it has been a long time since i blogged!
i haven't had internet for...months.
one day that will be remedied. i would like to blog more often.
so...i am sitting at teh airport in fort lauderdale. on my way to el paso for a few days, to visit and take care of stuff like relicensing, renewing car registration, etc...then headed to NC for thanksgiving and the whole month of december!!! i have been looking forward to this time off for months. although as the time got closer, i also felt apprehensive about leaving haiti, especially about being separated from blada for 6 weeks. but, this is important and i will be back soon.
so looking forward to the holidays in NC! seeing my family and friends!
let's see...yes, cholera is in hinche; i don't know how many people have died there yet, but they've probably seen a few hundred cases there (in hinche) already...it's all over the radio...people are pissed because it most likely came from the UN, who they kind of resent anyway, fand yes there have been riots...nothing severe in hinche, yet...some throwing of bottles and burning of tires on the street...some people kind of joke about cholera...the cholera handshake (touching elbows)...people who sell candy in the market, calling out that the candy is good for the prevention of cholera...stuff like that.
this year has been relentless for haiti.
blada and i have been camping out at the new house for the past month. it is going to be really nice, once it's all set up. it will be where we live, plus where the midwife volunteers stay, plus probably 2 students from port au prince will live there, plus this canadian midwife and her haitian partner...they are coming in april...everyone was in hinche this past week for graduation...yes, graduation was special. i even got up and did an improvised speech in creole. everyone was really happy that i spoke in creole, even if it wasn't totally fluid and perfect. i took my time, paused before i thought of what to say, and just basically tried to express my appreciation for being part of this project. it was good. i have a video of the speech...if i could ever upload videos to FB...
the canadian midwife coming in april, i really like her. she will be helping marthonie and i with curriculum development and classes. i am really excited that she is coming; they are definetly cool. her partner is super into organic farming, and is planning for us to have lots of gardens. i feel like i will be returning to a home that is nourishing for me. having this midwife there, who seems like a kindred spirit, and having gardens, compost...imagine! it's also really exciting because blada and i will be able to learn alot about growing food in haiti. a very useful skill!!!
i am returning to hinche on january 3rd. the new class will start jan 10th.
we had graduation on the 14th. it was really great. really enjoyable. it was so good to have several days of fellowship with nadene and steve, the directors of midwives for haiti (nadene is also the founder). they are so, so appreciative of all of our work in haiti, all of us, and they are so heartfelt, just really great people. each time i see them i like them more and am more excited about working in their organization.
there is still alot to be done in the house, but it is starting to happen. blada and i have been living there well, it has gotten better and better. we pump all of the water we use; there's no electricity yet, so we use an oil lamp; and we cook on an old kerosene stove that makes lots of smoke. fun, and funny. every day, we make basically the same thing: salad (grated beet, onion, garlic, avocado, cabbage...) and boiled maniok (yucca) and/or green bananas, pumpkin, potatoes, malanga (another root vegetable), yam...we have been making these fresh beans too...we eat really well. we could be eating white rice 2 times a day.
we did interviews for the new class each morning for the 3 days following graduation. we saw 35 people! one crazy lady, who didn't pass--she was there bright and early, and met us outside the hospital, before we even started.
we definetly have an apparantly excellent group of new students. the majority of them seemed to have a bright interest in midwifery, and a tendency towards compassion. yes! that will make my job easier. we had this one question that we asked all of them, that embodies many other questions: imagine you have a 14 or 15 year old patient, who is in labor, and is out of her mind, screaming, writhing around, really scared. won't let anyone do an IV or vaginal exam or anything. what do you do for her? how do you help her? well, some people answered that they would take her blood pressure and give her an injection. some people added that if she wasn't able to birth and needed a c/s, they would call the Dr in. the response we were looking for was that they would show her compassion. some people said that they would massage her, some people said that they would stay by her side and talk to her. well, about 5 people said that if they had another person there with them, they would have that person HOLD HER DOWN, while they did whatever care was necessary. and that if they were alone, they would TIE HER DOWN to the bed, and then do whatever care was necessary. well, we were appauled by the first few responses like this, and then after 4 or 5, we realized that this is what these ladies have seen done to people, when they were in school and did their hospital rotation in maternity. we realized that we can't hold this against them 100%. they don't know. this is literally what they have seen. one person even started out answering the question well, saying she would massage the girl and talk to her, but then ended by saying that if she had to, she would tie her down. well, guess what. she ended up in out "possible candidates" list, and we ended up choosing her for the class!!! it's funny to me. it will all be fine, as long as people are open. she seemed open to us.
so, it was a sad goodbye with blada this morning. he accompanied me to port au prince yesterday, and we spent the night there at my friend beth's house. this morning they brought me to the airport. it's harder for him because he will be in the same place, and i am in a different place, with lots of people, and lots of activity.
so...ok, i will prob start blogging again in january, once the new class starts...love all of you guys! thanks for your continued interest!