I played host to a team of 8 people from a hospital in Maine, not far from the summer camp where I work. Added to the Mainers was a couple from Ohio to bulk out the team with a pharmacist and to provide my Shoebox with a handyman.
Big teams mean a lot of logistics - double cars and drivers on most days, a lot of translators, plenty of water, guesthouse reservations far in advance, and the most confusing part, multiple work sites! We were all together for a day clinic at Delmas 24, for the ravine walk, and for a visit to Wings of Hope to see the handicapped kids. On the other days, half the group went to Cite Soleil to see patients while others went to Dorothy's. One afternoon, we ended up at Dr Joey's hospital for more general consultation and for some minor surgery. Another day, part of the group helped out at a feeding program while others went to another clinic site with Dr Joey.
Changing sites every day, sometimes multiple times in a day can be tough on the docs, but it is really tough on the pharmacist. Connie had to pack and repack the meds a million times but she did it with a big smile.
The team did great work. They got Dorothy's older kids to the park for the first time in months. They helped the staff at the Cite Soleil clinic see more than double their usual patient capacity. They fixed my Shoebox up to make it even more home-like. They gave me pointers on a few of my sickest ravine kids. They restocked my medicine shelves. They surgically removed a 6th toe that had been plaguing a friend of mine since childhood. They got me the physicals and referrals that I needed on several medical visa cases. And through it all - the long sweaty days, the dehydration, the sunburns, the constant moving from place to place, even a little Haitian happiness (aka diarrhea) - they remained cheerful and flexible and enthusiastic.
The team made me proud, but my staff of translators made me even more proud! Three of them were new; I met them and trained them last month in anticipation of this team. Three others have been working with me at Delmas 24 since the earthquake and are the apple of my eye. All of them, as well as my drivers Eres and Edjour, kept their smiles on the whole time and made the clinics not only possible but enjoyable. I cannot believe how fortunate I have been to claim this particular staff as my own!
Thanks for the hard work and the good times. See you soon!