I’m the newbie in Haiti! I’m a pharmacist by profession. It is our 6th day here and we just finished our 4th day of clinic. We served at a village by the name of Bois Blanc. Sounds exotic, right? It is, but not exactly the way you might think! Real nice views for sure, but as I have seen this week, the buildings are a bit basic, being made of stone, some cement, rocks, wood, and branches. Kind of beautiful in their own way! Today’s clinic location was a little different in that the pharmacy department was in a separate building next door to the medical clinic. Our building was raised up from the surrounding court yard with ample room, a nice breeze, and a view. We affectionately called it the “Eagles Nest”. Not too shabby! I guess we were making too much ruckus the first 3 days, so they kicked us out of the main clinic!
Right out of the airport the first thing you notice is the traffic. There were no traffic jams, but just a constant flow of craziness! They have these taxis that look like trucks that have morphed into mini-buses. These “taps-taps” can carry anywhere from just a few passengers to near 30 people. Kind of makes me think of circus clowns coming out of a VW. Also, there are about a million motorcycles that are taking people to school, work or even church. Sort of like Uber in the US. We were so blessed to have 2 of the finest drivers in Haiti, Rob and Lucien. These guys delivered us safely to all our clinic sites, the Village of Hope, and even some shopping areas. Both of them would be phenomenal at the Daytona 500!
The clinics were a piece of God’s art. We would get to the day’s clinic site about 9:00 AM and all our crew would jump out of the van and truck and start to set up, like a finely tuned Ferrari team, except for the rookie-me! It took me a day or so to get used to our pharmacy setup. With the patience of Mark and Brooke, my fellow pharmacists, I was soon enjoying this unique patient- pharmacy environment. It amazed me when I could observe all the units of our mobile medical clinic come alive. First prayer and Bible talk to townspeople and us; then off to triage; then doctors; then Prayer Table, then eyeglasses, if needed; then labs and tests department; and finally pharmacy. The patient care flow worked out well.
The medicines we dispensed were for ailments, diseases, and conditions that are totally preventable. With clean purified water, proper nutrition, and suitable clothing, our pharmacy would not have been nearly as busy. We served on average 200 people per day with about 4 or 5 prescriptions each!
On a personal note: My wife and I have supported various charities for underdeveloped countries, including Haiti. Now I have actually seen what church support can do for Haiti. Every day this week as I interacted with the Haitian people, I was amazed at their spirit, their hard work ethic, their importance of family, and finally their thirst for becoming Christians. Rob and Trish Low, our Haiti Field Directors, are to be praised for their love, organizational skills, and Christian ethic as they minister to these almost forgotten people.
Well, I learned a lot and I’m not a newbie anymore! I’m eagerly anticipating next year’s Medical Mission Trip. Our team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, prayer warriors, interpreters, and drivers will again travel to remote Haitian villages to bring medical and spiritual healing to the beautiful people of Haiti.
With Blessings, George Ternenyi
Holy Spirit, Juno Beach, FL