4 March 2010

Today was just another day at the clinic. It’s pretty sad to be saying “just another day” even though it was so much the same. I felt a little disengaged today – definitely slower in my history taking and more interested in learning the culture. I realized that I was “daydreaming” and tried to refocus. But also I felt like I was going to throw up and have explosive diarrhea, so my mind was elsewhere at times… Yesterday we saw 30 pts; today we saw 61.

We were back at the guest house by 1445 and sometimes I think we aren’t serving much of a purpose at the clinic – the Haitian staff seem to have everything under very good control. But still, we are enjoying ourselves and I am learning so much about the culture and the people.

I consulted my first English speaking patient today. He had lived in Miami 15 years ago. I suppose if any Haitian leaves Haiti, they head primarily to Florida (and mainly Miami). I was amazed at how much easier and harder conversing in English was for me. Easier because we could talk back and forth in English, but harder because I had less time to collect my thoughts in between translations. I also feel that the translators are not very accurate – it is SO true that so much is lost in translation (even with your interpreters!). I didn’t see any babies today – the first of my days at the clinic like that.

On my way back to the guest house I noticed that there was a lot of rebuilding going on. The USAID people were working hard to clean up. There are people setting up a clean water stations right next to our clinic. Today, they set up the “life guard chair” with big black drums. The other day there was a water filtration device sitting outside. It will be interesting to see if its operational tomorrow. I saw children playing today in the streets. It seems like the first time since we’ve been here. Maybe I just haven’t noticed it. Maybe I have been too preoccupied by the destruction. But for whatever reason, it stuck out to me today. It seemed that these people have healed faster than Port-au-Prince and have started to rebuild whatever lives they had before. People are moving on.

I find it interesting that all time is measured by the earthquake. A symptom either started before the earthquake or after the earthquake. I guess this makes a lot of sense.

Jesus, thank you for another day of protection. Thank you for providing for me as I am in need. Thank you for surrounding me with fun and energetic people. Help me to continue to serve you. Help me to be a better witness instead of just keeping my mouth shut. Help me to be a picture of you. It hurts that Christians have such a reputation from Americans. How can I change what my friends think of us? Be with me continually. Be with my family at home. Protect them as well. Thank you for all that you have given me. Guide me in my future decisions. Amen.

*The last picture is of my interpreter, Robi. He is holding a Zanmann leaf. He was telling me that Haitians use it to lower their blood pressure. Apparently they soak it in boiling water and drink the tea.