I realize that my blog can be a bit confusing with all the people and places I refer to, so here is a quick summary of my life.
My real name is Keziah but everyone calls me Kez. I grew up in Boston and attended nursing school at Northeastern University from 2003-2008. In 2007, I lived in Haiti for the first time, a 5 month internship at an orphanage called Hope for the Children of Haiti (HFC). I mentored the 60 teens there, learned Creole and fell in love with working in Haiti. Back in the US for my last year of college, I traveled to Haiti 4 times, visiting different sites and looking for a more medical place to work. During the summers, I started working at Chop Point camp in Maine, first as a counselor and then as the nurse, a job which I’ve done for 5 years now and which I truly cherish.
The HFC girls
My Chop Point mini-family
When I graduated in 2008, I moved to Dorothy’s, a home for malnourished infant and toddlers, specifically my little AIDS baby, Johnny J. I worked several days a week with an American PA who taught me much of what I know today, I started to lead youth group at church, and I began doing the Ravine. The Ravine is a project started by Sherrie Fausey, an American who runs an English school for impoverished children in a ghetto of Delmas 31. She wanted the children coming into school to have the best possible brain development which means good medical care as babies. So she has a medical check-up program which I have been running for her since 2008 with a community health worked named Wisnal. That year, I started traveling periodically to Gonaives to do clinics and met the Brooks, the family who founded Much Ministries, my current affiliation. I made my first connection with the US military when the USNS Comfort came to Haiti in the spring of 2009 and I got involved at QCS, an upper class school where I occasionally substitute taught.
Me, Johnny J and other kids at Dorothy's
Working in the Ravine
My first trip to Gonaives
In 2009, I moved into the Shoebox (my apartment) on Delmas 91 and started working for Angel Missions Haiti. I continued the Ravine but also started doing medical visas for AMH, hosting medical teams, coordinating medical training exercises for the US military, and running a small clinic on Delmas 24. I grew more involved with the youth group, partnering with an American named Marc. I bonded with the little kids in Delmas 91, especially a little boy named Frantz. And I got to know my neighbors at St Joseph’s, a guest house and boys’ home directed by Bill Nathan, a young Haitian who is also on the AMH board and who became a good friend.
The roof at St. Joseph's before the earthquake
Marc and youth
On January 12th, 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti, killing an estimated 300,000 people, including over a dozen of my patients and Haitian acquaintances. St. Joseph’s was destroyed, nearly killing Bill, and damaging my Shoebox on the way down. My life became a movie-esque nightmare as I took care of victims and tried to obtain provisions for my community, Dorothy’s, and other friends. Things progressively returned to normal and I spent the rest of 2010 and the spring of 2011 working for AMH with a young woman named Sendhie and a man named Edjour. In June 2011, I resigned from my position at AMH and came under Much Ministries.
So here I am, back in Haiti in the fall of 2011, living in the Teacup (my new apartment), still doing the Ravine, the clinic at Delmas 24, and the youth group. I am also going to be teaching an ESL class, traveling to Gonaives whenever I can, and caring for the needs of the tent city where my Delmas 91 neighbors have been living since the quake.
And that is Kez’s Haiti life in a nutshell.