So...I haven't been able to write for a little while because I haven't had good internet access and time to write. I had to move; I am settling into my new living situation pretty well; it's at a Catholic rectory. I was very sad to leave my new family, the girls, at the orphanage, but this was for the better. And I will visit them. Anyway, things here...they are going OK. It is never easy. But things are easier than when I first arrived. Each day, I am understanding more Creole. I still don't speak it well...but it is coming along slowly. I am collaborating with Marthonie, the Haitian midwife teacher, well. That is nice. We are becoming friends and having a good time together. I have alot to learn from her and vice versa. I enjoy the students. There is alot of beauty and strength that I witness in the people here all the time. But there are also so many challenges. I go up and down with my feelings, with my optimism. Some days I just feel so overwhelmed and hopeless, and then a little while later something happens, usually it is someone reaching out to me with genuine interest, and that lifts me up. The other evening I went walking and I met these 2 17 year old girls on the street and they just took me into their arms and walked around with me, talking to me...like in the moments when I feel the most alone, someone comes along and puts time and interest into communicating with me.
There is alot that I am supposed to do, and I have a hard time seeing how I will do a good job accomplishing it all, although the other American MW's who come down and the directors of MW's for Haiti all think it's so great that I'm here. I am collaborating with Marthonie to create classes that the students need in order to be able to graduate in November. We are reinventing the curriculum basically. That is a huge task. I am helping to orient the American MW's who come to volunteer (every week) and put them into the schedule. Marthonie are making the schedules for classes and clinical time. I will teach some classes and am helping with the students in the hospital. The problem is, in the hospital, there are so many different things happening all the time in the delivery room, that they have never learned continuity of care for the women they care for, and also for me, it feels impossible to really learn how the hospital functions, because 1) there are so many different things happening at once, 2) there is a language barrier, and the charting is hard for me to follow, 3) there is not much organization between the different people working and between the different rooms (antepartum, delivery, postpartum)...also not to mention, there is no running water, hardly any supplies, and no bathrooms at the hospital...so that makes it really hard to clean between clients and also makes it hard to take care of them, keep them drinking water...people come in with nothing...their family has no food or water for them and no money...usually they have to buy meds and IV supplies...so if they have no money...than oh well...it's hard. The instruments don't work, really you wouldn't imagine the conditions that people here work under. In the delivery room, there are women in labor who are witnessing the woman next to them getting a D&C with no anesthesia...(alot of women come in with incomplete abortions and then the doctors extract the rest in order to prevent infection...)MW's for Haiti has brought alot of supplies which everyone uses...we have these 2 small cabinets with the supplies, so it's a total disaster...how can you stock a delivery room with 2 small cabinets?
The environment here, it is harsh. The rains still haven't started yet. I really look forward to them. It is dry, hot, very dusty. The road has lots of motorcycles all the time; there's alot of air pollution, and alot of burning of trash. Motorcycles here are used for taxis. People pile onto them. 3 or 4 people even. Babies, kids. On bikes too. I love seeing the resourcefulness of the people. Economically here, there is hardly any work. People want to work, but there's not auch industry or resources. You can see the mountains all around, which are bald. Flying here and seeing the mountains...it was so sad. Just bald.
I wasn't able to put pictures on my blog yet...I did try...I think I will send a group email to send some pics. I miss everyone and am thankful to be here and to be learning about life in the ways I sought to by coming here, I did want to throw myself into a situation like this in order to see real life, to see how people live in order to have a more realistic perspective of the world, but...it is hard. Even though I know those reasons and am glad to be learning and seeing more things.
So, anyway...thanks to all of you for your love and support...