1 March 2010

We were awakened this morning at 0530 by an aftershock (we found out later that it was a 4.6). The whole building shook like a wave. It was like we were on the high seas. Corey said she thought I fell out of bed because there was a loud noise (like a “thud”) and then the “bed rolled”. But then I grabbed her shoulder…

Julia (NP) and I went to Petit Guinee, a clinic in town. It’s run out of an old strip club on right on the water. All day we were blessed with a cool ocean breeze. The clinic is basically a wide open area and IMC has erected “curtains” (old wool blankets) for some privacy. There were two doctors, Julia, and three RNs – two were dispensing medications and I was working with Dr. Africo taking histories and obtaining vital signs. Halfway through the day my interpreter tried to get me to start acting like a practitioner, but I am not comfortable with diagnosing and I am not sure that I could do it well. I finished the day doing what I started. The clinic opened at 0800 and we were all done seeing patients by 1445. We didn’t leave Petit Guinee until almost 1615 and didn’t arrive back to the guest house (IMC’s headquarters out here) until 1730 after dropping all the staff at their respective homes. After some inventorying at the guest house we headed back to the hotel. Didn’t eat dinner until 2030. So tired…

Some interesting things from today: Almost all the patients had a rash, fever, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, or any combo of those. My translator didn’t seem to understand all of my questions and I felt unable to communicate effectively due to that. Perhaps he made some answers up? I am starting to realize how dirty this place is. In fact, it makes me sick to think about the filth that these people are living in. We passed some of the worst destruction today and tents were set up in the streets (taking up a lane of traffic). Homes were rubble and people were set up right outside their “homes”. I am very “under-learned”. For the first time I have considered getting my NP. It may be more effective internationally.

Jesus, be patient with me as I learn these things you are teaching me. Thank you for this opportunity, no matter how frustrating it can be. Help me to continue to do your work. Help me to be a witness. Amen.

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