Yesterday morning as a group we woke and prepared for a long day. All of our supplies and medicines concentrated down to only what was absolutely necessary ¬†for the clinic up the mountain we loaded up everything in the back of the truck.
Check out the handy bag holders/weights we picked up along the way.
After an hour and a half drive we reached the the bottom of the mountain.
The children from the school met us to help carry our bags.
To say this hike is steep, and brutal to a seasoned athlete is putting it mildly. It is 2-3 miles straight up the mountain. The views are incredible, still they do not match the smiles of the children. Once we arrived we were welcomed though the gates of the school, and chatted with children, as they took things out of our arms to put in the office waiting for us.
We set up shop in respective buildings, left to right being Optometry, Dental, and Pharmacy.
Outside was where our triage/Dr. Offices and Student Sponsor updates were completed.
Well child check ups for all 350 students were done in ¬†the classrooms ¬†by Dr. Dirk Smith ¬†and Alicia Cheney. Alicia and Dirk said the 5 classes in tarp and pole structures were unbareably hot and dark and they wondered how the children were able to learn in them completeing additional classrooms is a current need of this school.
She was not excited to have them pulled.
That is an understatement.
Yet, she was amazingly brave and did an incredible job holding still while she was numbed and had her teeth pulled.
We were able to see approximately 550 patients, including well checks for our 350 students at Masson and community members.
Masson is an amazing school with many dedicated teachers. It is so very rural and difficult to get to, it is ¬†evident they have to few resources to provide ¬†nutrition and healthcare for their children. They need our help. We need to reinstate the ¬†feeding program at this school. Lack of funding has caused us not to provide food for these children yet this year.
The day was spent quickly doing everything that we could do before it got dark, as we set out down the mountain¬†rain began to drizzle, we were happy to see our waiting vehicles and friendswaiting to take us back into the city. Fresh grapefruit ¬†from up the mountain was waiting for us at the bottom.
As we rested and breathed in the end to beautiful challenging day, views from both directions spoke what we didn’t need to.
This day ended the Medical part of our trip. The friends that we made and priceless moments we spent in service are a bond we all carry with us . Sionfonds is a gift of Passion given to those involved. We all return home better, more thankful people. To join our next trip, or for more information click here.
We finished off our day with a tired but successful group picture.
What an incredible day.
The Immediate Needs we see at our Masson school are:
Our goal is to build an additional two classrooms to our school at Masson, to get the kids out of the dark tarp classrooms they currently are now in.
One deep concern we as a staff and educators share is the nutrition needs at Masson. Because the school is on the top of the mountain, many children burn what precious calories they do have in hiking to and from school. Our funding to have the feeding program at Masson is depleted, we can see the immediate results, many children were once again malnourished with extended bellies and brassy brown hair. This is something anyone can do, on a large or small scale.
To feed a child is around $15 per month, there are 350 students.
Contributing to this fund is enormous for the children of Masson.
Please see what you have in your heart to help these children accomplish their dreams….
Yesterday morning after hiking through some rolling hills we arrived at our Kenscoff school.
Already many were waiting for us.
One woman in particular stood out. She barley seemed to be able to sit up let alone stand.
She was pale and very ill .
She was seen immediately by our Physicians.
She had an extreme infection on her finger that had begun two weeks ago, and by now had tracked up her arm towards her elbow. The heat of the infection was palpable.
Both American and Haitian Dr.’s pooled forces and information.
Discussing all options and the likely hood of her having opportunity and finances to attend a local hospital being little to none, they decided to do a small operation to remove the infection (what the doctors agreed was a ‚Äúpyogenic granuloma‚ÄĚ) and be proactive with both oral and topical antibiotics.
She was in so much pain and very weak. After hydrated with IV fluids, her finger and hand were numbed, and her finger lanced.
This is a perfect example of how very basic things like a finger infection can very easily turn into someone losing their arm, ore worse septic and dying. This is why Haiti needs available medical care, this is such a small drop in the bucket of enormous need we see everyday.
But for now, for today, we had the beautiful opportunity to help this sweet woman keep her arm, and let her loving husband keep his wife.
written by. Lindsay Crapo
There are 16 team members this trip 15 from the US and one from Canada.¬†Most of us leave home today to meet up in Miami and fly in ¬†to Haiti together ¬†tomorrow morning but some of us are already on our way. Getting to this point has taken a great deal of hard work and commitment by our team members and their support systems.
So lets start out our trip by thanking everyone who helped us on our way. There is no way we could do this without your support of medicines, vitamins, childcare ¬†and $$$$.
Thank you, I wish that you could see what we are about to do it is remarkable. We want you to know that right from where you are, you are contributing to the success of our mission. Thank you, Thank you.
We will try and keep you posted here as time and internet allows
Thank you again
This morning the visiting medical team departed bringing to a close what will forever be known as the “Medical, Dental AND Hiking trip of April 2012″. We were a small but mighty team this trip, only 8 visitors and 15 Haitians but we managed to see over 1090 students all of them received albendozole, vitamins and medical and dental well checks.
In addition our doctors gave approximately 485 medical consultations and dentist extracted teeth form over 250 people. Many of those 250 people had more than one tooth pulled. The most teeth pulled from one person this trip was 13, can you imagine have 13 rotten and abscessing teeth in your mouth? The oral surgeons and dentists on our trips do a great service not only in dental health but quality of life so many people have never seen a dentist and have terribly painful bombed out teeth, if they are lucky the teeth just rot and fall out, if not they can become infected and eventually become life threatening.
What a difference it must make to have all that pain and infection gone.
To wrap up The Medical, Dental and Hiking adventure of April 2012;
It began at Foyer De Sion Orphanage were all the children got dental check ups and fluoride treatments and medical well checks. We stayed at the new orphanage in Croix du Boquette, which is almost finished.
The next day we went to school in Croix du Boquette with 350 students who all received dental check ups and fluoride treatments children in need also saw the doctors and the entire school received vitamins and albendozole and toothbrushes and toothpaste. That evening we traveled up to Kenscof, high in the mountains above Port au Prince.
Friday we had clinic at a¬† Sionfonds for Haiti supported school, Heart of Worship in Viard. There are 85 students at this school in addition to seeing students we see hundreds of community members as well. We stayed here for two days. Sunday was our day ‚Äúoff‚ÄĚ so four of us decided to take a walk. We ended up hiking to the very top of the mountain we were on and to look over to the other side at the highest mountain in Haiti Mon Le Selle ‚Äď That mountain we did not hike – That afternoon we moved down the mountain to Port au Prince and Le Plaza hotel. It is centrally located and is a good location for taking day trips.
Monday morning we had planned to go to Leogaine but were unable to because of protesting in Carre four. The Haitian people are tired of the ‚Äėgangsters‚Äô as they call them killing the police and so are rising up against them. There was some protesting (burning tires on the road) going on in Croix du Boquette this morning (the way to the airport was clear). So we had to change plans and so decided to hike up to our school in Masson, always everyone‚Äôs favorite destination/hike. There are 350 students at the school. One of the reasons we love to go to this school is it is the place we can clearly see the most impact of our work, we have been coming here every 6 months for 6 years and the level of health has steadily improved. Sionfonds also built a new school a few years ago and this visit we were able to see the new beautiful latrine we funded this year! It is very rewarding to be able to see the difference. Our work in Haiti is a long-term commitment and now after 6 years embedded in this community it is evident we are making a difference.
This is a goodtime to stop and thank all of our donors and all of you who come on these trips. None of this would happen without your support. Your donations go directly to¬† the communities we serve to create lasting change. Lasting change takes time, and commitment. Thank you for your commitment to helping children and their families in Haiti.
Yesterday we wrapped up our Trip with a tremendous hike/clinic/hike. We went to a school we had not been to previously, in the mountains between Leogaine and Jacmel at a place called Fondwa. It was a breathtakingly beautiful, green rural area with ‚Äėmountains beyond mountains‚Äô of¬†¬† hillside farmlands and patches of tropical jungle.¬† There is a film called The Road to Fondwa and I will have to watch it again to see if we were on that road yesterday. It was so steep as to be impassable when wet ‚Äď or if your breaks are not in tip top shape- so we walked in, (mostly down hill) and out (straight up) Luckily we could hire a mule to carry all our medical supplies out.¬† The school had about 250 students we saw all of the students and many others who came for medical or dental care, as I watched the clouds carefully wondering when it would be too late to be able to leave. We did finish the clinic and start walking back before it began to pour. It is so nice that rain here is mostly warm. We and all our luggage, and even 4-month-old Kade (Tmac) the newest member of our team made it to the top of the mountain before the ‚Äėreal‚Äô rain began.
These trips are a tremendous team effort, Thank you Dimitry for¬† coordinating everything on the ground in Haiti and all our Haitian team members you are essential to the tasks at hand and ¬†devoted to helping Haiti. Thanks to Scott and Brandon Bulloch (Good luck on that test Brandon) Karen Olsen see you soon I hope, Hanne Sachs (good luck in your next ¬†medical adventure in South America!), Orson Cardon ( I hope you come back and bring your daughter next time), Rey Del Rio (can‚Äôt wait to see the pix) Clinton Dowse (who will be back as a PA to vaccinate all our kids). You made this trip happen, thank you thank you, thank you!
We cannot ever thank you enough luckily you all already know the gratitude of the Haitian people you saw over the last week.
We remember those who passed on
and those who remain,
never to be the same
Those who remain continuing to live, to
love, to struggle and to share,
Continuing to work for a better tomorrow
We remember the tremendous outpouring of support from around the world.
Sionfonds will be forever grateful that we were able to aid Haitians in need within days of the earthquake. We sent much needed supplies and resources into the country before the extent of the damage was known, before we knew our office had fallen killing and trapping staff members, before we knew how the 200 children at Foyer De Sion Orphanage were, before we knew hundreds of thousands of people had died. Sionfonds was only able to send help (and continue to do so today) because of the dedicated Haitians who are Sionfonds in Haiti and the generous and committed people, like you, who are Sionfonds outside of Haiti. Together we continue to assist Haitian children and their families, we create jobs, promote education, empowerment and self-sufficiency person to person every day.
Tomorrow 15 dedicated Americans and Canadians will arrive to travel the country with Sionfonds for Haiti staff, and provide medical and dental care to the schools and communities Sionfonds serves. Since our last medical trip six month ago all of us have been working to gather the supplies and funds necessary, to create mobile clinics that will serve over 2000 people in the next 5 days.
It is a challenge for each of us to find the time away from work and our families to participate in these trips. On top of paying our own way we also have to find the funds, medications and supplies to run the clinics. When so many people are facing their own economic challenges in the US, Canada and around the world it is not easy to ask everyone we know to support our work, but we do, because; Once you know how much you can do to make the lives of people living in poverty better, it is hard not to do it again.
None of the amazing people on our medical teams mention how much time and money or how of much of ourselves we put into these expeditions because we all know that we get far more than we give on these trips. Everyone who has been on one of our trips becomes committed to our cause, not because the trips are easy, (they are not) but because we are changing and often saving the lives of people who have no one else to help them. But not everyone can come to Haiti.
So our challenge is to convey to you how important these trips and all Sionfonds programs are (Link), how much we need your support and help to be able to continue our work and most importantly that everyone can help.
My Challenge to you is to ask you to read this blog for the next two weeks, learn more about our work and Haiti and allow yourself to know ¬†that you have the power to help us change lives in Haiti.