I am leaving Port-au-Prince today to go work full time for Much Ministries in Gonaives.
There is a myriad of reasons for my decision but the simplest way to explain it is that I am ready for something new. In Gonaives, I will be doing a lot of teaching: inservices for nurses that work at the hospitals, nurses' aide training, community health teaching, and coordination with the local hospitals to improve the city's health system. Sharing knowledge is far more important long term than just caring for patients, though of course, I will still be doing plenty of that, and I'm excited for the new opportunities.
Last week, I had my final clinic day at Delmas 24. I don't mind closing clinic, but I was loathe to let my blood pressure patients go cold turkey from their meds. It was those sweet little old men and women who found a pastor who will let Lucson and Myrlande, my clinic manager and nurse, do BP checks monthly at his church. I was touched by the attitudes of my patients. No one acted angry at my departure; on the contrary, they all hugged me, thanked me, and promised to pray for me.
The kids in my neighborhood heard the news this week. Frantz put it this way, "Oh no, I won't be able to come annoy Kez anymore!" They are annoying, but I will miss them. The good news is that we are keeping my apartment, my Teacup, so that we have a place to stay when we need to overnight in Port-au-Prince. They will still be able to annoy me from time to time.
Call me a coward but I haven't found the courage to tell most of my ravine families yet. A few of them know because they were working for me at the Teacup and at my clinic, but the majority are still unaware. I've been their personal nurse for 3 and a half years! I don't want to leave them and I'm sure that they don't want me to leave.
I thought I was going to vomit when my youth group turned expectant eyes to me for my "big announcement". But when I told them, they prayed for me, they hugged me and the girls cried in my arms, and then the worst was over. I plan to come to the city 2 weekends a month to be at youth group and Bible study, and I will certainly be at our Zanglais retreat in May. They have grown and frankly, they could lead themselves at this point. If only we hadn't bonded like a family since the earthquake...this would be much easier.