a sledge hammer and throw the rocks into the bed of a dump truck. This goes on until almost dark. I am told that the property is being cleared for a resort, at the current rate of rock breaking and the rocky nature of the land it will be many years before the resort is a reality.
I was told by Lynn yesterday that I need to do a better job of proof reading before I post to the blog. I told her that I had heard that request time and again and the advice never seems to sink in. I’ve been thinking about buying a voice recognition software program. I have always been a two fingered typist and it takes quite a bit of time to put the words on the page. I wonder if that is available at Overstock dot com.
Another first on this mission was the arrival of a drug rep. Two men drove up with a van filled with boxes; Dr Nelson had invited them to visit. Papa Dick and I spent about 45 minutes and I will be bringing back samples of their wares for the pharmacy committee to evaluate. I will also be bringing back their current price list so that I can convert it into USD. We did purchase all of the cough syrup that they had on their truck as we had just run out of our supply and every patient we seem to see yesterday had a cough. I ended up splitting the 4 oz bottle into some of the empty bottles that I had left from previous missions. Mark will need to purchase more 2 oz dropper bottles, 2 oz amber grads, and 4 oz amber grads for the May team. We have used the bottles to send home a variety of medications. One of the most interesting is the suspension of Griseofulvin that we must prepare for the children. We only have 500 mg tablets available so we calculate the child’s weight in kilograms, multiply it by the dose per kg, multiply that by a 30 day supply. Then we have the total number of milligrams required. That number is divided by 500 and we have the number of tablets that we now must grind up in a mortar with a pestle for our mixture. Next we add water to make the suspension and dispense it in the dropper bottle with a dropper that puts out a 1 ml dose. Why, you ask, don’t we purchase it already made? The answer is the cost is prohibitive. On previous teams we were able to purchase some short dated bottles at a great price but I have not seen that since.
On every mission we constantly hear the complaint that our patient has run out of medicine and we discovered a new reason yesterday. Several patients have complained that they were told to take the medicine twice a day by the interpreters in the pharmacy when the order was written for once a day. The great folks a triage brought me a sample early yesterday morning and I was easily able to see how that could happen. There was a comic strap that I have not seen for sometime. The character was named POGO and he often would say “We have met the enemy and it is us.” Yes, our poor handwriting and abbreviation shortcuts got us into problems again. One of the physicians, and I will not name names here, had written for the drug to be given 1 q day however the q looked very much like a two so either we could have written for two doses per day on the bag or, more likely, our interpreter, who reads the orders off of the dossier and not off of the bag of medications, could have told the patient to take it twice. This issue will have to go to the pharmacy committee and the medical advisory committees for discussion. I will be bringing back a copy of the order. I will also be bringing back some of the concerns of this team that they want to address to the medical advisory committee. That will be a longer meeting that the normally long ones that I have attended in the past.
More random thoughts: The suppliers that made the visit had medications from a company in the Dominican Republic so the labels were in Spanish. They did have some horse Viagra available but I told them we did nit have a protocol for that medication. By the way, we did have several requests for Reglan and I am sorry that I did not think to order it.
I may have already told you in a previous blog that I heard from my friend in Malaysia since I have been here. She manages to catch me on line via MSN Messenger. It blows mind that one can talk with someone on the other side of the world from a computer in a third world county.
I seem to have inspired another blog. You can find it at I have enjoyed teasing Davis with it and now my son has written to the author and that caused a red face on David again. Ha! Speaking of my son tonight is his night with the kids so I hope to be on line sometime when they are also on line. Also a note to Liz’s sister: thanks for the ammunition. I had a blast with her once I found out her age. Keep up the good work.
For my readers from previous teams, this is my scruffy period when I do not tae time to shave but home is coming soon so it is off with the scruffy today, sometime or another.
Another important fact is that beet potato salad is great but it goes in red and exits at the same color. Nuff said there.
We will run out of Ivermectin today. I want to refer you to Diana’s blog ( to read the song that I first hear from Dt. Bill about Ivermectin. We have exceeded the 1200 patient level that was predicted so now we will do the best that we can. We are also out of stool softeners and I’d recommend that we order a larger supply.
Time for breakfast and then to work so I’ll try to get this posted. Weather is cooler today but the sun is out so that will not last long. Please keep those comments coming.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Late Tuesday evening

Today was a much better day for me in terms of my mood. I have heard from some of my family about health issues at home and problems at home that have been solved or are in the process of being solved. Many of the team is off to the beach now and it will be a little quieter for awhile. Tonight’s dinner will be with beet potato salad and I am a most happy fellow. I always enjoy the beet potato salad and we now make it at home in the states.
Lots of crazy things happened today and I do not know where I should start. Ha, I started this at 5PM and it is now 8: 07 PM and the team meeting is over. I have lots of information for the medical advisory board of FOTCOH. Oh crap, it is now almost 9 PM. We have been talking here at the computer stations and I have not gotten very far with. On top of that my friend from Malaysia has been on MSN Messenger and we have been talking together. It is not that I mean to neglect my blog readers but I am having problems juggling all of the balls I have in the air at this time do I will post this tonight and continue in the morning when it is quiet. Jeremy is off to the airport at 6 so I know I will be awake long before that. I apologize to those who were waiting for some delicious gossip.

Early Tuesday April 1

Good morning. Happy April Fool’s Day! I am reading a new book called “A New Earth” and the chapter I am on discusses ways we gain attention. So today, I will try to pass up the temptation to pull some April Fools jokes on my team mates and do just a little less teasing. The author is trying to get me to let go of my ego and to find my inner Presence. So far, I am enjoying what I have read. My thanks go to Oprah for her recommendation.
The power is back on, using our CAT generator, so I’ll go and make the coffee and come back in a moment. Due to the power fluctuations, I write this in Word and paste it to the blog when I am able to get out on the internet. Ahh, I do enjoy the Haitian bleu coffee here. I slept well after I got to sleep. I quit trying to post pictures around 8 PM and showered. There was a Scrabble game going on in the kitchen so it did not quiet down until the game was over. That gave me time to reflect on the day, say some prayers for the deceased man, for this team, for my family, and for myself. That is a good thing.
A note to Mike: Thanks for the comment on my blog. I had some fun with Renee by telling her it was from a fellow by the name of Dave and she could not figure out who Dave was until she read the comment. I appreciate also your kind words. Also this is a note to Lori Ann, our David’s friend, who was inspired by my blog to create her own blog on the Xanga site. If you want to find the web address, you will need to reach Lori Ann’s comment on my blog. Also a thank you to Victoria, Lori Ann’s daughter for helping this team have so many reading glasses to pass along to the Haitian people. My translator, Belanay, or Oh Baloney as we call to him-Thanks to Sharon D of the January team, just loves to fit people with the glasses. Yes, we have run out of shoes for everyone. We are also, as mentioned previously, out of baby bottles and formula. I alo want to say Thanks to my team mates fan clubs as the reports of my blog are brought to me almost as soon as you send them. It makes the time that I take to write this much more enjoyable when I know that people read it and appreciate it. Today we will be taking our team picture as Jeremy is leaving the team early so he can get to San Antonio and close on the new house that Loti and Jeremy have purchased there in Texas. Note to Lori: Thanks again for sharing Jeremy for this mission. You know that I love to work with the both of you and miss you two in Peoria.
I do want to comment on the weather on this mission. In spite of the rain, this is the most favorable temperatures that I have encountered on the 7 previous missions that I have been on. This past January was hot and sticky and I suspect the upcoming July mission that I will be on next will be hot and muggy as it was last year. By the way, for those new to FOTCOH, we now hold 6 missions (one every other month) to Haiti. You can find more information at if you are ever interested in going on a mission, have someone who would like to go on a mission, or have some extra money to donate to our mission work. We are not a religion based group and so we depend on friends, relatives, and some corporate donations for our existence. The costs to run this organization, hold our clinics, order medications and supplies, run the sponsor child program, and all of the other details runs over $500,000.00 per year. Our fund raising efforts are huge and, I am told by the board of directors, we are seriously in need of cash in order to pay a large bill for medications for the next two clinics. We purchase the bulk of our medications from MAP International ( Among their duties is supplying medications to missionaries like FOTCOH at some very low prices. They too, raise money from donations and we sometimes get extra help with our shipping costs as well as our drug costs from MAP. There is a main office in Holland and we work closely with the wonderful people of MAP in Georgia. So you get to hear my soapbox speech today but I have developed a strong passion for the work that FOTCOH does here in Haiti and a special love for Dick and Barb, the founders. It sounds like every one is up and rolling along. NO reports of mosquito attacks so the coils must be working. I’ll close this and try to post.