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Riding home from the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti felt familiar. I recognized the stench of underdevelopment from my trips to Guatemala. The picture on the right depicts the negligence with which so many people treat their environments. It also represents the government that fails to promote its care.
“Party buses” are a more expensive form of public transportation than the “tap-tap” on the right. . Nobody in Haiti seems to have been warned to keep their hands and feet inside while the vehicle is in motion.
Another American intern Sandra slept in the bunk across from mine. a suburban district of Port-au-Prince. The American field director Lizzy sleeps in a single room. . The floor is concrete. There should be gutters to collect rain water for such tasks. so Rosemary throws buckets of soapy water around to wash it. Haitian employees do laundry and cleaning daily.I lived in the guesthouse at the Partners in Development site in Blanchard. There are always many things to be done.
.Behind the corn field is the old “cholera tent. I created record booklets for all participants.” now used for diabetes and hypertension clinics.
.Pouchon. PID’s driver in every sense. lives in this house right on PID grounds.
Medical Center Partners in Development The above right shows the area to the right of the clinic where PID plans to eventually finish building an office extension for the Child Sponsorship Program. .
.ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd I spent many hours reading. stretching. and stargazing on the clinic roof.
She teaches English to prepare PID’s most motivated employees to attend university in the US. .Sandra is from Virginia. She’s also become the group leader for visiting American teams.
or breadfruit. In the picture on the left she is serving Tom Tom. . It has the consistency of raw dough and is served with a salty crab sauce.Lizzy is the field director. She speaks perfect Kreyol and has a year-long contract with PID. a favorite Haitian dish made from lam.
my best Haitian friend.This is Nickenson. Before PID. He helps keep the yard neat. he was an outcast because of a slight physical handicap. . He is very intelligent. This is also why he never went to school.
On the right is Rilbert’s son. Mikayel. playing in my shoes.On the left is my recycling partner. When I first arrived the furnace was full so we burned trash next to it as well as inside. . Rilbert.
. I helped with translating and crowd control.Three medical teams of varying fields of expertise visited while I was at PID. We always did at least one mobile clinic in nearby tent cities.
PID is building homes for seventy-six of these families in the nearby village Canaan.This particular tent city. was a pig farm before the earthquake of 2010. Damien. The Haitian government recently built a wall around the small city to hinder its expansion. .
Marceline. “Tomorrow. was another one of my best Haitian friends. I will bring my notebook. She took lessons with Sandra and loved to practice her English with me.” . The other triage nurse is Suez. one of two triage nurses. I gave Suez English lessons on lighter clinic days. This video is of Suez saying.
Sandra is piloting a child sponsorship subprogram for children in particularly difficult situations. She was terrified of me until I covered her in stickers. Charisemene (in the tub) comes around three times a week for baths and love. Frandeline (right) is the child that my mother now sponsors. A basic sponsorship is $30 a month and helps cover the cost of education. I imitated Sandra’s program with Frandeline. This picture was taken at our second meeting. . Many Haitians start school at age three.
I purchased two dozen to bring home with me. Mme Genoi’s business is making reusable grocery bags (shown on the right) out of old sugar sacs from the Dominican Republic. He knows everyone in town and decides who can most benefit from PID’s programs. .M Genoi is the director of the Child Sponsorship Program. I sold them all one Sunday at church. The proceeds go to the Emergency Medical Fund I created to help patients reach beyond the limits of PID resources.
Partners are of all ages and areas of expertise .
needles. Alternatives are few. nonrecyclable cans. PID buries all noncombustible. etc. this is not a common practice. However. trash is burned. In Haiti.Smokey the Bear has no presence here. .
The city air is nauseating. dogs bite and don’t deserve to eat our trash.One being’s trash is another being’s treasure. To Haitians. Most of what we burn in the founo (furnace) is plastic. .
We sell them for 4 Goudes a pound.We bag recyclable bottles and bring them to a weigh station in downtown Port-auPrince. I painted recycling barrels to remind staff and patients of what to put in them. or the equivalent of $0.10US. .
.There are several schools within walking distance of PID.
The facilities are basic. .
PID holds monthly mobile clinics in this tent city. They are now building their third house in the area. . Canaan. The goal is to eventually provide homes for the entire village.
Is there an easier way to induce a state of despair in a group leader than a tap-tap that doesn’t start? .” literally in pain.Vehicles in Haiti are in a constant state of repair or “anpann.
.I visited the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation for a week with my godfather and his fellow directors.
Houses grow sparse as you ascended the mountain. .
and stomachaches. The most common complaints are headaches and dizziness. The people here in the countryside speak slower. I helped take blood pressures and note complaints to distinguish critical conditions from the average complaint (aka triage). .At the Foundation clinic. Great practice for my Kreyol. heartburn.
.We brought goody bags with beading kits to the girls in an orphanage up the street.
the primary purpose of their trip. six are men. . Ralph (left) is the founder and former director of the Foundation. Haitians on the left are reporting the success of the Foundation’s microfinance program to the new directors. Of the 68 micro-borrowers.The directors allowed me to sit in on meetings. including my godfather. Tom. He has recently passed on these responsibilities to a number of friends. and only two have defaulted.
.Trash and wreckage all the way home. The pollution makes you sick when you hit the city of Karfour at the bottom of the mountain.
Big city streets are lined with open sewers. . Real rivers are in a similar state.
. depending on how you look at it) the daily struggles of the Haitian people.Despite (or because of. their faith in God is interminable.
An amazing country in many ways. Haiti looks up to America. I trash talked America. Most are referred to a hospital. please mail checks made out to PID or Partners in Development to: 55 Market Street. With PID’s support. If you would like to make a donation to the EMF. MA 01938 . which charges fifty percent of the costs of treatment.My Trash Talk is the most significant product so far of my two months in Haiti. death is imminent. a celebrity who is pretty to look at but often thoughtless and addicted to decadence. We were often frustrated by our never-ending privileges as Americans. Almost every night on the clinic roof in Haiti. The EMF covers transporting desperate patients to betterequipped facilities and paying for their treatments. The purpose of my Trash Talk is to inspire everyday Americans to make a difference. Suite 201 Ipswich. People living in extreme poverty have so little that every dollar can make an enormous difference. I established the Emergency Medical Fund for our clinic in Haiti. America could do so much more if greed wasn’t such a prevalent mindset. The idea came one night while Sandra and I were discussing on the roof after dark. Without the financial support of others. PID receives about 20-30 emergency cases each week.
Thank you. .