Tonight we are going to sew the leaves on the prayer tree. Each child was able to write a prayer on a leaf. Lots of children wrote ‘Merci Jesus’ or ‘I love Jesus’. One boy, sixteen, who has been adopted but is waiting for finalization so that he can go to Chicago, wrote ‘Dear Jesus please help me live my life without fear’. One older man, who arrived mid-day with some teenage children wrote ‘Lord please give me a home’. The children know many Christian praise songs and today treated us to a concert in French, Creole, and English. And hand motions, which they all enjoy. Then they showed us how much they love to dance. Especially with our sunglasses on.
At the hospital this morning, all the doctors and nurses from our team helped with intake in the outpatient clinic. With the help of a much appreciated translator, we were able to record vital signs and take medical histories. A lot of fevers, stomach pains, and newly pregnant women. The hospital is doing some amazing things to meet the needs of the pregnant women. An outside organization donated newborn supply packs and every woman who comes in for a prenatal visit receives a pack as an incentive for continued prenatal care. Vouchers are also distributed to the community for women to be able to come to the hospital to deliver their baby at no charge. Roughly about 80% of Haitian women have their babies at home, most of which will not be seen soon after birth. We went around to all the patient rooms and discussed each patient with the nurses and doctor, learning about Haitian nursing care and how the doctors and nurses work together. The afternoon was very busy and very fun! Both the pediatrician and nurse practitioner from our team examined most of the older children. The children were very anxious and excited, enjoying the eye exams and giggling while we asked them questions about their bodies and examined them.
Today was a great day for building relationships with the staff at the hospital and orphanage. At the orphanage the language barrier is becoming less important as we get to know each other. We play lots of basketball, soccer, “gymnastics”, and simple hand games like thumb wrestling and paddy-cake. Looking forward to how God will use us tomorrow!
Jennifer and Heather