We are planning to go back to Lacoma, a beautiful but extremely rural area in northwest Haiti. No, you will not find it on a map, but it is pretty close to Jean Rabel.
We have been to this area many times and our hearts have taken up residence! This year our US portion of the this small team consists of Tricia Mattson and Julie Zimmerman, both RN's. We will meet up with our Haitian team members Fabianne Goutier, RN and Kervens Delva, pharm tech (and translator extraordinaire) when we get to Port au Prince.
We need money to pay for a rental truck (or 2), gas, and a safe driver. Rental trucks cost at least $125 a day.
The trucks HAVE to be 4 wheel drive and diesel and we always hope to get one with a snorkel but rarely do.
The road to Lacoma is incredibly rustic (think unmaintained ATV trail full of goats, mud, and cacti) and even with several new bridges we still have 2 rivers to cross to make it there. There is no public transportation to the area. We need the trucks to bring our whole team, all of our medications/supplies, and our food/water for the trip. Honestly, I am not sure how the roads are after this harsh hurricane season. I do know that the most common form of transportation for the area is the donkey and while they can trot down the road under the worst of conditions a truck is the only way for us to go. It usually takes us around 7 hours to drive to Lacoma from Port au Prince... more if we are having a bad tire day.
We also need money to buy medications and medical supplies. After so many years of visiting we have regular patients and know the patterns of illness in the area. We buy many of our medications in Haiti and we get others at cost from Essentia health and a special online missions pharmacy. All the medications we bring stay in the country and are used by Haitian medical professionals to treat the impoverished population at low/no cost.
Your support means the world to us. Many of you have been helping us since we started going 8 years ago, and we have no words to express how grateful we are. Our gratitude runs as deep as the ocean. We absolutely could not do it without you.
We use our own money to buy our plane tickets, we use our vacation time at work to be able get this time off, we pay for our own food and lodging. We need your help to do the rest. Our friends in Haiti need medical care and we can't help them without you.
We need rental trucks to get us where we need to go, and we need to get there November 5th!
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