Monday, March 28, 2011

Callebasse, markets and rainstorms in Haiti

Today the day started extra early.  Alarms off at 6am.  Sitting outside waiting for vans at 6:30 AM.  6 of us drove up the mountains to a town just outside of Port au Prince called Callebasse (pronounced Cal-Bus).  The plans for the day were a little up in the air with a gas strike going on it the city.  We weren't sure if translators would show up.  We weren't sure if drivers would be able to drive.  Also weren't sure if there would be any unrest with a van full of white people driving through the city when all the "tap taps" were on strike.  But it's 8pm and we are home safe after an eventful day.  We saw 103 patients in the clinic today.  We didn't have very many antibiotics so mostly it was giving tylenol, ibuprofen and topical creams. 

We have had rain storms each night which bring a great breeze to our 3rd floor sauna room.  My thermometer on Sunday said it was 101 degrees in my room.  Today it was 96 degrees and felt significantly cooler. HA!  The mosquitos are biting and I've got a more than a few to show.  I think I should spray down my mosquito netting, but I can't bring myself to put on repellant after showering and before going to bed so I can't complain.  I took my hand at the markets today.  After 4 years of coming to Haiti, I shouldn't surprised by how the guys hound you to come look at their products.  I hate shopping in America.  Shopping in Haiti on the streets is a whole different experience.  After 10 mins I was done.  Yup, I have about the same attention span in America.  I purchased a statue of the "freedom slave" for a previous volunteer in haiti having buyers remorse from not buying it while here.  I bartered from $25 down to $10.  Pretty proud of my efforts. 
Church yesterday was incredible.  I didn't understand a single thing that was said (I don't speak french or creole.  Also, the speakers didn't have a mircophone so anyone at the back of the chapel couldn't hear anything), but I was impressed by the number of members at church, the spirit that was present, the number of men wearing white shirts and ties passing the sacrament and how quiet the kids were during the meeting.  We had 4 kiddos sitting with us on our pew and I was sitting next to a guy that was baptized 3 months ago after meeting the missionaries.  In his own words he said--I was just searching for something more in life and was so ready to meet the missionaries.  I love hearing stories like that. 

Enjoy the pictures below.  Let me know if you have any questions that I'm not answering.  There is no possible way to explain everything I am seeing or experiencing while here in Haiti.  All I can say is I love coming back.  It feels just like home. 
Goiter on a patient at the clinic
Angioedema on a child at the clinic.  I wasn't triaging so I don't know the cause.  I was working in pharmacy and he said I could take a photo.  I hope the benadryl helps!

I'm really not a giant, but I look that way next to this sweet woman

This is a view of the terraced mountainside.  The sky was so blue today.  The hills look greener than I remember in the past.  It was beautiful to be up above the city noise and traffic of Port au Prince up in Callebasse.
Dillon.  cute Dillon.  Too bad I can't take him home with me. 
Traditionally Sunday night dinner is at the Montana.  It was destroyed in the earthquake but we drove up there to get drinks and enjoy the view and sunset.  This is me with Katie--my best traveling companion and best house mate :)
I snapped this photo.  I just think she looks so beautiful.


  1. For being the tiny little woman that you are, you really do look like a giant in that picture. :) Oh, and that sweet baby! He's beautiful!

  2. Em,
    Awesome pics! I'm glad you got to go back to Haiti. You do such a great job down there! Be safe!