Dear Friends: the patient load was light this week because it started with a Haitian holiday on Monday, celebrating the Battle of Vertieres, which was Haiti`s final defeat of the French forces in their fight for independence on November 18th, 1803. The hero of the revolution, Toussaint Loverture, was deported to France by Napoleon the year before and died the next year in a French prison. His lieutenant, Jean Jacques Dessalines continued the fight. The Haitians heavily outnumbered the French, 27,000 to 2,000 on this day and made Haiti the second independent nation in the new world, and the first black republic. Dessalines went on to be Haiti`s first ruler, naming himself Governor General for Life. He was assasinated 3 years later by disaffected members of his administration.
|Nothing feels better than turning the corner and seeing this vast expanse of sea at 30 mph|
The last blog showed me and Yunior, one of my favorite drivers. He loves me too because we listen to my iPod, one ear bud in his the other in mine, as we roll along. Everything from Y0Y0 Ma to the Joint Chiefs! He straps my CO2 tank on to the back of the bike with old strips of inner tubing, they grip really well and seem to trump bungie cords. There are no gas stations in the region where I work, so along the roadsides everywhere people sell gas in beer, rum or water bottles, all you need is one shot and you're ready to roll.
|Fixing a flat by melting some rubber with a pot of fire on the hole, then putting the whole thing in a press|
It isn't too fitting for an older woman to ask a pack of young men in deep concentration exactly what they are doing or how precisely it is done, so many questions remain unanswered about flat tire repair. There is really nobody or nothing you can not carry on a moto under 180 ccs. My favorite sensation, which I hear before I see, is the guy on the back dragging a dozen or so 20 foot pieces of rebar along the concrete
guess he just came from a big box store
Returning briefly to the reason that I am here in Haiti: Jeanne and I have done 108 cervical screenings and 8 cryotherapy treatments. The cost to you, dear donors, has amounted to $5.21/patient. Both the women we treat and the communities and health centers where we are received are happy to see us and very grateful for the service. Jeanne has now done over 100 visual inspections and 6 cryo treatments, well on her way to working independently. We will be doing a training of doctors, nurses and community health workers in the spring in Anse a Pitres, in the newly constructed maternal-child wing, financed by Arquitectos sin Fronteras.