I'm happy to put up a picture of the same swing, in the same place, but now with myself in the picture and with the kids. Today is my first day back in the states and I'm doing okay right now. I had a tearful departure soothed while I was waiting in the airport by a huge toblerone chocolate bar, my MP3 player and my sweatshirt that smelled of Haiti. On the plane I began relfecting on my time in Haiti.
" I'm sitting on the plane back to MN. I have a window seat. I glance to my left and see a vast darkness sprinkled with the twinkling lights from the cities below. It's hard to imagine that my time in Haiti is finished. Life in Haiti comes so naturally. It feels like my home, my family, my country. I miss my babies. I miss lying in bed and being able to Rodnashka's tiny body in the bed next to me. I miss Jenny saying "eesa!" and giggling every 5 minutes. I miss sitting in my room, watching the door creep open and knowing exactly which little tot would be behind the door. I miss giving the babies baths, the kids in their pajamas, and hearing the kids sing their prayers before bed. I miss jump-roping with the older girls, rocking the little ones on the swing outside; I miss Jasmine and Rosie and Manize. I miss Rigan. I miss the ocean and the sun. I miss cold showers. I miss clear nights and starry skies, I miss Shirley and Dr. matthew and her brothers. i miss the stupid cats, goats and other animals that scared the living daylights out of me. I miss living for each day and not worrying about time. I miss the hospital in Petit Guave and all the patients there that need medical attention. I miss the baby girl Rigan andI bathed and treated for infection and fungus. I miss tap tap ride and motos. I miss the nursing school and my friends there. I miss sneaking the kids lemonade and snacks when Jas wasn't looking.
I miss rocking Ann in my arms. I miss little Roseline and seeing her light up when I call her "Bel Fi" Beatuiful girl.
This trip taught me about my potential as a nurse in Haiti. It's really incredible when I think back on the community health fair that Rigan and I organized. It was so professional and well set up. Everyone that wanted to be seen was seen and every person had a full plate of food. The community participated by cooking and helping clean up after the day was over.
You don't need to be a doctor in order to see patients, you just need to be willing to give yourself as a servant and be willing to accept that sometimes there's not a medication to give, that sometimes the patient's situation will only get worse, but that it's important to them to be heard and cared for. Sometimes the only thing you can give is education and to listen to and validate their concerns,.
I think that a big highlight of the trip was working with Rigan at Petit Guave hospital. We were a really good team. I loved the challenge of having so many patients that need care. Every case is complicated and unique from things I see in the USA. Usually the patient is suffering from 2-3 different problems, all of which are aggravated by the issue of malnutrition.
I love pampering the patients, showering them with love, prayer, attention. I like giving bed baths and making the patient comfortable. I like taking the role of servant in a health care system where the health care workers act as if the patients "owe them" for the care they're given"
My next trip is planned for March 12-19. I'll be bringing my mom with me this time. I'm sooo excited for her to experience Haiti and I think it will change her. I'm still not sure exactly what the next year holds for my plans in Haiti. If it weren't for my student loans, I'd move there in a heartbeat. Jasmine really needs American help at the orphanage. She's begging me to come for 6 months, but with my loan payments it just can't happen. I'm praying for direction and answers about the future.... in less than 5 months I'll be graduated from college and ready to use my nursing full-time.
thinking, dreaming, planning, hoping.....