The work at Sherrie's school and orphanage, my jumping board for the medical rounds in the ravine, continues. Recent developments that make me very happy include the building of new cupboards with lots and lots of shelves to stock my pharmacy. Sherrie has also hosted several medically trained visitors recently who have organized and re-organized the meds, removing the ones that are expired and grouping meds according to type. Although this makes it hard for me to find meds because the stocking system changes so frequently, I really appreciate it because I simply don't have the time to do it myself.
Construction has been finished on the main 2 school buildings and just this week, they broke ground on foundations for the third building that will include more classrooms, the office, and a separate clinic and pharmacy for me. No longer will my meds share space with the office and kitchen!
In addition to the 27 Gonaives orphans who live at Sherrie's, there is now a number of local children and school children at the orphanage. Some were malnourished, a few came from abusive situations, and several were abandonned. It's odd to see toddlers and babies like Magdala (Nadege), Vidlon, and Kervenson playing happily all over a construction site. But the nannies and older children keep careful watch of them. And honestly, there's no harm in learning how to drive a wheelbarrow at a very young age!
The older children, especially the boys, help with all of the day-to-day operations at the orphanage and school. They are learning carpentry skills under Wisnal, my community health worker, and making the benches and tables for the school. They help mix concrete and move supplies, clean the yard and care for the dogs, translate for medical teams and help the cooks make meals for visitors.
It never ceases to amaze me to see how those kids are growing up. I first met them one day after they got rescued from the 2008 floods in Gonaives; they had spent 2 days on a tiny tool shed roof while the floodwaters raged around them and then a week in a hotel room living on flour and water. But here they are, nearly fluent in English, muscling their way through 2 grades of school a year, becoming young men and women who can handle responsability. It's beautiful!