Oct 10, 2021:
We went to L’Asile Friday and Saturday—three hour drive both ways. Whew!! We all are experiencing the same complaints as the patients: dizzy, no appetite, headache. We realize it’s the heat and not drinking enough!! We saw more of the same issues: lots of cute kids, high blood pressure patients. No one is extremely ill. We came to Mussotte on Thursday, where we stayed high in the mountains overlooking the ocean. It’s very beautiful.
Oct 11, 2021:
Back at Les Calles airport. Flying to PAP then Miami, then LAX! Let’s see what adventures come today! I’ve adopted all of the Haitians’ aches and pains, but also their laughing spirit (probably already had that but I’ve been reminded how important it is!) See u soon! Dokta Susan
Oct 12, 2021:
I’m home safe! I heard about missionaries being kidnapped in PAP yesterday, which is why I specifically only went to Haiti knowing I wouldn’t be driving to/from or through PAP!! Haitians need a special prayer/thought/medication/magic now.
Sooooo. I’ve had quite the airplane escapades! I think I’ve spent more time in airports than actually in Haiti. We had a whirlwind of treating headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, hypertension, diabetes and itch—all of which we started experiencing throughout the week ourselves! LOL! My “twalet” research was very successful, ending with fully flushable toilets—ha!
In Mussotte, I performed minor surgery on a man’s leg. He had a chronic leg ulcer with necrotic skin. The nursing students from Gladys’s school were awesome and so helpful. I actually had a patient in Mussotte who showed up with his medicines, had taken them that morning, and I was able to actually recommend medication adjustment. Usually, they come with nothing and they know nothing—what they’re taking or how long it’s been since last taking them. My mission in Haiti is always to teach the importance of medicine compliance, seeing the doctor before they run out, and bringing their meds to their appointments. Mission accomplished (at least one). This is most likely thanks to Dr. Fan Fan, our local doctor.
On Monday, we left Mussotte at 5:30 a.m. to arrive in Les Calles at 8:00 to make our 10:00 flight on Sunrise Airlines. When we got there, the 8 a.m. flight still hadn’t arrived. Lots of chaos ensued as one can imagine…without air conditioning! Eventually Joel and I got on a flight at 2 p.m., missing the last flight out of PAP. Gladys and Liane came an hour later. Thank goodness there’s a hotel across the street from the airport (the same bubble as before). We got a comfy room, with a/c!! Now waiting for my Spirit flight to Fort Lauderdale. My computer is still dead. I think it’s protesting the humidity. It took Gladys almost five hours to get home from the airport (which is really only a one-hour drive) but traffic is soooo bad in PAP. Plus, there’s always the fear of the bandits hijacking you.
Joel decided to stay with his parents last night (as a surprise), since he hadn’t seen them in over two years. As he left the swanky hotel, he said, “Adios! I’ll see you tomorrow morning!” I was thinking, “I hope that’s not the last time I see him!” It wasn’t. He made it back to the airport—but that’s what it’s like living in a country with no rules, structure, security, paved roads, trash pick-up, 911 system, gas, vaccinations, streetlights, democracy, fair judicial system, police protection, triple A! You’re not sure if or when you are going to see your loved one again. It’s a hard life for sure. We are sooooo lucky to have it all–except quality and compassionate care for those with severe mental health disorders and/or drug addiction. That’s my next mission, yet to be realized. As God/god/goddess is my witness, it will happen soon! And…I’m never flying Sunrise again.