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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday January 31, 2008

I have time for a quick note before breakfast. It was another night of tossing and turning in bed. I will be so glad to get back home for a good night’s sleep. I am not sure if it is the mattress or the location of the bed that causes a problem, but whatever the reason I have not slept well these past few days. I suspect it is the mattress as I have been experiencing some back and shoulder pains during the day. I suppose I could take something for that. Guess I’ll run down to the corner store for some shopping! Speaking of that, I think that the white wine has been a hit with everyone, it is almost gone. I’ve been asked by Larry to purchase rum at the airport for the golf outing. I understand that Eric has the money for it. That will make transferring it to our checked baggage in Ft. Lauderdale interesting.

The night before last, many of the team played a card game called “Spoons”. It was a noisy bunch. Last night they played scrabble and it was a lot quieter. I spent some time on the roof watching the stars and airplanes overhead. I must get a star chart for here. We had another wonderful dinner of spaghetti with both red and white sauce. It seem strange to say that while the news coming from Haiti to the general public is about children eating mud cakes, we are eating so well here. If you ever get the time, reading about the poverty here in Haiti is sad but interesting and the poverty seems to be getting worse as he prices for corn and grain escalates due to the demand for it to make biofuel.

In a little while we will begin our last day of clinic. The gates will close at 10:00 or 10:30 AM and I hope we have the Haitians through the pharmacy line by noon. After lunch, I will have a crew of 6 people taking inventory for me. I use two in each room, one to count and the other to record on the sheets that I have prepared for them. After that, I’ll ask them to cover the inventory and otherwise protect the medications from dust and mice. I’ll tabulate the sheets here so that I can check if there are any strange numbers that occur. Because we have sent many more than 12 patients each day a supply of medications to last until the May clinic, and because of the record number of patients we have seen, I have used much more medications than we had planned for. My hat is off to this crew. Everyone has pitched in and worked very hard. There are VERY FEW sharp words even when you have 16 people giving you orders, as we had last night when the reservoir valve caused water to come shooting out of the holding tank. Poor Dick had just stepped into the shower and everyone was calling for him for help, even on his cell phone.

Breakfast is on so I’ll wrap this up. I am not sure how much more time I will have to write to this blog from Haiti. We have been requested to have our bags and carry on luggage ready for overland transport to the Port-Au-Prince airport by diner time this evening. The airplane we will use to fly to PAP is rather small and cannot accommodate much more than our backpacks. I’ll need to get packed and ready and that might just include my laptop. I will be posting pictures of this mission after I get some at our picture party. I did not bring a camera in this mission. I would not have had time to use it. The weather forecast for Chicago and Peoria for the next few days sounds cold and snowy. As I read it, we can expect to see 7 inches or more of fresh snow. BRRRR! I only hope it does not mess up our flights, especially that last leg from Chicago to Peoria. Larry and Kay are flying from PAP to Miami to St Louis to Chicago and meeting up with us for the last flight into Peoria. They used frequent flyers miles on this trip and their itinerary is different that ours. So food on and I’m out of here. By the way, thanks for reading my blogging.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday afternoon January 30, 2008

Just a few notes before I take my shower. I am really tired tonight. I do not know the patient count today. I hope the providers did not try to get to the 500 patient levels. I know we saw a large number of patients as the pharmacy was busy from start to finish. The rain last night seemed to have triggered a demand for cough syrup which, of course, we are out of. We are at the point where I hesitate to package more medications as I will have to unpack them tomorrow afternoon and inventory them. I will also need to print out the inventory count sheets for the people who will be helping me inventory. I know we treated a bad burn case today and used up the remainder of the hard pain meds. Garron was unable to do surgery today as his Haitian nurse anesthetist had her baby overnight. He had been dreading that event.

I, again, want to compliment my help in the pharmacy. Mary Hedges and Sharon Doran are doing just an OUTSTANDING job. They are even putting up with me. Many of you know just how hard that is to do sometimes-especially when I am tired. I did not sleep well again last night. I will be glad to get back to my own bed. My choice of beds, near the toilet/shower was not a good choice as the activity runs all night long-doors banging, lights coming on, etc. It will be interesting on the March team when there are many less men than women. I have already requested the third floor. I am especially thankful for my tower fan. I know, it is 17 degrees in Peoria as I write this but it is 90 degrees here now.

Not much news from home today. I did hear from my son today. I’m still hoping to hear from others. I understand we will have spaghetti for dinner this evening so I will go and take a shower and relax a bit before dinner. I will try to get more posted a little later. Bill just offered me a glass of wine. AHHH!

Tuesday January 29

It is 5: 15 pm and I am done. I am frightened to know the count but I suspect it was another record day. When the numbers are in I will let you know.
We are starting to run out of some medications. Not my favorite topic. We are out of steroid inhalers. There are some other meds but I will not bother you with them. OOOPs, the EDH electric power went off again and we need to fire ip the generator. Thank you Caterpillar tractor...

Some random thoughts:
This has taken me almost 1 hour as I have been interrupted about 10 times!!

For those of you who have been here will recall our friendly (?)watchdog. Well, Dick managed to awaken him about 12 midnight last night when he switched over from EDH (Electric Department of Haiti) to the generator as EDH had failed again. Any how, the dog was frightened and barked for almost 1/2 hour. Yes, I did not sleep well last night.

My two regular helpers in the pharmacy are doing very fantastic. I just hear we hit 495 patients today. Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think I would be doing drugs with Mary Hedges in Haiti?? Sorry Jay and family. I just had to put that in.
And as for Sharon Doran, I am not sure where to begin and where to end. I am sure her friends and family fully understand my dilemma. She treated me to a cold glass of wine at shift end tonight. She looks out for me.
In that same vein, my good biddies Debi Yandell and Jody & Chip Moodie are such a blessing. As many of you know, I am rather lost with out Donna, my wife, here to watch out for me and they are trying to substitute with scrubs etc.
News from Jane Gray is that she has a better tan than Donna but she misses you tanning with her. Sue Behrens and Kay Shank say hello and tell me every day how much they miss you-as if I don't.
Food has been great. Today's lunch was rice with a black bean sauce. Heavenly!!! Tonight, Larry is serving the Mexican Bomb." I hpe I have enough loperamide.
It is raining outside and the cool small of fresh rain is nice. I am sitting on Raj's throne (his usual internet station) because the air is blowing stronger than in my usual corner.
Carla read what I wrote about her and has approved. A side note to her family, “Thank you” for sharing her with us. She is a WONDERFUL person and such a big help to everyone here. I'll bet you miss her there in Indiana!
The birthday girl is getting quite a tan bt now she is another year older. Dr Wendy has a sun burned back from today. Dr Bill gets tired about 2:30 each day and we can tell by the way we cannot read his handwriting. It is just more to tease him about.

Enough of my rambling, off to the shower, if it is open then supper, the dreaded meeting and bed. We had a new shipment of wine today. Yeah!!! It is POURING down rain right now. Everybody is back from the beach and the rain is blocking the internet so this will have to be posted later.

Itis now 5:30 AM Rained a long time last night. We lost EDH power due to a fuse that blew out on our service outside. The generator ran all night and still going strong. I'l send this off now and write more later.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday January 28, 2008 6 PM

We saw 488 patients today. No wonder I am exhausted. I have had two small glasses of white wine and one beer. Dinner in 1/2 hour and then, a short meeting-I hope, and off to bed. I did not plan to write to the blog tonight but I wanted to share that number with you. I do not know how we are getting through this but I can tell you that my helpers, Mary, Sharon, Carla and Debbie are keeping me sane and on track. Found the 80,000 HCTZ today that I thought were some where or another. Box was turned around with label towards the wall. I am still upset at Lynx Air. Mark and I placed an emergeny order with MAP USA this morning and we hope to have it in Peoria on February 14. The next question is how to get it to Haiti. Any one with any ideas, please shout them out. Time to get out into the cool breeze. I am quite stinky!

Monday morning, January 28, 2008

Hello from Haiti.

It was nice to have a restful day yesterday; I know we all needed it. I spent some time on Saturday night up on the roof. The moon was late in rising and several of us just stretched out as star gazed. It was beautiful. I have got to bring back that star chart so we can tell what we are looking at. I did the same last night, but only for ½ hour.

Up early Sunday morning and we had a nice prayer service on the terrace. Some great readings, some words on the reading by Papa Dick, some great sharing by team members and an agape sharing of wine/water and some bread. After that, we enjoyed a great breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Yum! After that, it was just relaxing. Some team members wandered over to the beach. I took some time and read one of the books that I brought along and I think I even caught a bit of a nap.

Around 2 PM we took to the road and headed for the Cap Lamondue hotel. It was filled with police, probably from Port-Au-Prince who were in town for Carnival. There were also several Haitian families at the pool. The view was as beautiful as ever. For those of you who have been here before, the ship that is stuck on the sand bar and has been there for as long as I can remember has been cannibalized even further and may soon be nothing but a memory. Dinner was typical Haitian. The manager told us that the 7 orders for goat were burned so 7 of us had to make another choice. The food arrived in shifts and most of the entries were cold. My conch ended up to be garlic shrimp. Oh well, It so Haitian!!!

Jacmel was packed with people and we had to divert from our planned route home due to the crowds. I have been riding in the front seat of Son-Son’s tap-tap. It is quite a treat to watch how careful he is with his driving. You would not believe it until you have seen it. People seem to jump out in front of you, cars and motorbikes pass you with a blare of horns in an area where there are on coming cars and trucks. On coming traffic is frequently on your side of the road. There are no lane markings so the road is fare game and not for the faint of heart.

We are expecting that many of our Haitian employees will be hung over today... Boyer stayed out late on Saturday night and was a bit under the weather yesterday. I wonder how he will be today. We have yet to have rain. It got cloudy yesterday while we were at the pool. I know my wife will be thinking that it is always cloudy on the day we go to the pool!

I spent some time talking with Carla on Sunday. She told me she had read my comment about her on this blog. She is a vey caring person with long red hair and her face got red when she told me about the comment. I’ll have to look back to see just what I said. There is more about her to tell. She has had to drop out of the last semester of her nursing school in order to take care of her mother who has been sick. Carla’s family is taking care of her mother in her absence. Carla comes from a small family but very many of her relatives live nearby. Carla’s family runs a printing business in Indiana. She even volunteered to come back on the March trip until I told her the current price for the air fare. I would love to have her along as she is a very big help to me in the pharmacy all the while keeping the lab going, giving the shots, and filing the dossiers for Barb. Unfortunately, she was given a rhum punch drink instead of a fruit punch drink at the hotel and wisely refused it. And Carla did not swim in the ocean or in the pool. I do not want to get her in trouble with her family by reporting otherwise. But it is tempting! Ha.

Today is Beth Kramer’s birthday so there may be another cake for tonight’s meal. Our internet connection is very slow again today. It was like that last night. It starts out fast and then you wait as if it were a dial up connection. It is almost time for breakfast. I have to get Garron’s meds for his surgical patients ready. So, I will close this for another time and try to post it for you.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunday January 26, 2008

Just back from the beach and in need of a shower. We only saw 217 patients today and were done around 12:15 PM. Not bad. I sure have great help from everyone. Ti Moulage beach was crowded with lots of Haitians, UN personnel, and visitors. You can feel the economy is improved. There are now two restaurants on the beach and they were full. We had a problem with the food as Michelle, the lobster man, did not serve us lobster for the beach buffet. He, Dick, and Boyer got in to a heated argument. Otherwise, the fish, rice and beans, fried plantains and the Haitian fish (What kind you ask? They have no idea so fish is fish. Mine had a green tail if hat helps you). Oh yes, and the heads and eyes were still on the fish. Are you still hungry? The fish were also quite full of small bones this time. It was nice to relax and shop. We had over 6 vendors to make our selection from. Yes, Donna, I did not but ANYTHING. Your good buddy, the artist, was so disappointed not to see you. He came up to me right away looking for you! Ha!
So this will be short. I have to help Kay get ready for tomorrows prayer service and several people want to get on the internet. Love from Haiti

Saturday morning January 26

Hello from Haiti!

After a good nights sleep I am not quite as mad as I am sad. Very early yesterday, morning, one of my room mates, Raj. Decided it was time to get up. That woke me up. I waited till Raj finished in the bathroom, and then I got up, washed up, and got dressed. Imagine my surprise when I liked at the clock and it was 3:30 AM. So I lay back down and never did get back to sleep. So last night, after another great meal and our usual meeting, I was in bed by 8:45 PM and feel more rested today.

I know that this clinic, or any clinic for that matter, is not about patient numbers but is about serving those Haitians who come to us for care. FOTCOH has developed a monster in that we have patients returning clinic after clinic for refills of medication who still think they need to be seen by a provider in order to get more medicine. During this particular clinic, we have tried to establish a new procedure where some of our providers do a check on the patients and send them directly to pharmacy for refills and we give them a two clinic supply of medications. This new system is not a big hit with the Haitians as they complain about new problems AFTER they are given their refills. Another important reason is that the next team, for the March mission, has only 15 volunteers. They will have enough on their hands during that mission so we are trying to lighten their burden. Incidentally, I will be returning on that mission as there was no other pharmacist available. We are trying to recruit more pharmacists and we would appreciate help in spreading the word to any other pharmacist you might know. So, as you might suspect, the conversations between my pharmacy interpreters and the patients gets a bit heated and loud. It makes me glad, sometimes, that I do not speak Kreole so I can’t tell what they are calling me!

Back to patient numbers, yesterdays count was 435. Yes, folks, that is not a misprint. I do not believe that I have ever been part of a mission that saw over 400 patients before. In addition, we had a visit from the Haitian Connection people from Peoria who were on their way home to Peoria from working in Bodaire Haiti. That is way up in the mountains near the border of the Dominican Republic. We are getting tight on some medications. This problem with Lynx Air is serious and forces me to be creative and also to say sorry we do not have the medications. Sadly, it is Garron’s surgical meds, some comfort items such as stool softeners and eye drops, some baby vitamins, and some dandruff shampoo (that is a big problem here and the head is usually full of infection).

This morning, I am on the east side of the clinic watching a lot of storm clouds blocking the sunrise and heading this way. We may have rain at the beach this afternoon. We plan to shut down at noon and head for the beach around 1:45. Tomorrow, after a prayer service, a special breakfast, and a little rest, we will head for the pool at the Cap Lamondue Hotel for R & R.

I must say a word about my wonderful helpers this year. I was a bit fearful as the mission approached because my normal helper, Carol Steiner, would not be on this mission. However, Sharon Doran had helped last July and I was sure that Mary Hedges would do well there also. To my most pleasant surprise, they are not only doing well, they are doing SUPER well. We do get help from Carla Haycox, our nursing student who is doing the lab and giving my shots. I keep teasing her that she is doing my wife’s job and she just smiles and nods. Debbie Yandell, on of our triage nurses, also comes to help when triage is done. Chip Moodie and Jane Gray are assisting in pill packing. Oh my, the beautiful sun has burst through the clouds and I know that this will frustrate the English majors, but I had to tell you of it’s beauty.

It is time for breakfast and I MUST get a jump on the day as I left the pharmacy in shambles last night to rush to the internet to find out about my shipments. So I have a mess at the start. Everyone is well here. Garron is another year older, after his birthday party last night, but I will not tell you how old he really is. I am enjoying your comments and would love to hear more from you. I was tickled to death to see a comment from my wife. Thank you dear, very much! Please know that all of you are in our thoughts and prayers!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday afternoon January 25 5:11PM

I am boiling mad. I have just ended another day of over 350 patients-maybe even over 400 and I check my email before dinner-with a glass od cold Sauvignon Blanc wine or two. Incidentally, Jean Michel,one of our main Haitian employees and a Mormon minister, has joined me in hoisting a glass of wine. I nearly dropped the bottle when he asked for it. Ha! Back to the mad. On December 26, I shipped 10 cases of medications to Lynx Air and they got them on January 2 BUT they are still in Fort Lauderdale as they are "backed up" from the holidays. We needed those medications NOW not months later. I wish I were in the States to call them and vent my anger. I would never have dreamed that our meds would be this delayed. You can imagine my tone when I call them next week when I am back in Fort Lauderdale. WE HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER WAY. On the good news side, Dr.. Matha Willi, Dr Patel, Pharmacist Tom Rickey. Sister Rachel Bergschneider and some others stopped by today on their way home from their mission in the Haiti mountains. I ran out of the pharmacy, squirt gun in hand, and shocked everyone as I sprayed Martha with cold water. It was a riot!!! That team had a great mission and it was good to visit with them. It is an early supper tonight so I will stop and continue to boil!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday evening January 23, 2008

It is almost dinner time and I am going to start this now and finish after dinner. I have just had a nice shower, a glass of white wine, a few peanuts, and about ½ hour of just sitting at the end of my work day. Life is good-almost.

We are again experiencing internet problems. After we got out on the net this morning, we again experienced the problem of getting out and seeing the indication that there is a problem with our account. Help is supposed to be on the way, yet tonight. I’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Last night, I joined the boys on the porch about 8 PM and we finally struggled off to bed at 10:30 pm so it was a very short night. To top that off, we smoked a very nice Cuban cigar. I enjoyed the smoke but I can still taste it in my mouth. Last night, I brushed my teeth 3 times and the taste stayed with me. Bet you are laughing at me for that!!

On Tuesday, we did see 317 patients plus about 20 of Garron’s surgical patients. I am not sure, at this moment, the count for today. It was estimated in the millions but we had to cut off the estimator’s beer as it is affecting his estimates. I suspect it will be near to Tuesday’s total
Lots of screaming kids today made for one of the nosier clinics I can remember. So far, the only mosquitoes we encountered were on the bus in Port-Au-Prince. We did see a bat last night. Maybe he is keeping the bugs in check. The entire crew’s health remains great. Debbie’s ankle swells up in the evenings but is down in the morning. Sharon Doran seems to attract insect bites and we are wondering why she is the only one bothered by that. No speculation, please!

We have had interesting cases galore. I hesitate to write about them. I do not want you to worry. I do not want you to think about all of the sickness, stress, and conditions here. We had one small baby with HIV and that was a tear jerker. Today, we had a VERY cute 18 month old girl in the pharmacy line. She has a little backpack, a darling dress, pigtails with bows, and beautiful large brown eyes. Sharon beckoned to the child and she ran into Sharon’s arms. That lasted a short while and when I tried to get a picture; our girl decided that Mom was where she wanted to be. We tried for several minutes before we could get her to look at the camera. We put her down, to fill her order and she promptly decided to come back into the pharmacy and sit right in the middle of the traffic lane. That is like sitting at the center of the busiest intersection in your home town at supper time. The traffic did not bother her at all. She played with her stuffed toy, tried to make eye contact with Sharon, her mother, and even me. That was a real treat. We had several large families today. I think there were about 8 sets of 7 family members. That is a challenge for the pharmacy as well as the interpreters. We were not done tonight until sometime after 5. There was some sort of a crisis involving treatments late in the afternoon that slowed down the providers.

It is now early on Thursday morning so I’ll post this to blogspot. AsI told you earlier, our internet help is on the way and he arrived after supper and gave us the password so that we could log on. It seems that Hughesnet noticed the increased activity on this account and needed to check it out. I will help Dick to store it in a safe place. I need to write more but I want this out for you now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday update January 2008

Tuesday morning January 22

Back again at the computer in the quiet of another morning dawn’s light. I had a restful night’s sleep as I went to bed just after 9 PM for a change. I was very tired after a very busy day here at the clinic.

Fist of all, I can report that my wife had her eye surgery yesterday and it went very well. Papa Dick allowed me to use the cell phone and I was able to call her just as she got back from the hospital. That surprised her very much and relieved my worries here. It seems strange that a cell phone call is the least expensive way to call.

After a great coffee cake breakfast by Larry Shank we began to tackle the task of setting up the clinic. Dr Raj and Sharon Doran helped me at the start and after lunch the rest of the team pitched in to help. We were able to package almost all of the drugs that are pre-packaged as our fast movers by 3:30 PM. In the seven or eight times tat I have been here, I have never been as ready to open as I am this morning. However, we are missing the six cases of product that I shipped out on December 26, 2007 and we will try to contact Lynx Air this morning to see what the problem is. I am very concerned about that.
Many of the team members went to the beach yesterday afternoon for a swim. As usual, I stayed behind to finish up and clean up from our set up. My goodness, that was a lot of up’s. Ha! Later in the afternoon some of the group of us who stayed behind walked up to Son-Son’s bar for an outing. For those of you who have been here before will know that is a rare thing for me to go to Son-Son’s. On my first visit to Haiti and my first trip to Son Son’s I lost the bridge to my glasses in the dirt and never did find it. So I resorted to try to make do by putting a band-aid on my nose so the wire bracket would not hurt as much. I was rescued by a local eye doctor who had come for a visit. He took my glasses back to his office and repaired them for me. So going to Son-Son’s is not among my favorite experiences. This time, we were met by the group who had gone to the beach and we had a nice time. A pick up truck pulled up to the bar, with a load of blancs. Blanc is the name we are given by the Haitians as a team of respect because they do not know your name. The driver of the truck was Michelle. She runs the orphanage nearby and has adopted the child named Cristala Belle. Christala Belle was the baby born in the latrine last July when we were here and we cared for the baby. Michelle will be bringing the baby in for a check up and I am vey happy about that.

Last night’s dinner was chicken pot pie and I managed to wolf down two helpings. I must have been hungry. I realize I forgot to tell you that our supper on Monday was one of my favorites. I enjoy the rice and beans and the tomato-onion sauce that is put over it. We finished up the left-over’s at lunch on Monday. Can you tell that I have not been down to breakfast?

This is quite an experienced team. There are only three people here for their first visit. Dr Wendy, Dr Raj, and Carla, our student nurse are the rookies. However, they have jumped right in to the mix and I know that they will do well. There are no strangers here. Only friends that can take the teasing. With that in mind, I must report that Jodie Moody was the recipient of the “Monkey Butt” award. This was given in recognition of her very bad rash that she acquired in May 2006.

It is time to eat breakfast and get to work. The internet satellite is down so I will not be able to transmit this until later. Darn, we can’t call the cable company to complain because we can’t get a dial tone to an outside line..

Here I am, back at you at noon. The satellite is still not working so that we can get out onto the internet. The lunch time gossip is that we have already let over 200 people through the gate so we will have a big day. The other news report is that there was an accident on the road between Port-Au-Prince and Jacmel last night and three people were killed and an unknown number are injured. As you know, that is the road that we were on the night before. We rode, in fear of such an event the entire route. We are still suffering from the absence of the six cases of medications that I shipped out on December 26 and delivered to Lynx Air in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 2, 2008. We are attempting to contact the people of Lynx Air to get our shipment here. It contains medications for surgery, baby vitamins, and some other very important items. It breaks our hearts to tell the people today that we do not have what they need on hand-especially on the very first day of clinic. We MUST look for other ways to get the medications here in time.

It is humid, warm, and sunny here as I take a lunchtime break. We called back to the November team leader this morning and she was busy shoveling snow off of her driveway. I am very pleased to report that the team is working very well and adjusting to the work load. It is always a little rough on the first day of clinic. The internet is still not up so I’ll get back to my post and publish this later.

Hello again. It is now early Wednesday morning and the internet connection is back. I will catch up with the blog later today but I’ll publish this now. What’s with this snow and cold in Peoria???

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday morning in Haiti January 2008

Hello again from Haiti at sunrise. We have returned to Cyvadier, Haiti for another medical mission to the people of this area. We left Peoria, Illinois at midnight on January 19, 2008. The temperature was 1 or 2 degrees below zero and we were dressed for Haiti and not for Illinois. So we were quite cold as we loaded our 40 or so bags and totes into the bus. The ride to Chicago started out with a lot of excited chatter but it was soon quiet as everyone tried to rest. Surprisingly, I managed to sleep for about 1 hour of the 2 ½ hour trip. At 2:30 we arrived at O’Hare airport. We scrounged up 4 large baggage carts and hauled our freight into the lobby by the international ticket counter. We have learned, over the years, that there is one of the digital scales available for us to check the weight of our bags. Many were overweight and some under weight so we were able to redistribute some items to keep under the 50 pound weight limit. At 4:15 AM, the American Airlines people were ready to check us in and we had all done that and passed through security by 5:00 AM. The wait at the security line was a mere 20 minutes, even at that time of the morning and with 3 lanes open. It is always amazing to see how people act when going through the security check point. Some folks just do not have a clue, will not read the posted signs, and will not listen or follow directions.

After a delicious cup of coffee and a bite of breakfast from the airport MacDonald's we boarded the plane at 5:45 AM and had a pleasant flight to Miami. I managed another hour of sleep during the 3 ½ hour flight. It was raining and 66 degrees in Miami. We arrived at terminal E and our connecting flight was in terminal D so we only had a short tram ride in from terminal E and a short 15 minute walk to terminal D. We normally go out of terminal A which would have been a 20 or 30 minute hike. In terminal D, we were pleasantly surprised to find a Monitor bar. After 2 of those in a row, I needed to find some food. The wait for a Uno’s sausage pizza was almost 20 minutes and I am sorry to report that it was not worth the wait. The pizza was undercooked and quite blah! Our flight left Miami on time at 2 PM, at least, on time out of the gate. We taxied for a very long, slow time and were finally airborne. We arrived in Port-Au-Prince at 4:10 PM, passed through immigration and into baggage claim with our usual speed. Our baggage was coming off the conveyor belt as we entered the baggage claim area and Boyer was there to greet us. After all the bags arrived we were short on of Garron Lukas’s bags. The rest of us breezed through custom with out stopping and made it to the front door. We were halted there for several minutes to collect the group for our assault on the crowd at the airport’s exit doors. We were met bay several our Haitian employees who helped us to keep the crowd of Haitians, who were trying to help us in order to make money, away from our bags. There were two buses waiting for us and, after about 5 minutes of Haitian debate we piled all of our bags and carry-on’s into one bus and all of us into the second bus. Then, much to our frustration, we sat for 1 hour waiting for word from Garron about his bag. As dusk approached the mosquitoes invaded the bus and we spent a lot of time swatting at them. Finally, Garron arrived and we were off at twilight through Port-au-Prince at 6PM. Our trip through Port-Au-Prince was the usual stop and go, strange smells, crowds of people on both sides of the road, and wild and crazy drivers of cars, buses, trucks, and hundreds of motorbikes. The trip over the mountains was uneventful. You get used to the smell of hot transmission fluid and the smell of burning brakes. There was a full moon so some of the scenes of the mountains were picturesque. At about 8:40 PM we arrived in Jacmel and ran into Karnival so we had to back up and try another route through the city. Our driver did pretty well until he neared the iron market and we were stopped by a rah-rah band of about 300 fans. After a short wait, we arrived at the clinic a little after 9 and the bags were right behind us. Supper was at 10 and some relaxing until close to midnight, then it was off to bed for this guy. I awoke at my usual 5:00 AM and that catches you up to this moment.
Today, we will unpack our bags, the many cases of supplies and medications that have arrived, and set up the clinic for our patients. There are about 100 outside at the present and I am sure there will be many more by Tuesday when we will open. This is a very experienced team so we should have a good clinic in terms of serving the Haitian people. Our clinic is fully operational at the present. There are no known water of generator problems. The weather forecast is for humid days with highs of 85 and lows of 73 degrees. That will be a blessing. I am enjoying a beautiful sunrise as I write this on the third floor balcony, in a rocking chair. The goats who live in the property east of us are crying. Last night, one of the baby goats sounded so sad as we sat here and listened to its cries.
Thanks for reading this blog. Please keep us in your prayers as we are praying for you at each meal and through out the days. As always, your comments are welcome. Bonde bene ou!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January mission to Haiti soon.

Heello from sunny Florida. I am here resting up for the next mission to Haiti with The Friends of The Children of Haiti ( We leave late Saturday night, January 19 and will return on Friday evening, February 1. This years team is made op with many experienced members and some new ones also. I will miss my wife this time, as she has elected to stay in Peoria, especially since I'll be making 3 missions in 2008. I believe that I have shipped all of the medications that we will need for this mission. I will have to carry in some supplies, however that I just realized that I had not sent. I'm looking forward to another great mission. I do enjoy my work in Haiti and I do believe we are making a difference in the lives of many people there. I will try to post to this blog on a daily basis-depending on how tired I am at the end of the day.