We are wrapping up this week of the missions trip with a day of rest and recharge-kinda. The nurses and P.A.s on the medical team decided to take Eby to the clinic here in Cay Jacmel. Perhaps they would have some insight or ability to inform us of something we don’t already know. Eby is improving every day, but his energy is definitely lacking. He’s also very uninterested in life. Nothing really excites him or changes his face into a smile. He does let us know that he’s not interested in taking medicine, but even then he doesn’t really scream or cry. He just kinda whimpers and tries to turn his face away. It’s really sad.
Anyways, off to the hospital we went-another walk! While Eby is very light for a two year old, he does get heavy eventually. Hannah, myself, Debbie Lynne, Faith, Kacie and Eby, arrived at the hospital before the others. Kevin can’t seem to go anywhere without getting distracted by someone who knows him from childhood, knows him now, or someone who is curious about all these white people with a dark Haitian baby!
Hannah was able to figure out enough from the person at the table to get Eby checked in to see the doctor. Or course we didn’t know the moms name, Eby’s date of birth, and a bunch of other questions, but Hannah could at least get Eby’s name on the list. Eby was called into the nurses room before Kevin and the others arrived. The nurse weighed Eby and took his temperature. Keeping in mind that we are at a hospital, I found the way that the nurse took Eby’s weight was interesting. Hannah and Eby stepped on the scale, and then I held Eby while just Hannah stepped on the scale. I mean, it works, but it’s not the way it would’ve happened in the States. I held Eby while the nurse took his temperature. Another mom and child came into the room, and the mom and child stepped on the scale. The mom stepped off and handed her baby to Hannah while she weighed herself. Yes, things are done a bit differently around here! Eby was running a low grade fever, but he’s been doing that off and on for the last few days. After the nurses room, we had to go back in the waiting room and wait our turn for a consultation with the doctor.
Meanwhile the rest of the team showed up which was a good thing because Hannah didn’t think she could manage a conversation in Creole with the doctor! While we were waiting in the waiting room, the lab tech person knew Kevin. Kevin explained that Joe was interested in the lab, so Joe got to have a hand on look at the lab-which didn’t seem to be a lot to see!
Earlier I had walked out of the clinic to see if I could see pastor Kevin and the others coming down the road. Someone recognized me and tried to talk to me, but that didn’t work out! He looked very familiar to me, but I couldn’t place him. And since I don’t know the language, I just kept on walking. However a bit later I realized that I recognized him as the pastor from Chota. He had come down to the clinic with a few people that we had recommended to come to the hospital. I just couldn’t place him since he wasn’t at Chota! The young man who had broken his femur had come down as well as a young woman who has a large lump on the side of her neck. Parakaleo had said that if these two people wanted to get their injuries looked at we would help pay for their care.
We went off to the lab for the next step. I’m not a huge fan of needles and small children, so I didn’t offer to hold Eby. I have memories of when Travis had low iron and sitting in a lab with four kids four years old and under while the lab tech tried to draw blood-no thank you! I did stick around to watch some of the procedure. A few things that I noticed were that the lab tech didn’t wear any gloves or wash his hands first. Then he pulled the alcohol cleansing pad out of a container, used it, and put it back in the container! Hannah said that he used a straight needle on Eby’s arm, but she was impressed as he did get the blood drawn. Joe went to he lab with the lab tech while we waited.
While we were waiting we heard some information about the two people from Chota. The doctor told Kevin that the lady with the lump either has HIV virus or tuberculosis. If it’s HIV the lady would know today, but the test for tuberculosis couldn’t be ready until Wednesday. The young man with the broken femur was told that it was broken in two places. He would need to go to the hospital in Jacmel as the X-ray machine is broken at this hospital.
Joe told Hannah that Eby’s iron levels were low so that might be contributing to his lethargy and lack of interest in life. Eby also needs more protein in his diet, yes- as does the rest of the country! The doctor prescribed some medicine to which most of Kacie and Hannah said “no” to taking. We have medicine for possible infection, and both girls said that they weren’t comfortable in giving cough medicine to a two year old...especially when it came in a bottle without a label or dosing instructions!
Next came the billing part- how much would Eby’s labs and doctor consultation cost? It came to a cost of $6.50 U.S. dollars! While I like the low cost aspect, it’s a little worrisome about all the things that they couldn’t check for in Eby’s blood because they don’t have the proper equipment. It is what is is though!
Pastor Kevin said that we would borrow a dump truck to take the young man from Chota and his mom to the hospital in Jacmel so that the young man can get his leg X-rayed. As we’re getting ready to do that, the doctor remembered that the hospital in Jacmel is closed this week. Say, what?! Yes, apparently there is some type of festival going on this week so the hospital is closed until Friday! Who closes a hospital?! Such is life in Haiti!
It was eventually decided that we would go to Jacmel anyways to eat lunch and so that those who wanted to get souvenirs could do so. We went to a restaurant in Jacmel that the Faldes had been to before. It was a pizzeria place, and those aren’t found very often in Haiti! The owner and her spouse had grown up in Haiti, moved to the States, ran a restaurant for 18 years, and then they moved back to Haiti. The restaurant was very clean and tidy, and the pizza was was good-especially for American pizza in Haiti! Hannah ordered chicken wings for Eby as we weren’t sure that he would be crazy about pizza. He has never seemed to be too delighted with our American snacks. However, he was hungry and he kept eating the pizza as fast as I could cut it...UNTIL the chicken arrived! It was the first time I’ve seen his body shift in focus. He didn’t smile, but he sat up straighter, leaned forward, and reached out his hand for the chicken! He gave me his pizza pieces and started chewing those chicken wings! Eby can clean chicken bones, let me tell you! He eats the whole thing right down to the bone, including the gristle, fat, and tough meat! This child knows that when food is available, he should eat! He is going home in a few days, and I don’t think that food is plentiful at his home. We are going to try to get his family a few chickens for eggs or maybe a goat. The pastor in Chota and Pastor Kevin will work together to figure something out.
After lunch we walked down to the bay in Jacmel. This is the same bay that we can see from the mountain top in Seguin! It’s about 22 miles as the crow flies or a 3.5 hour drive! A few people bought some souvenirs, and then we headed back to the hotel.
Morning would come early for all the team members that are heading back to the States. Some of the team members have a 9:00am flight so we are leaving for the airport at 3:30am. Hannah, Josh, Faith, and I don’t leave until 2:00pm, so we have a while to wait at the airport.
We did sit around the table tonight talking and visting with each other. Hannah gave Eby his medicine and wrote some notes for those that would be continuing with his care. It was a tearful good by for me even though Eby certainly didn’t show any emotion! The team has done everything they can to help give him a boost in growth and a strong chance for survival. Now we must say goodby and continue to trust in the Lord. Even if I never see this sweet boy again, I will never forget him. I wish I could’ve seen him smile and have some life in his eyes, but I can only give him a gentle hug, kiss his sweet cheeks, pray for him, and head home.
We headed back to our rooms to pack our bags, get a few hours of rest, and be ready to leave at 3:30am. This week has been exciting, exhausting, full of adventures and memories, and I am ready to go home! God provided above what I needed for this missions trip, so I was able to leave some money with Pastor Kevin to help cover hospital care for someone, a goat or chicken for Eby’s Family, or whatever the need might be.
I am happy to be headed home to my husband and tribe. We may not have a lot of money by American standards, but we have food on our table, a roof over our heads, a vehicle to drive, hot water, electricity, and so much more! I’m going home with a heart full of thankfulness, a desire to serve God where I am, and a renewed strength and faith in the God that I serve. My heart yearns to return to Haiti next year, but only God knows what a year will bring forth. So for now I will strive to walk in the Spriit, serve where I am, and love God fervently.
God is so good to me. I am so thankful to each of you who prayed for me, financially supported me, helped out with our tribe while I was away, loved on my kids, and encouraged me to go. I am so blessed!
I don’t want to close up these journal entries to Haiti without saying a very special thank you to my husband, Roger. I don’t know of very many men, if any, that would encourage their wife to leave the country on a missions trip for ten days while they stay at home and keep everything running! I am so blessed by Roger’s faithfulness in the little things that are also big things like playing with our kids, working alongside them, taking them to church, having Bible time with them, being an honest and hard worker example to them, and leading by example in their lives. From the bottom of my heart I want to say “thank you” to Roger and “I love you”.
I’m not quite done with theses entries. I have one more coming that will be a follow up on Eby, the boy with the broken femur, and the lady with the lump on her neck. I also have a few funny memories that I want to share, and well as some specific lessons that God taught me.
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