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Postcard From Haiti

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As you heard from HFI co-founder Lynn Shapira here on Town Square Delaware, a contingent of Delawareans is currently in Haiti on their second tour to aid the Hatian people. Here is our first dispatch from the Delaware team.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A scorching sun met the crew as they piled off of the bus and began setting up camp. Sweat pooled even, even the shade of trees offered little-to-no defense from the golden orb in a clear, azure sky.

It’s 9am in Jacmel, Haiti; day one of camp.

As the team set up the various stations and arrangements for the camp, benches under the tree outside of the clinic began filling with families. Children, mothers, and fathers lined up to seek long awaited attention. “When you engage with them, that almost seems like enough,” said Jean at the Triage station. She and Brian processed patients, taking their basic medical information in order to streamline the process for the doctors inside the clinic.

Inside of the clinic, Nadiv, Ivy, Stew, and Parth, saw over 70 patients. An additional twenty are already scheduled to attend early in the morning of day two. The medical team was “extremely flexible, organized,” said Ivy, a professor of Nursing from California.

The children rotated between three separate camp activities to stimulate them athletically, musically and creatively.

On the beach, Dan, Ben, and Charlie along with their translator, James, played soccer, promoting a sense of sportsmanship and fairness. It might be safe to say that they drained the children’s energy for the rest of the camp.

In the creative realm, Mya, Lizzie and Kiera helped the children make necklaces with beads and string. Later the kids made glasses and trinkets from pipe cleaner rods of many colors.

Kim, Gabe, and Mya, showed brilliant control as they, through the power of music and dance, quieted and organized over 40 children into straight lines with strict rules and fun games. Their team marched to and from the beach with great organization.

On Sunday the team had something of a practice run that helped isolate potential improvements that could be made for this first day’s camp.

Maxito, our primary translator, asked for the team to visit his school, where he teaches English and language skills to Hatians for little to no cost. While there the team attended to over 60 other patients who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to see a doctor.

The children and families ate a mixture of rice, beans, and fish with the HFi members to conclude a successful first day of camp.

Lynn, the head of HFI, gave a broad smile after the camp concluded. “I’m thrilled with how today went!”

Dan Zubrzycki

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