Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meet The Team!

ZJ helps out wherever he is most needed.
In this instance he was needed to
help build shelving for our storage rooms!
Thank you ZJ!!!

Its about time to introduce the other wonderful group of volunteers that we are working with.  Since we first got here a year ago (can’t believe it has already been that long) there were just a few of us long termers—our name for people who are here for 3 mo to a year.  Now there is about 12 of us living, working, eating, and do practically everything together at the hospital…and yes, we are still living in the hospital.

In no particular order here is our team as follows:

ZJ Charles-Marcel—Doctor ZJ comes to us from Mexico and is doing his “year of service” after medical school here at HAH.  We are blessed to have him here and definitely believe that he will be a fine ortho surgeon one day.

Brian Harmon—Architect from OR who has been here since Sept and was only going to be here through Nov 2010, but looks like we get him until Nov 2011! He is working on lots of designs and building projects, including housing for the volunteers!
Brian and his buddies!
 Lynn, Mack--education translator, and Marc
Lynn Byers—RN who came in Sept and was only going to be here until March 2011, but like Brian she has extended her stay until the end of 2011! It’s a good thing she is still here because she is the link between the foreign volunteers and the local Haitian nurses. She helps to coordinate all the ortho surgeries amongst a variety of other duties. She has done an amazing job of learning Creole in the time that she has been here and can get by for the most part without a translator.

Marc Julmisse—Program Coordinator for HAH. She has her hands full with all the staff education that is taking place and will take place in the future.  She has committed to being here for a year, but we are hoping that like Lynn and Brian she will extend that to an even longer commitment. She is definitely needed as we find ways to make improvements to patient care at HAH. When she is not doing staff education she is busy saving babies in the limited NICU.

From Left to right: Marc, Audra (visiting pediatrician), Lynn
Brian, Azaria (visiting student volunteer), Terry, Jeannie, Amy

Jeannie and Terry Dietrich—they came to us from WI in Nov 2010 and will be here through Nov 2011. Terry is an orthopedic surgeon who has been kept busy with all the orthopedic cases that have not had the opportunity for orthopedic care before now. Jeannie is an RN and helps hold the OR together. She works tirelessly making sure that everything is all set in the OR for the ortho cases. She is also a great cook of banana bread!

Jamieson Dickie—or J’mo as people call him here, is a prosthetist from New Zealand. He arrived here the first week in January and will be here through the end of this year. He adds spice to life at the hospital with his humor and pranks!

Brittany Blair—Brittany also arrived in Jan and will be here through the end of the year. She is a graduate from Andrews in Clinical Lab Sciences. She is a great asset to the team since the Lab is an area that very much needs to be updated. She has been working diligently on providing staff training and searching for new ways to improve the lab.

Randy and Sherrie Tall—Randy is an electrician and is now the new head of maintenance for HAH.  With some of the crazy electrical work that has gone on here before, Randy is definitely kept busy making sure things run properly. Sherrie is not actually here for the summer as she is working back in the states for a few months, but she might be able to come back in the fall. When she was here from Jan-April she spent most of her time sorting and sorting supplies!

Alex Miller—newest addition to the team. Arrived this week and will be here for a few months working with architecture designs with Brian.

Amy and Nathan
Nathan and Amy (that is us)—Nathan is the assistant administrator at HAH and is a bridge between the local administration and other foreign organizations that are looking for ways to get involved in helping the hospital. He is kept extremely busy trying to fix all the problems that come up from day to day. I am the volunteer coordinator for people who want to volunteer at the hospital. I also randomly do odd jobs around the hospital as well—like sorting boxes and boxes of supplies. At this point we have filled our 1 year commitment, but we are still here and will be here at least through the end of 2011. 

We also have 2 incoming volunteers that will arrive in July.

Francel Alexis—He is a Haitian orthopedic surgeon that is finishing up some training with CURE in the Dominican Republic. We are fortunate that he will be joining us for 3-6 mo and will be able to help support the orthopedic program.

Emily Rivas—PT graduate from Loma Linda University and will be working in conjunction with the hospital and the Adventist University next door to help coordinate the rehab at the hospital and the future education program for rehab.

Even though they are no longer here, I can’t in good conscious leave out the long termers who have already served here and are now serving in other places in the world. If you are one of these 4 people reading this, know that you are appreciated and missed.

David Harris— Currently in Rad Tech school, was here from April-Aug  2010 working in supply and filling in as needed. David’s cheerful spirit and song leader qualities are greatly missed.

Scott Nelson—1st Orthopedic surgeon in Haiti after the earthquake. He spent 5 months as the volunteer medical director and spearheaded the orthopedic program at HAH. He continues to be involved with HAH and visits with ortho teams about every 3 months.

Brooke Beck—An RN who arrived on the scene about a month after the earthquake and worked tirelessly and wholeheartedly at HAH until the end of Aug 2010. 

Jessica Scott—RN who worked here from July-Dec 2010 coordinating all volunteer medical staff. For most of the time she was here we did not have a long term orthopedic surgeon on staff so she did a great job orienting the new medical teams that came in each week. She helped to fill a very difficult gap when we didn’t have very many long term volunteers.  


Monday, June 27, 2011

Earthquake Jitters

On Friday there was an earthquake that most people felt at the hospital. Fortunately it was not very large (I think it was a 3.5) but by the commotion it created you would have thought it was rather large. Seconds after it started the whole hospital seemed to be in a panic as people started exiting the building. There was lots of frantic chatter and commotion. After about 15 minutes life resumed as normal and had quieted down, but it goes to show how traumatized the whole country is, and rightfully so. Evidently 1 person died at the time of this earthquake, not directly from the quake but because he jumped off of a building in fear that it would collapse. There were also reports of people getting hurt from being trampled on as groups of other people tried to all frantically exit buildings at the same time. The traumatic experiences that everyone has gone through here is hard to fathom. I can't even begin to imagine what types of memories are haunting people from day to day.


Paperweights and Power

It is about time that I starting blogging again!!! It has been way too long! To start off with I'll post an entry that I wrote down from April 21, 2011.

I was musing to myself that since the power is down right now that there isn’t a whole lot of work that I can do at the moment. I have a lot of work to get caught up on prepping volunteers to come, but without electricity there is no Internet and therefor I can’t communicate with them. I decided I would make some food, but it still requires electricity to cook it so then I figured that I might as well start doing our laundry and washing our dishes that have piled up in our sink (ie bathtub). I went over, turned on the water faucet and only a couple drops of water sputtered out. For a brief second I’d forgotten that when the electricity goes out we no longer have running water in the hospital, so all my plans at being productive have been foiled again.  Everything I need to accomplish has been thwarted all because there is no electricity. I feel essentially handicapped.

As I have been sitting here contemplating what to do next I decided to take the forced calmness of the day to spend some time in Bible study. That is when it hit me, or I should say that God used the opportunity to get a point across to me. Which is, without being connected to God’s power there really isn’t a whole lot I can do either. I have heard this before growing up and thought I understood the concept, but this time I feel like the point connected and had more force and application. Without God’s power I am a blank computer screen that can’t connect to the Internet, a water faucet without water, my light won’t turn on and I am blank. I need the constant flow of His “electrical power” in my life in order to function and in order to be useful. Without him I am empty and meaningless. Without Him I am handicapped and all my efforts to do anything become thwarted.

Just as a computer becomes pointless without power, so when I am disconnected from God I loose my whole purpose for existence. Essentially I become a powerless computer that has simply turned into a large paperweight sitting on the desk, looking nice and fancy and being perceived as important, but not anywhere near being used in the capacity it was created for. Just as teams of computer engineers have spent numerous hours creating, designing, and programing a machine to do a variety of amazing functions, God has created each one of us for something remarkable; but if the computer (or us) is never plugged into the power source it has very limited use. I can’t imagine how sad—no, heartbroken—God must be when He, the creator of our intricate parts and pieces, looks down at His masterpiece and sees that all we have chosen to be is a paperweight when He knows that he has made us to be something grand if we were just plugged into Him—the only true power source.

So it is up to me to choose if I want to be a mere paperweight or a functioning work of art. Oh how I long to be living in the way God intended! I want to be so much more than a pretty piece of machinery that only looks nice on the outside but that is actually dead on the inside. I want to work and be used for the purpose God made me for—whatever it might be!