I volunteered to return to Haiti to work on the cholera outbreak in the fall of 2010. I was selected for the January 15 - February 5, 2011 rotation with Project Hope. I had to add a few new vaccinations and a new TB test to my record and take a BLS class and was then ready to go. The assignment was to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in the Artibonite Valley, about 40 crow-flies miles North of Port-au-Prince. I packed for the conditions of that assignment and was on my way early the morning of 1/14 to overnight in Miami and then go to Haiti, and on to the hospital 1/15.

But, as I was settling into my Miami hotel room, I received a phone call from a Project Hope official telling me he had sent me an email setting out a change of mission that had occured that morning (Michal eventually got the email to me via the hotel). The PH official explained that the Hospital had cholera under control but he would like to send me and one other volunteer RN to Cap-Hatien to work with The Missionaries of the Poor mission there. Our assignment was to assess the location for suitability for PH volunteers and need of possible additional PH personnel and to help with the patients and help train the lay care givers. That sounded like an interesting assignment and off we went 1/15 to Northern Haiti. It turned out the mission was cut short, but I don't regret the experience one bit.
MRC cap
Teller County Medical Reserve
Corps Cap arrives in Haiti
Susan, RN cancer care NY,
waits with me for flight to
Salsa Air
Our "Salsa" Air transport North
Leave PAP
Leaving Port-au-Prince
No need to close door
Gate to patient area ahead-
our similar gate off to our left
We arrived during special
ceremony for departing Brother-
in-charge, so we joined in. All in
Later after dinner, got
to room: sink (not potable),
fan, new mosquito net, nice towel.
Terrace view
From room terrace toward
one of two locked gates between
Brothers Mission and Nuns
quarters and school. (Yes, each
night I was told:
;-) "get thee to a Nunnery".)
Each morning the local aids
wash the mattresses
One of the aids helping
bathe an AIDS patient
Dining porch
The dining porch adjoining
the Brother's cloistered area. 5 lay
people dined here while the
Brothers dined inside

The local aids receive a small stipend, rice and other food for their families, and their children are sent to school by the Brothers. (Schools charge a fee.) They are trained in their tasks of bathing and feeding patients and cleaning matresses, bedding, and the facilities by the Brothers. They do a good job. The patients who are able, also assist each other. For example a blind patient and a patient with a mental disability were teamed to help each other. The Brothers are in the patient area 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon - the periods when they are not engaged in spiritual or community management activities. We were required to keep those same, limited, patient contact hours (and that was a bit frustrating).

Ceiling above the lay visitor
dining area. This was once the
stage Pope John Paul II used in
1979 in Shea stadium. This is
the underside of the then stage.
Nun Gate
Gate from Brother's area to Nuns
area and their school for
deaf and dumb children. This is
one of the locked gates I had
to pass thru to get to my room.
We had one set of keys for 3
people, so had to coordinate our
trips back and forth.
Hill homes
View over the wall from
the adult patient grounds to
adjoining homes in Cap Hatien.
Grotto on the patient grounds
Construction of a septic tank to
handle some new expansion.
The Brothers have their own
well and waste disposal in the
Garbage smoke
Smoke from neighbors outside
the compound burning garbage.
The Brothers burn their garbage
Container roof
Brothers constructing a roof
over 3 shipping containers
to increase food storage.
Mark, one of the 3 lay visitors,
works on container roof. He
was also working to establish
a new local school that will
be high tech and bookless. The
school will make use of
Medika Mamba a high nutrition,
locally made food.
Patient gate
Locked gate to the patient
Light pole
On a lighter note:
my favorite lightpole!
Men's area
Men patients' dorm area
Patient porch
Common porch area for adults.
This is used for patient exams,
and treatment; feeding (see
large pot in center); and patient
fresh air and exercise.
Lunch time. These patients,
about 120 adults & 65 children
(in a separate area), are all
without any family or abandoned
by their families
Street scene just outside
Nun's street gate
Back to PAP
Mission done. Heading back
to Port au Prince. Much of
the country is without vegetation