The week is almost over, as usual, it seems to fly by. It has been pleasantly warm for a decrepit Haitian Donkey, likely a bit much for his friends. Poor Duane has been sweating as he has so many jobs to do, as usual, they trickle in over the week rather than being organized, as we would like. As mentioned, they got the roof on James’ house, he is scoping out building one for another poor, elderly cleaning lady who has a bunch of losers for children who mooch off her rather than helping her in her later years. She needs to retire, but cannot with no help, so we are hoping that by building this for her, she can retire when she can no longer go on with her cleaning work. We finally got a clear title on her land that her sister donated to her (she lives in the US and Rosanna lived in her sister’s house with a boatload of relatives). The relatives have no respect for Rosanna’s God or her values, once they showed up and the mid thirties daughter said I needed to do an abortion for her. She was rather upset when I told her that I could not do so as a Christian, nor as part of our Christian institution.
I have been running a low grade fever almost daily, despite increasing my daily dose of Levaquin to 750 mg daily from 500 and then up to 1,000. I think I am making a bit of progress, though somedays one wonders. It has encouraged a bit more of the daily diarrhea, from 8 times or so to 12, so hope tomorrow will be manageable. We have managed to do 38 cases, I had some help from Mike working with me every day, as well as Dr. Adult, who had night call, slept for a bit and came up to help us, so we could run two rooms to keep things flowing. We had a number of hysterectomies, a couple with concrete scarring inside so I sweat a ton in those cases. By God’s grace, all went well and we finished the week in decent shape. Mike has enjoyed the abundance of pathology in Haiti, from our Prune Belly Syndrome to the large variety of masses, hernias and pelvic pathology. He spent the whole week working with me, reminiscent of our med school and residency days (he became an internist and I a surgeon, but he has good hands). Plus, he has kept my feet to the fire concerning my struggling health.
The team also put up a bunch of shelving and helped Duane work at supporting an electrical pole that took a major slant with the last windstorm/hurricane winds. He asked if we should call the government electrical company, they might come out in 6 months and maybe get it fixed in a year and I fear it would fall and end our generator power too. So, he and the guys got it supported and stable, thankfully. Jean Eddy went to Port to get an alternator for the truck, he left at 5 am on the bus, just got into Port (at the Fish Market for those who remember the sights and smells) and had to walk all the way to the next taxi stop as the rioters stopped the bus and also the taxis weren’t running. He ended up getting to the Kia sales department, only to find out I hadn’t given him enough money. It has been a while since I bought an alternator, but I asked him how much he thought it would cost, and he thought $300 US would be enough. I gave him $500 to be sure, it was $625 US!!!. Fortunately, he could borrow the $125 from a kind friend and will return it Saturday. However, he feels, and Duane and I agree, that we need to leave early on Saturday to get through the road blocks and riots, even though our plane doesn’t leave til 3:30 and the counter doesn’t open til 11 am and we will be there at 5 am, Lord Willing. He is going to take another missionary from Germany home, so hopefully they can get through the grief. Pray for us all, we will sit on the floor, on our suitcases (full of stuff for Olga and the center) and I will take along plenty of the essentials of life and hope the toilets at least will receive waste, even if they don’t have running water to flush, etc. It may be a long day for all concerned as we wait for the things to open. I have never flown Delta before, but hope that things will work out. Certainly their accommodations in the Port au Prince airport don’t sound as good as American but have not flown anything but American for the 150 trips I have made except once Spirit (that was enough). It is not their fault, but it will be a while so hope we all do well in the waiting game. We hope to get home not too much after midnight?
So, thanks so much for your encouragement and prayers as we head home again from serving Him in Haiti.
In His Service,
Bill, Duane, Jake, Josh, Mike and Nicolas