Sunday, January 9, 2011

Northwest Haiti Plans

Hello everyone, Josh, Alex, and I had a chance to make it to Church this morning at Quisqueya. It was a nice way to start the day. To update you on our mission to the Northwest, we were set to leave Monday morning on our 10 hour trek over the mountain range, but our driver backed out. We have a tap tap (the equivalent of a Haitian covered pickup truck) available to take on the journey, but it is likely not to make it to our destination without complications and at the very least a bottle of ibuprophen. These roads have massive potholes and moguls. They are steep and can only be traveled on a with a 4x4. We've heard that at one point there's even a river to ford. Other than a more reliable vehicle, we've got all the other details squared away... translator, route, etc. Another option... once again, the possibility of taking the UN chopper on Monday has opened up, but the MINUSTAH (Ministry United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) has been sending out warnings that we can likely expect political violence to start tomorrow, Monday morning. This causes problems for two reasons: The UN stops flights when these protests (or manifestations, as they are called here) begin; secondly, if we are going to leave in the morning, it is going to make getting out of the city very difficult and travel through Gonaives (a town halfway between here and our destination) very dangerous considering it is already an unsafe town that some describe as being shrouded in a dark light. That being said, though, I've got contacts there as well, so if something happened we'd be close to help. I'm all about stepping up to the plate, taking some semi-calculated risks and trusting that God's got a plan worked out and trusting it. But, as we are beginning to run low on time, I'm going to have to trust that the work we can do here in Port au Prince will be just as important. I have truly done the footwork here and the fact that we are still getting such resistance in our plans, makes me have to believe it may not actually be what God has planned for us. It just drives me crazy though to know that at this very second, there could be people in this remote area dying from a disease that's very easy to treat because they are potentially being turned away from the local hospital. If we had more time here, I'd be sure to get up there and I would setup a cholera treatment unit (CTU) from scratch, so these people could get the help they need. In the meantime, it looks like we will likely be staying in the capital and get back over to St. Damien's cholera treatment unit. Truly, though, tomorrow's announcement will determine a lot. We may very well all end up on lockdown!


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