Surprise, Surprise, I’m Still Here!
Can’t believe that it has been 3 months since I wrote. I had one friend from Switzerland ask if we are alright since I hadn’t posted anything since February. We are well and busy in FDN. It seems that I have been pulled into posting on Facebook more than Xanga. With so many people abandoning Xanga, I don’t get the kind of feedback that I used to get and I must admit, the feedback is a motivating factor in writing. It makes me feel like I am actually talking to someone and not just writing for my own benefit.
So as not to bore anyone out there who might actually be reading this, I won’t try to cover three months of activity. The weeks do seem to fly by, Mondays turning into Fridays which turn into Mondays in a blink of an eye. Here are the highlights (or what I remember happening) of the last few months:
Beginning of March we had our first outside medical team come to the clinic. They were led by Dr. H. from Antigua with the other three members coming from Chicago. They spent their time training the staff on Basic Life Support/CPR and Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support. The miracle of the whole thing was that after much searching we were able to get a defibrillator needed for the training and during the training we had a patient in the clinic who actually needed the newly acquired skill. It literally saved her life and she was able to return home three days later!
We continue to have aftershocks, even the latest being May 27th. But most people out here in the countryside are doing their best to cope. Felix has not been needed as much to support the disaster work in PAP anymore, which is being organized by outside Salvation Army disaster personnel. It looks like all of The Salvation Army property in PAP will have to be demolished and rebuilt. TSA is still responsible for a “tent city” of about 20,000 people encamped in the area surround our compound on Delmas 2, providing meal and hygiene kits on a weekly basis.
April is a big birthday month in my family and we exchanged birthday greetings through e-mails and phone calls. It was very good to speak to my parents and sister. I celebrated my birthday by going to ORMISO, a guest house in PAP that was spared major damage and just relaxing by the pool, reading, enjoying good food without having to cook and reading. Felix used the time to shop for medicines and supplies for the clinic but surprised me with a cake and food from our favorite take-out restaurant. Matthew celebrated his BD at the end of April by inviting the two corps officers’ boys over for a sleep-over. It worked out very well so we might do this again.
We also enjoyed the visit of our friends, Col. Dennis and Noella who came down to lead the Officers Retreat. Their messages were affirming and timely and we all enjoyed the three days again at ORMISO. They brought us some treats from our family which were very appreciated.
In May, Felix was able to travel to Kingston, Jamaica for a week to participate in the District Rotary Conference. He stayed with our good friends Keith and Molvie and also used the time to apply for the renewal of his passport at the embassy there in Kingston. Our Rotary Club was able to have 6 members attend and everyone had a good time. We are hoping that we will be able to find some outside support for some of our proposed projects. Somehow, by God’s grace, I was able to keep things together at the clinic during his abscence, in spite of a couple of rough days. Our wedding anniversary was also in May, this year making 9 years since we “changed the direction of our relationship”. It has been a good nine years and we make a good team.
We had a quick run into PAP last week to start the process of renewing Matthew’s US passport. PAP is slowly removing all the rubble and there is lots of talk about how to reorganize and replace all that was lost. Many, many people are still in tents and there is predictions that this will be a very active hurricane season.
It was Matthew’s first time seeing the earthquake damage first hand and I asked him what he thought. He said that it was sad to see all the buildings fallen down and to know that so many people died, like the young wife and toddler of one of our former doctors. I can’t imagine how the children who lived through this are coping with the effects. Many of the schools have not been able to reopen and if the kids didn’t leave the city, it will be a lost year. TSA school here in FDN had 45 new students coming in from quake affected areas and has just started a feeding program to try to assist all the children.
Matthew’s school finishes up towards the end of June and then we hope to get some US time in by mid July. It will be good to see family and friends and to just relax.
Well, if you have a chance, drop me a note to let me know that you’ve read this. We appreciate your friendship and support. Blessings!