by Sarah Robertson
Saturday, February 10, 2018
I can’t remember what day of the week it even is anymore! The days are so busy and full that it’s hard to believe that Saturday is here already! We have a half day of clinic in Seguin before heading down the mountain this afternoon.
Hannah slept with Eby last night on her camp mat on the floor as she wanted to be able to wake him up to check his temperature and offer water. I doubt it was a great nights rest for her, as I well remember sleeping with a toddler!
I heard Hannah get up with Eby several times in the night, but his fever did stay down. He had be awake enough at 2:30 to eat the rest of his eggs and drink some water. I was up for the day a little before five, so I offered to hold Eby while Hannah crawled back into her bed for a short nap. Eby settled down in my arms, and all was quiet in the room. It gave me an opportunity to spend some time in prayer both for this sweet boy and his family as well as my own.
Shortly before 6am., Eby gave a few little burps and gurgles. I knew what was about to transpire as the vomit signals are the same in any language! As a mom to five kids, I just held him so that he wouldn’t get himself all yucky, and waited for him to stop. Hannah hopped up out of bed...that was a short rest...and took Eby while I cleaned up the mess. I’ve never been good with vomit, but I managed not to throw up. Yes, there is a reason I’m not in the medical profession! Eby did not show any other signs of being sick, and perhaps he was just too full from the eggs. While it certainly was not a lot of food for the average American two year old, Eby is very under fed. Perhaps his stomach just couldn’t take all the food that his eyes wanted to eat!
As we were getting ready for the day, the grandma and granddaughter showed up in the doorway. They had walked over from Chota...yes that 1 1/2 hour walk...to see the baby and find out what the plan was for Eby. We invited them to breakfast, and Pastor Kevin explained that while Eby was doing better, he was still very weak. Pastor Kevin explained that Eby could come down the mountain with us, and the medical team would monitor his care. Eby would come back up the mountain on Tuesday, and the grandma could come over to the mission house on Wednesday. She seemed very accepting of this arrangement, and almost happy (I have a hard time reading their expressions sometimes!). We sent them to Chota with a bag of food, and I gave the little girl most of my snacks that I had left from the week. We have plenty of food, and even if I’m a bit hungry, I’m going home in a few days. I have the ability to get plenty of food, and I’ve certainly come to want to look out for this grandma and granddaughter. I did notice that the grandma had on some very well worn tennis shoes today instead of the flip flops.
I feel like most of the team is still dragging a bit today, but we still managed to get the clinic started around 8:30am. When we arrived at the church, Grandpa said that the doors to the church would be shut once the preaching began. He knew that people would keep coming, but our time is limited today. It’s hard to turn people away, but we already had a bunch of people in the church that wanted to come to the clinic!
I made a BUNCH of trips up and down that mountain today. We needed more medicine, we needed water to mix worm slurpies, something needed to be found, etc. I did get in all my steps for the day (13,000) by the time clinic was over. My Fitbit tracks that there are 18 flights of stairs up the hill and back down to clinic! Yay for exercise!
Most of the people that came to clinic today needed vitamins, worm medicine, or pain medicine. We are almost completely out of acid medicine, and Hannah ordered a lot! Kacie did see a man whose iron level was at 5.6! That’s crazy low! In the States a blood transfusion happens at anything under 6! He told Kacie that he felt very weak and tired! Yup, I bet!! Pastor Kevin said that blood transfusions don’t happen in Haiti. He was confident that the hospital\clinic in Cay Jacmel would not be able to do a transfusion unfortunately. The team did what they could which was to give him a bottle of iron, vitamins, and pray fervently!
Hannah saw a little girl that most likely has multiple sclerosis. However even in the States that takes a lot of treatments, appointments, and braces-not really a feasibility here. It’s sad, but ultimately life is in Gods hands. Cory saw a lady who had pulled her own infected tooth and had given herself an infection...um, ouch!!
We wrapped up the clinic around noon, carried all the stuff back up the mission house, and dragged out everything we had. Anything that is left has to be inventoried so Hannah knows what to order for next year. The team also had to decide what medicine to take down the mountain as we have a short clinic after church at Moriah Baptist Church tomorrow. We did see 194 people in today’s half clinic, so we will most likely see over 1,000 people after we have the clinic tomorrow. That’s a lot of worm medicine, vitamins, pain relief pills, and stomach acid medicine that was handed out!
We headed back down the mountain around 1:45pm. Pastor Kevin had said that we needed to be leaving the mission house no later than 2, so for the first time all week we were ahead of schedule! Eby rode in the cab of the dump truck with the driver, the cook, and our Haitian nurse. The rest of us piled in the back of the truck along with the bags, water jugs, jugs for fuel for the generator, and medicine. Emelie always says that the thing to keep in mind about the dump truck is that everyone else looks more comfortable than you! It’s really quite impossible to get comfortable on the back of a dump truck and once you pick a spot, it’s sure to disappear in a few short miles. What I mean is that you’ll pick a spot on top of a bag or suitcase and think to yourself, “this is the spot, I can sit here for several hours and be comfy”. Then the bags shift, someone sits abruptly on your lap, or something falls on your foot. Then you think that the person across from you looks way more comfy than you, but the truth is no one is comfortable...you just have to deal with it! It is what it is, so you might as well be happy about it! We arrived in Cay Jacmel at about 4:45, so it was about a three hour ride. The best part was the warm bread that we got from a road side stand, and I could’ve eaten a lot more of that! Everyone had a layer of dirt and grime coating their skin and hair, but we made it safely. One of our medical bags had fallen off the truck and had been run over. When we picked it up, it smelled like Alcohol and Children's medicine. But nothing could be done at the moment so keep going!
We are staying at the same hotel that we stayed at on Monday night. Cory agreed to switch rooms with Faith, Krissy, and I as our room smelled very strongly of mildew. Then we realized that the air conditioner didn’t work in our room! Oh well, at least Emelie managed to tell the lady at the desk that we would like a fan! But out of all the rooms we have rented, I think only one room has a working air conditioner.
Shortly after we arrived at the hotel, the group that had flown into Port-au-Prince arrived. Tomorrow after the baptism service, this team will head up the mountain to start on construction work. Everyone came down the mountain today as Moriah Baptist Church is having a special service tomorrow at their new building.
After the other people arrived from the airport, we headed to supper. One of Pastor Kevin’s friends from childhood has a restaurant, so we were eating supper there. The food was delicious! We had rice and beans (of course), but also chicken, pasta salad, beets, grilled fish and some type of spicy coleslaw. This is like no other restaurant I’ve every been at. It feels and looks like a tiny house. There is one long table , and we were the only ones at the restaurant. There was one lightbulb hanging for the center or the room, and it was flickering like crazy! The kind of flickering that gives you a headache in about to minutes...praise the Lord for ibuprofen! Eby ate the food like it was going out of style! He had the type of appetite that one would expect from a two year old. He ate with one hand and held on to his plate with the other hand. He would push Hannah’s hand away every time she tried to more his plate. It was great to see him have an appetite. I just wish I could stay long enough to see him get some expression on his face. I’ve never seen him angry, but I’ve never seen him smile or change expression either. He’s like a little depressed old man. I do know that I will continue to pray for this boy as I head home. I don’t know if I will ever see him again, but I can pray that he will grow to love Jesus, and that his grandma and sister will grow in the Lord.
We’ve had a good week. I’ve made some new friendships, strengthened some old ones, and I’ve been encouraged and blessed by the unity and harmony of God’s people working together. As much as I have loved this week and being a part of the team, I’m ready to see my tribe. Eby has stolen a piece of all of our hearts, but I can’t bring him home with me. I do want to hug my own kids a little tighter when I get home. God has been so good to me.
We have a baptism tomorrow, a church service, a church dinner, and a medical clinic. It’s sure to be a full day!