I'm not sure how many people actually check into this blog...or why you read the stuff I write. But I'll try to catch you up on the last two days here...and hopefully it will be helpful!
I've been trying to keep an eye on the news as much as possible to have an idea of what's going on with the whole Cholera thing here. What I'm hearing/seeing online is that there are lots of cases of Cholera north of Port Au Prince. I've heard that cases of Cholera have been confirmed found in Port Au Prince, but they originated in the area north where the outbreak started. I have not seen confirmation that there have been any cases originating here. BUT it is hard for me to get my hands on news here. The only news I get here is what I read online, so I only get news when I'm at the house and we have internet and I don't have a bunch of other things going on.
I have a great group of guys that came yesterday with the Haiti Mission Project. It's a group of guys from Canada, and honestly, they're great! I'm so happy to have them here. I didn't know any of them before yesterday, but I think they're fun and they're willing to do just about anything, so that is super helpful. But it also gives me another thing to be busy with, leaving less time to read websites, blogs, and tweets. Feel free to fill me in if you have confirmed information that I don't have!
Yesterday after the team got in, we took some information to the streets. I also took almost all the bar soap I could find out of our store closet and handed it out on the streets, encouraging people to wash hands with soap and water, and to use sanitizer if they have it. We had sheets of paper with instructions in Creole of how to prevent cholera. We asked them if they knew how to read, if they said yes, they got paper. If they said no, myself and one of the nannies explained it to them, and we also shared information on what to do if they got cholera. I spoke a lot of creole. I have been trying to learn the language and it can sometimes be hard. But yesterday I went to the streets armed with the words I needed to know and was somehow able to communicate what needed to happen. It's always a bit humbling to see people get totally excited about having a bar of soap. A bar of soap. Huge smiles. I feel like a jerk for giving out a 50 cent bar of soap and they act like it's such a great gift, and for some people maybe it is.
Most everyone we talked to had heard of Cholera...but most of the time when I said, "if you get cholera..." they would immediately say, "I will die." It was a GREAT teaching moment to be able to tell them that they don't have to die from cholera, that it can be treated and they can treat it easily if they boil water and make their own Oral Rehydration Solution...I taught people how to do that and encouraged them to spread the word.
I told them we would be back when we had more supplies. I can't wait to get more soap and sanitizer later this week to give out. Even if the cholera doesn't spread to where we are, these are still great things for people to have on hand, and knowing how to fight dehydration from intestinal illnesses is always good information here!
It was good to feel helpful. Gertrude took a bunch of flyers I printed up to her church today...she came back empty handed. We're not a big organization, honestly Gertrude and I are only two people, but there are hundreds of people in Haiti who now have the information they need to prevent and treat Cholera. The hundreds we told seem small in comparison to the 9 million here...but we did what we could. And for that I am happy.
Today it was great to worship at the church at Delmas 89. I love it up there. There's something about feeling like you're a part of a church community...walking in, and just worshipping. Then we went to the beach. Having the team here gave a great excuse to head up to the beach for my first time since being here. I love the ocean here...the beauty, the fun, the crazy, the calm. I love it.
I came back tonight to find the work that awaits and the same worries that kept me awake the past couple nights. Trying to remember that I am one person...I don't have to save Haiti, or fix Haiti. I'm here to serve, and I can't serve everyone. I can serve those that I've been given the opportunity to serve. So I'll continue to do what I can, and strive to do just a bit more.
It's raining hard in Port Au Prince tonight. Every time it does this I think about the people living in tents...and tonight i think about the contaminated water in this country and praying that it miraculously stays put, and doesn't infect more people.
Big day of work tomorrow...