March 3, 2016
Today we travelled way,way up in the mountains. A town called Trouin (pronounce Twa). The ride up the winding roads was treacherous. We traveled in a closed 4-wheel truck up and an open flat bed down (thank you Daisy “Evel Knievel” Girifalco).
We saw all kinds of patients today. There were lots of pregnant woman and some gorgeous babies. We set up our entire clinic in one room of a church with the eye station outside in a Haitian pergola. We have been consistently seeing fewer patients this year. Our numbers last year were well over 200 patients each day with the finale on Friday of 300 patients. This year we have not seen 200 patients in a day. The numbers have been between 150 and 170 patients treated in a day.
I am a bit of a Pollyanna, but I think things are a bit better this year in Haiti. My first observation is how lush the landscape is. There are all kinds of crops covering the land. There has been rain on a regular basis and the vegetation is plentiful. Last year there was a drought and fruits and vegetables were less abundant. People were working harder for less and it was quantified in the health of the people.
For me, Haiti is a 1st line cause-and-effect country. There is no breathing room for its citizens. This year maybe people live a little easier because they can eat and sell a bit of their crops. This year is a good year. But next year, who knows?? One little stumble and there is nutritional and financial uncertainty. This country makes me cry tears of joy at its beauty and reverence and then weep with sadness over the hardships people must endure just to survive year to year.