Well, maybe that applies more to the Donkey than friends. Karen told me Sunday afternoon that it was hotter and sweatier in Grand Rapids than here, where we have had some decent breezes and I am loving it. Duane looks ok, but son Mike, son in law Josh and 2 grandsons are a bit redder than they might like due to the sun. They have been working on moving the fence back a ways as someday, the government has plans to widen the road by the hospital and wanted us to move the fence back. I think they have that pretty much done except for what the Haitian men will do in the next couple of weeks to secure the fence bottom to the ground again. They are adding a roof by the Community Health (vaccinations, other USAID programs) building. Things seem to be progressing well for them as they leave Thursday morning back for the US.
Mike Ver Kaik is quite adept at mechanical things, such as car repairs, so he will take the Kia to Rod and Debbie’s tomorrow to replace the rear brakes and a few other items, as they have a real repair shop and likely more tools than we do. He also is good at making meals and we don’t suffer for our combined night meals. Last night we were doing the dishes together and I was finishing running my antibiotic in the self contained bulb and his curiosity got the better of him. He took the empty system apart with a serrated kitchen knife to figure out how it worked, it was a bit of a surprise to both of us how the rather simple mechanism works so very well.
Dave Weener, Kurt Kooienga and I came on Saturday and will leave next Saturday. We had a smooth trip in, both flights arrived early so we could truck and make it to our gate in Philadelphia despite the tight connection. It is getting very difficult to find a flight that goes all the way through on one day, as I need to keep my TPN (my “lunch”) cold and is reasonably affordable, etc. As the summer flights are always packed with missions teams from churches, etc, we expect that during that season, but I have been working on September and October and not getting much cooperation there either. I did email the airlines to ask them why they are getting rid of so many flights and got the standard answer that they constantly review finances and reduce flights to areas that are not profitable. Understandable but a bit discouraging for our plans.
Dave and Kurt are working with Caleb in construction, so he arranged for us to come in their vehicle. I thought it was their pickup, so when no one appeared to pick us up, I wandered the length of the rather large parking lot (compared to the volume run through Port au Prince airport), but couldn’t find Caleb’s truck. It appears that Jean Eddy had been sitting on the ground as we were late leaving Miami due to a thunderstorm holding up the works and missed us in the sea of white faces passing through. Fortunately, I have a number of acquaintances at the airport over the years and could borrow a phone and call Rod who made connections and we were on our way. Caleb had sent their car instead of the truck, a lot more nondescript and I went by it twice as didn’t have that vehicle as well ingrained in my mind, even if I was looking for the car, which I wasn’t. I certainly would not want to come to Haiti without connections!
Duane and company spent the weekend at Rod and Debbie’s, so I eating alone and was preparing my breakfast Sunday morning. Admittedly, my mind works best later in the day, but I was going to fry some eggs. We had some left over from last month and I thought I would use the older ones first. Allegedly, unwashed eggs don’t need to be refrigerated? Since undergoing chemotherapy, I often have some nausea in the morning and try to carefully fight it. The 3rd egg was a half grown chick that had died and rotted and I ended up tossing the entire 3 that I was preparing as the stench filled the room and then some. It also ended up terminating my desire to eat eggs that morning and I ended up eating rice and beans with fish from the night before instead.
Moise and I have been busy keeping the hospital, and specifically, surgery and ultrasound, going. The surgeries went well today, for which we are thankful. Of interest is that, normally, there are a number of family members hanging around the patient and the hospital, curious as to what is going on. Though we had a goodly number of patients to see and to treat, there was a significant reduction in onlookers. I also heard some noise down in the records room and went to investigate. There was a horde of off duty employees, friends and who knows who all crowded around a TV screen they had wired to the homemade antenna up on the roof, rooting for Brazil in the World Cup. Apparently the government cut off electricity during the soccer matches to punish the people for rioting last week, so we were running our generators to keep the hospital going and they were benefiting from our power supply, It appears the games go on for a while, but, hopefully they don’t all cause as much interest. I suppose, this is some entertainment for a country with so few causes for smiles and joy.
It appears that the Gentamycin is helping fight my strange infection again. It seems that “Rosie,”as we have named this troublesome critter, is back for the third round. We cannot grow it in the lab, so it is somewhat of a guessing game as to what antibiotic to use. I want to get it under control so I can undergo the next cancer treatment on Monday when I get back, as they have strict regulations and I don’t want to get removed from the study. So, would appreciate your prayers for all of the above, both in thanksgiving for His kindness to us as well as asking Him for wisdom, strength and guidance as we serve Him here in warm, comfortable, at least for donkeys, Haiti at Centre de Sante Lumiere.
In His Service,
Ben, Dave, Duane, Josh, Kurt, Michael, Mike, and The Haitian Donkey