Friday, September 24, 2010

Medical Clinic... and a mountain adventure in the rain

On Monday and Tuesday of this week 27 people arrived at the guesthouse to run a clinic for several days this week. We started the clinic on Wednesday with only a small portion of supplies because 34 suitcases were lost in transit. Thankfully they showed up at the airport on Wednesday. The first three days of clinic have gone very well. The first day we saw 166 people, and the other two days have been comparable. There are two surgeons on the team, so they have been quite busy. The first day they completed some minor surgical procedures in the clinic. On Thursday and again today they traveled up the road to the Baptist Mission hospital to repair some hernias and do some more invasive procedures. Tomorrow and Monday they will be back at the clinic.

The weather here has been mostly dry since the team arrived. It's only rained at night since they've been here. At lunch today we noticed some dark, ominous clouds coming over the mountain tops. We speculated on how fast they were traveling and if they would bring rain. There was some talk of what to do, but since it was still sunny we kept working. The clouds slowly worked their way toward us. While we were seeing our last patients (we had a mom and 3 kids), the dark clouds descended upon us. Suddenly the rain started pouring from the sky. Shortly after that the temperature dropped significantly and the wind started blowing something fierce. The metal covers on the windows started slamming into the walls and the curtains in the clinic were whipping around. It was a bit chaotic in the clinic for a few minutes as we considered if it was a storm or a hurricane sweeping over.

We packed up our things and then waited around the clinic for a while to see if the rain would stop. Unfortunately it didn't. Eventually we decided we needed to get off the mountain before it got dark. Because the road was wet and the truck could slide, Willem wanted as many people to walk as possible. The vast majority of us started down the steep hill. The kids squatted in the middle of the road where it was the slickest. They slid on their shoes and used their hands to guide them. The adults picked their way down the cement, or walked carefully on the grass edge. I brought up the rear, closely following Myra's exact foot placement. The entire time we walked it was lightly raining. Eventually the truck caught up with Myra and myself. It stopped near the bottom of the hill and we jumped in. We precariously crossed the riverbed, with only one scary spot where I thought we were stuck. After we crossed the riverbed, we had and equally scary ride up to the guesthouse. The road on this side of the mountain is much choppier and has some huge ditches cut through the road by all the runoff from rain. There are also branches and wires we have to duck to avoid!

It took much longer to get home from the clinic today, but PRAISE THE LORD we all made it safely home! As long as the road is safe tomorrow we'll be headed back up to help some more people.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an adventure, Britney! My kids claim they love stormy days so they wish they had been with you. They also said they would have loved to slide down the muddy mountain road with the Haitian kids. :)
    What a blessing the medical team was to the families. We're glad the suitcases arrived in time!