home sweet home!

so after another long day of traveling, i finally got home last night around 8. we rode the storm the whole way home from philly! i have never been so happy to see my husband, eat yummy healthy food, and take a LONG HOT shower! i think i lasted until 9:30 before i passed out. after a great night's sleep, i'm starting to process things a bit and going through my pictures (which are on facebook), and hopefully by tonight or tomorrow i'll be able to really talk to people about the trip. one thing i do know....we live in a very wealthy country, and we should all feel blessed to have been born here. i'm thankful today for hot water, a sewage system, and paved roads! and i'd like to go on record to say that i have the best husband in the world, who fully supported me on my trip and cleaned the entire house before i came home! i'm very blessed!


the beginning of the end!

today was our last day in the hospital, and let me tell you...it was FRUSTRATING! i'm actually glad to be coming home! the politics are unreal. there are zero supplies in the OR and the "supply" room is such a mess that i almost had a panic attack going in. there are at least five femur fractures in the ER and clinic, yet there is no way to fix them because they don't have plates or the capability to do a rodding, and all of their external fixator stuff is being used. (sorry for the OR talk for those of you who have no idea what i'm talking about!). we got to the hospital early this morning because wednesday is an ortho day, only to find out that now wednesday is a urology day. this meant nothing for us to do, yet there were tons and tons or ortho patients! so we did an ortho clinic, similar to office hours in the States with the surgeon, and i just got to sit around until 1 in the afternoon. we ended up doing 3 little surgeries in the afternoon, and being back by 4. we were curious, so we found the "depot" where all of the supplies are kept that were donated from the world. there was tons of stuff there, but still not what is needed. the organization is unreal, its so bad, and the government keeps it that way so that they have the power. craziness! but i got to come back to some great conversations with new friends, yummy rice and beans, and a shower.
TOMORROW IS THE BEACH! YAHOO! i wasn't even gonna go, but they kinda strongly encourage it to decompress, and now we really want to go! kinda of a midstep to normalcy! then we leave at 4am friday morning, and i get to snuggle with my dog (and matt) friday night! YAY!
what a crazy experience!


can i get a hal-le-lu-ja!

so day three of this adventure. sunday is a rest day here. well, in haiti, but here to. breakfast is late (8am! and eggs, no porridge!) and the day is lazy, filled with sleep, conversation, sleep, walks, sleep, and the pool. dinner is early (4:30, spaghetti! no haitian food!) and then it's time for chuch. church was interesting, and quite an experience. first of all, its outside under an open pavilion. the worship was incredible. the local community comes, so the first part of worship is in english and stuff i knew, and THEN the haitian guy grabs the mike. first of all, the haitians are dressed to the nines. i'm talking long sleeved shirts and ties, and dresses and heels. he starts singing and talking (VERY loudly, really more like shouting) and sings what really felt like one long song. people are dancing, jumping around, and really getting into it. the rest of the service was skits, dance, songs, like a big youth group convention. then the sermon. everything was translated in creole.so yeah, very interesting. like i told matt, a southern baptist church on steriods!
today we spent part of the day in the clinic getting a little girl with a broken back to take to the hospital for xrays. then i sat with a girl from the camp who most likely has malaria, and is just super sick. we did a few surgeries and made rounds with the haitian orthopedic doc at the hospital, and them came back to camp around 7 tonight. it didn't seem like a lot of work today, but i'm exhausted. i finally got some sun today. 100 degrees everyday, and i'm not getting anything! stupid sunscreen:)
a bunch of people at the camp have been pretty sick with some stomach thing. no one knows where its coming from, but more people get sick everyday. pray i don't get it! i've been using antibacterial stuff like crazy!
new food today: goat. yum!
off to the clinic tomorrow to help see patients...only one surgery to do then i need to keep busy. i'm excited to get a chance to play with the kids!
so i'm going to bed now...plus my enter key keeps sticking and it's getting rather annoying! haha
good night all!


fire and ice

worst moment in my life: 2am, saturday night. woken up by drums and screaming. apparently, voodoo ceremony with infant sacrifice.

one of best moments of my life: 7 hours later, YWAM meeting. worship service with about 30 people singing "open the eyes of my heart" in 4 or 5 different languages, simultaneously


crazy overwhelminglyness

so it's slow, but i am able to sporatically use the internet. it's my second day here yesterday was quite possibly one of the most exhausting day of my life! by the time we got to the base, after not getting picked up at the airport, after hearing nothing but haitian creole, after seeing trash and sewage on the worst kept streets in the world, after seeing people washing clothes in bowls on the side of the road, i had nothing. i couldn't pay attention during the mini orientation, and i felt delirious. it was probably hilarious, watching me attempt to hang a mosquito net in my bunk in a sleepy haze! i did wake with most of it around me...hahaha

haiti is one of the most beautiful places! huge mountains, surrounded by piercing blue ocean. beautiful, kind, smiley people. ADORABLE kids and babies. we went to an orphange yesterday, in between picking people up at the airport (3 teams flew in yesterday), and it was the most heartbreaking, wonderful place ever. there are so many people here, and they are so poor, but they're also so loving and sweet. i just love them. plus, the food is AWESOME...

today we went to st. nicholas hospital and did 5 surgeries. all days or weeks old traumas, and it was culture shock. when we got there, a lady had just come in with a ruptured placenta, and the dead baby was laying on a stand, outside the operating room, unattended, uncovered except for a small blue OR towel. it looked like it was sweetly sleeping. that was my introduction to a haitian hospital. it was quite traumatizing actually. thinking about it makes me want to cry! there were flies on my table, it was about 90 degrees, and i had a random bunch of rusty instruments. the girls opened nothing sterilely, and there were hardly any drapes. however, the 2 surgeons were super nice, and all in all i had a great day. the ER had a huge influx of traumas as we were leaving, so we'll be busy again on monday.

it's hard to process anything here, but the business slows down at night as everyone lays in bed, listening to their iPods or reading. except for the voodoo services. except for the rooster (UGH!). except for the dogs.

welcome to haiti!


the only first there will ever be

a friend recently suggested that i start a blog. i've never even thought of starting a blog, which is pure craziness since i'm a writer at heart and love to type out my thoughts. so here's to a great first (hopefully), and to sticking with something (maybe), and to communicating with the unknown (probably).

on tuesday, i was given the opportunity to go to haiti. for some background, let me explain how my heart has been occupied lately. i lament, on a near daily basis, begging God to give me some opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. i work in healthcare, but it isn't as fulfilling as i thought it might be. my dream job would be to work for some great humanitarian organization, saving people all over the world. like i said, "dream" job! ANYWAY, i stumbled upon this opportunity to do a medical mission trip with one of the surgeons i work with. did i mention that i leave on friday?? yeah, i only have a week and a half to get all of the good stuff done, like packing, and shots, and get a ticket, and.............

so all day tuesday i was deliriously giddy. it's what i've been praying for, right? THEN...i walked to class on tuesday night and it hit me. i am going to a third-world, disaster and disease ridden country in less than two weeks! it's not even enough time to mentally prepare myself. i really psyched myself out. then i remembered. i've been begging God for this. He finally gave it to me.

AND i'm going to south africa on another mission trip in August!

here's to embracing the unknown!