Duane, Evert and I left for the first trip to Haiti since the middle of February. We talk about our trips there always being an adventure, sure enough our adventure this time started on Saturday morning leaving Miami. Of course there are all the Covid precautions that must be followed… so after boarding the plane which was completely full, not an empty seat. We were informed the plane was overweight, so we sat while they ran the engines for a time to burn fuel, then must of thought more needed to be removed so they literally drove the plane around the airport. That must not of worked to their satisfaction so we returned to the terminal to remove four passengers, The process of asking for volunteers, to paying people to get off, was stressful for all. There were a bit of chuckles as four small people left the plane. Guess what….. now we don’t have enough fuel for the trip, so we wait for fuel. It just kept getting better, we are then informed that we needed new pilots because they will run out of time they can fly, so we wait… Finally leaving two and a half hours late. We arrive in Port Au Prince after five hours sitting like sardines, shoulder to shoulder, so the logic of loading row by row to maintain social distancing made all kinds of sense. Well it continues… because of all the unrest in Haiti, we have been flying to Cayes. Our pilot had left to fly someone else by the time we got to that terminal. We realized that there is no night flying in Haiti our time to get on a plane and not have to find somewhere to send the night in port, was pretty short. We were assured the plane would be back and we would get to Cayes (the pilot would have to stay in Cayes and fly back in the morning). The plane will be here in 5 minutes, a little fuel and you will be on your way. Yea, right we thought. We were happy to see the plane land a few minutes later. Guess what they couldn’t find the fuel truck, now there was a little panic…. After a couple minutes, here it came from the international terminal, we might just make it. Not yet, they could not get it to pump fuel, at one point two men were under the truck trying…. After a few minutes, we saw the hose just and fuel flowed. We ended up landing in Cayes a little past dusk. So much for a easy short travel day.. Evert did enjoy being able to fly the plane most of the way….
We haven’t been able to get to Haiti for over 6 months, so we were very happy with the condition of the hospital; there is a growing pride in the Mission at CSL. This is a little of the fruit of several years of trying to cultivate that attitude. As a whole they have done a very good job during this trying time. We stayed open during this whole Covid time. When a lot of services were not available, our staff showed up and served the people. We are so Thankful to them.
Dr William is back after almost 6 years doing his Surgical residency, ( he needs to complete a research project by the end of the year) everyone is excited to have him back. We are excited to be able to offer services we couldn’t before. He will be putting a lot of focus on training. We are looking forward to lot of changes in how we operate.
We must acknowledge the staff that has had to handle additional work load during this time. Dr. Moise and Welser have handled the bulk of the load… Thank You.
Duane, Evert and our Haitian construction team were very busy preparing for several work teams who will be coming to CSL in the next 4 months, to remodel our Dental building into offices for the USAID program, Replace and reinforce the roof on the in-patient area to support future Solar panels, replace most if not all the doors in the whole facility with steel ones. (Despite our efforts to control the termites they have had a feast on a lot of the door jambs.) and to prepare the electric supply for Solar system as well. It was HOT, it took a toll on them.. Of course the list of normal repairs was large and was worked on everyday as well.
The week was filled with meetings discussing many aspects of the Ministry. Our goal is that everyone who enters our gates will see and hear the good news. We continue to encourage our staff to show that love. In a country where life is as hard as it is in Haiti, we are encouraged with the progress being made.
Times are always hard in Haiti, but they are extremely hard now. We are seeing an increasing need for use of our Poor fund. We appreciate all of you who support the work we do in Haiti, and hope you continue.
Thanks for your support.
Dan, Duane and Evert