Last week, I drove an hour outside Port-au-Prince with my friend Karen. Our destination was a little village where one of the children we have been following had recently been returned to his biological family. We wanted to check on him to make sure that he was healthy and safe at home.
Getting to the village was like stepping out of Haiti and into sub-Saharan Africa. We couldn't drive all the way to the village, so we parked on the dirt road and walked a half mile past the stream where women were bathing and washing clothes, through the fields of corn, and up to the village center which consisted of a little church, a water pump, and a sort of rotary where tire marks indicated the motorcycle route that passes through the village. As we walked around, I saw small children with red hair, indicative of kwashiorkor, protein deficieny. I saw scabies, infected cuts, and head fungus. When I asked Karen if she had ever considered doing clinics in the village, she blushed. "I was going to ask you if you'd be willing," she said. "But I figured you were too busy."
It's true that both Karen and I are busy, but we will make time. I want to get out to that village once a week and do simple care for the children like I do in the Ravine. One course of vitamins and worm pills would make a world of difference in this community! Thanks to donations from my Army friends, I have nearly all the medications I need to get started; all we are waiting for now is the approval of the town elder. Once he agrees and offers us a location to hold clinic, we will be there. I can't wait!