Hurricane Matthew Crisis Relief!
Tricia & Julie are returning to Lacoma, NW Haiti on October 19-29, 2016. We are also bringing our fantastic RN friend Diane!
Lacoma is a beautiful but extremely rural area in northwest Haiti. No, you will not find it on a map, but it is close to Jean Rabel. We have been to this area many times and our hearts have taken up residence....
Dr Mark will be in Haiti too at this time to work with Dr Bourdes just outside of Port au Prince. The operating room that we are helping with is nearing completion!!! Check out the blog http://peacelovehaiti.blogspot.com/ too for updates)
There is no public transportation to the Lacoma (except private plane or motorcycle); we have to bring all of the medications, medical supplies, food, water, etc that we need for ourselves and to run clinic during our stay. A truck is our only option and with our team of 3 RN's, a logistician, and 2 translators we will need 2 trucks to get us there and back safely. Oh my do the supplies take up a LOT of room! We end up with a giant stack of stuff that we tarp and tie down in the bed of the pick up.
It takes us at least 7 hours to drive up from Port au Prince. We rent 4 wheel drive diesel trucks- due to erosion and lack of maintenance many of the roads are mighty "rustic". We always hope to get a snorkel on our truck for river crossings, but this is more a dream than a reality.
The road north of Gonaive is truly more like an ATV trail in Minnesota/Wisconsin- except there are donkeys, cacti, lots of people walking.... and plenty o goats.
The trucks are a HUGE expense for us!!!
They cost $115 a day each. The rental company that we have used for years just closed and now we need to pay an even higher daily rate. We also need to pay a driver for one of the trucks.
We pay for our own airfare to get to Port au Prince, we pay for food/lodging (team house), we pay our translators and drivers, we use our vacation time at work to get the days off to come here.
We need help with our gas and truck rental!
We need a truck to get us where we need to go!!!
Please support us with a donation if you can and are willing.... please don't forget this area of the world in your thoughts and prayers today.
Many times we use the truck to transport patients to a higher level of care in LaPointe at the hospital there.... and sometimes we even give a goat a ride!
If you don't want to go thru gofundme you can mail us a check directly or use plain old cash money... if you want to donate to help with our other expenses please do it!
Thanks to all of you for supporting us financially and spiritually this trip. Disaster relief work means minimal control over anything; due to the uncertain state of things plans change by the hour. We thought we could just fly to Dame Marie or anywhere we wanted to go but that was not the case.
The runways in these areas are not official- they were built by traffickers and not safe. We were stuck in Port au Prince for 2 days while it rained. Helpless helpers.
Finally we were able to fly to Les Cayes per MAF plane and logistics carefully drove the truck down to meet us. We checked in at the big hospital in Les Cayes and ran mobile clinics in the area surrounding Port Salut in remote towns that had not yet received medical care. There were a few cases of cholera, but thankfully not many.
What we did find were many strong, healthy people that were trying to heal after experiencing a traumatic event. Kind words and an open heart went a long way as our patients opened up about their current fears and told us the details of their hurricane stories.
Hurricane Matthew destroyed so much--- ripped trees from the ground, knocked almost every building to the ground, killed the farms, killed the animals, killed the people. The destruction covered miles and miles of southwest Haiti- from right next to the sea to the tallest of the mountains. And the weather continued ruining the land, pouring rain almost constantly for weeks after the event.
Hurricane M did not kill the spirit, the will, the determination, or the faith of the people. Everywhere we went the survivors were busy and full of action.
Crops were being planted, debris was being repurposed, anything salvageable was being gathered and put to use. The broken beehives were harvested of honey, the broken trees were sawed into wood and built into structures, the broken remnants of fruit tree branches were stripped of fruit. All these items and more were being sold along the roadside just like any other market day.
Thank you again.... feel free to email us at peaceloveHaiti@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns regarding this trip.
We have decided to work with IHI - Innovating Health International- and provide cholera crisis relief to Port a Piment and the surrounding areas of the extreme SW where he hurricane hit dead on. We should arrive on Thursday or Friday this week and have an amazing team of medical and logistics/security people- best team we have ever had.
We are over the moon with happiness~ our timing for this trip and the support of you all is what we need and we got it!
We have decided to go to the remote areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.
Why wouldn't we?
Our in country team went to Lacoma (in the NW by Jean Rabel) and evaluated the situation on Sunday. The community is going to be without food in the near future and that is their reality. Heartbreaking.
Today's evaluation of the SW has shown us our new path.
There are so many cases of cholera spread everywhere and there is no clean water. Decaying livestock and debris, broken pipes, and complete devastation has polluted the only water available.
We are planning to head to Port-a-Piment or Dame Marie... very remote towns that are in dire need.
We know how to help and we are ready to get going!
The first photo is a map of Haiti- the pin marks Port-a-Piment and Dame Marie is just above it on the upper coast. The second photo shows the barren coast. The third photo is a beautiful little kiddo that has a few post-hurricane injuries.
Thank you so much for helping us get there~ YOU are our inspiration!
We know the island is suffering.
We know we don't have truck reservations anymore... there is such a need for this type of vehicle any contract we made is never going to be honored.
That is ok.
I promise you that we will use the money you donated for our truck transportation for transportation to help people!
I just don't know what or where.
Will we end up flying in and doing cholera treatment in the area hardest hit?
Maybe. Helicopters rule.
This is hard to understand, but we will end up where we need to be when we need to be there.
We have faith.
We know how to do this--- we are good at it.
We have done this before.
Also we have all kinds of meds for cholera- for adults and children, and we are getting more.
Thank you so much for supporting us~ all the love and support we get from you just travels down to Haiti and is handed right back to our patients.
This photo is from 2010 when the UN brought us supplies and flew some of us home.