Each update made me more and more excited. Sometimes pictures are just not enough. We are building something. It feels like we’re taking something back from the earthquake’s devastation. Putting a foundation down. Literally, a foundation. A footprint that says Team Broken Earth and our amazing supporters like Columbus are here in Haiti to stay. This new building represents such a big part of our aspirations here.
I can’t help but draw similarities between the new building and our teams. Both started from an idea and have grown so far beyond what we expected or hoped.
Our team is now composed of over 500 people from across the country. The building – a discussion with our good friend and tireless supporter, Brendan Paddick – is now up to the second floor.
The team is a cohesive working unit. The building is now a design of working support structures all leaning on each other for support. The team will make an ever-lasting effect on patients… the building, on the face of Haiti.
The teams continue to grow as will the new infrastructure for this country. We can all be proud of that.
Of course it’s business as usual here. Well, Haiti’s version of usual, which means non-stop. The new ER doctor, Brook Saunders, has received his baptism by fire. The surgical team has not stopped with a full day of clinic in two hospitals.
It was good to watch as Dr. Rideout consulted with new patients. They all offered the smiles he’d soon make perfect. And that in turn made us all smile.
Talking to team members last week, it struck me how quickly we all snap back in to our own routines. Work. Family. Sleep. Work. Family. Sleep. It does feels good but more often I think about the work left to do in Haiti.
Last week, Deb Noseworthy did an amazing presentation on her experiences as a physiotherapist with Broken Earth in Haiti. The focus in Haiti has been on emergency services with support services falling short. Deb faced the enormity of challenge with determination and professionalism. She touched a lot of people there.
Also last week, we made some great progress on our clean water initiative for the hospital in Haiti. Our friends at Columbus Communications have been keeping their foot on the pedal and the project’s gaining speed.
Had some good news from the hospital too. They received a solar power set-up and it’s now up and running. Reminded me of the blackout last time we were there. Amazing the things we take for granted. Here’s a place struggling for a regular power source and something that sounds as simple as clean water.
Lots of good momentum though, gotta stay focused on that. Been planning the orthopedics education course for October’s mission. Also started planning the Broken Earth Fun Run with the Running Room as well as a golf tournament with our friends at Glendenning. That’ll be a blast for sure. Stay tuned on that one!
Got a busy week ahead. Looking forward to speaking at the National Radiation Technician Conference as well as the Work Place Health and Safety Conference. Spreading the word on Broken Earth, the amazing team we have and the change we are all determined to make.
Last night was one of those surreal nights here. I’ve heard Haiti often referred to as the “land of a million orphans” but there are moments when the weight of that statement hits you.
Late last night, Mary O’Brien, one of our pediatric nurses and Dr. Melissa Angel ended up treating an abandoned orphan. This little one was obviously terrified but it didn’t take long for her to realize she was safe now. Mary and Melissa comforted her and helped arrange the social work this morning.
Take a moment and go hug your kids.
That’s how the day started.
Another busy day in pediatrics. Leigh Anne and Natalie diligently work away treating a variety of infectious diseases including meningitis. They haven’t stopped yet. It can be a real eye-opener, especially if it’s your first trip. Nurses Carla Pitman and Susan Morgan are in that boat. They’re driven by what they see. This place changes you. Humbles you as to how lucky we are in great north.
Still missing his luggage, Patrick Clarke went all MacGyver on us. He helped fix the ultrasound, the anesthesia machine and the downed CT scan… all with duct tape and some LEGOs. Kidding. Pat-of-all-trades.
Spent part of the afternoon helping to teach Haitian medical students with the local ortho surgeons. These guys will change lives here.
Tomorrow’s gonna be another big day. Thanks to our good friend Brendan Paddick, clean water engineers from Columbus Communications will be doing a site survey at the hospital for us. What a difference that’s gonna make. And tomorrow night the team’s been invited to a BBQ at the Canadian consulate. Nice little break there.
Night’s coming on. It’s tough to think about what lies out beyond the walls of the hospital. Sadly, most nights we have to turn people away because we’re way beyond capacity. You end up feeling a little guilty but that drives you to do that much more the next day.