Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Christmas plans

I am leading a team of 10 nursing classmates to Haiti during our Christmas break. I would never have suggested it myself - too many people react to my internship last year by exclaiming, "Haiti? You're crazy!" But my friend, Emily, kept after me until I agreed to make a trip open to our classmates. I was shocked with the number of people who were interested. Apparently, my constant chatter about Haiti and my photos of adorable children had made an impression. So here we are, a team of 11 nursing students, most of whom have never been to a 3rd world country, but all of whom have more than a year's experience working in a variety of medical settings. They are some the best in our class and I am proud to be bringing them to my adoptive homeland.

We arrive in Haiti on the 15th of December, and we'll go straight to Walls International Guesthouse, in Delmas, where we are staying. The next day will be spent at HFC (oh, can that day come any faster!) just meeting the kids and playing around the seminary. On the 17th, we will drive to Grace Health Center in Cazale, about 2 1/2 hours outside Port-au-Prince. For the next 3 days, we will work with the Haitian and American staff there, doing well-baby check-ups, nutrition screening, blood pressure checks, emergency room visits, and pharmacy consults. Of course, doing all that with only me to translate for 10 of them will be very interesting, but we'll make it. We head back to the orphanage on the 22nd. The board has been looking for ways to help the older kids transition into adulthood and careers, so we will do some first aid, CPR, and basic nursing skills training with them. And in the afternoon, we are throwing a Christmas party with stockings, a pageant, decorations, music, dancing, and gifts. The other students in our nursing class at Northeastern University have signed up to sponsor the children for Christmas so that each of them receives a gift of their own this year.

My classmates fly back to America on the 23rd, but I will stay for another week so I can have some quality time with the kids. I have been told by every Haitian I have ever met that the best place in the world to spend Christmas is Haiti. I say, anywhere that those 60 kids are, I'll have a grand old holiday. Nikki will also be there, so the two of us will do all we can to get Bryn acclimated and to get the new English and computer courses under way. With any luck, we'll also have the internet up and running before I leave.

It has been incredible watching God provide for this trip. We have gotten supplies, clothing, and gifts donated in vast quantities from our friends, families, and co-workers. Several Northeastern alumnae, churches, corporations, and parents have donated money to cover our room, board, and transportation while on the island. We've been featured in the university newspaper, we've spoken at former high schools and at youth groups, and by now, everyone I meet seems to already know that I'm on my way to Haiti with 10 friends. I'm still worried about our trip - keeping everyone safe, hydrated, and enjoying themselves - but I keep reminding myself that God has been working miracles for us this far. Why would He stop now?

1 comment:

Angela said...

Nevermind the dreaming of the white Christmas stuff.. make it a Haitian Christmas any year! I wish I could be going with you SO bad but someone needs to stay behind and keep you covered in prayer..right? ;)

I just want to fast forward time and have you there probably almost as much as you want to. I can't wait to follow along and hear all about it.

Just in case I have not reminded you enough (I'm insistant that you remember, you see)... Love on them lots for me too!!!!!!!!!!

Love you,