Pou Sante: Amar Haiti
To give our supporters a better idea of who we are and what we actually do on our missions, we have dedicated this page to publishing a daily journal of our trips to Thibeau.
Our most recent trip was in May and June of 2013. It was a critical trip for the growth and development of Pou Sante Amar Haiti, as we learned what the next step in fulfilling our mission would be. We spent two weeks in Thibeau, Haiti. The first week was dedicated to working on building our partnership with local farmers. The second week was spent running a veterinary clinic, which was a wonderful and successful experience.
Sunday: It was our last leg of the trip and our plane developed mechanical issues. Forced to turn back to Florida, our team adapted with minor fear and landed in Haiti later that day. The excitement began as soon as we stepped outside the Cap Haitian airport. We hopped into the back of Father Gaby's truck, grabbed onto the sides and after a half hour trip arrived in Thibeau. We were greeted by smiling children and quickly realized just how lucky we were to work in such an amazing place with such amazing people. It was the end of the day and the kids were putting on a talent show at the church nextdoor. While in Haiti our team stays at the local Monestary, hosted by the gracious Father Gaby. We joined the audience and watched the children show off their various talents. It was obvious how strong the sense of community is in Thibeau and beyond. After enjoying the show we went back to the monestary, enjoyed a delicious dinner, and began organizing our medical supplies. There were heaps of supplies, donated by generous individuals and corporations. By the end of the week, these supplies would be used up, each medication, vaccine, and instrument used to further our cause to help the people by treating the animals.
Monday: Straight to work. Our clinic began at eight in the morning in the makeshift soccer field next to the monestary. The field was packed with patients! There were massive bulls with sharp pointy horns, goat families, horses, calves, and even a pig! It was a wonderful sight because there's a high potential for having an impact with such great community participation. Most cows and goats suffered from massive parasite burdens, malnourishment, and no prior preventative medicine. Many of our patients also had trouble reproducing. We performed basic physicals on each patient, assessed their needs and treatment plan. We administered vaccines to each patient, including CD/T and rabies. In addition we provided antihelminthics to treat their parasite infections.
We continued with our clinic until late afternoon, when we went to visit a casava bread factory. It was a small, open oven with a wooden roof above.
After a tasty break, we went to visit Fritz's farm. Fritz is on of the three partnerships we have established with famers in Thibeau. It was a bit of a hike to get there, but once we did we chased, caught, and treated his six goats with vaccines and a nutritional booster.
Tuesday: The second day of our clinic and the day we passed our first milestone: over 100 patients treated. We continued with the same routine: meet the farmers, greet the patients, take general physicals, treat and prevent. Once the clinic wound down and we returned to the monestary, a new friend appeared in front of our doors. It was a local farmer with his horse who suffered from deep and severely infected wounds on his face. Over the next few days we treated this horse with great excitement. We put forth the "debride, lavage, and reassess" approach our professors drilled into our heads in Philadelphia, and by our last day in Thibeau our patient's wounds had closed by secondary intention and our farmer friend sighed in relief. His testimony can be seen by clicking here. Our final task for the day was to visit another farm to treat the animals and strengthen our working partnership.
Wednesday: This was a more of a touristy day. We walked up to a citadel, positioned at the top of a mountain with the best vantage point in the region. There were venders everywhere we went, trying to sell their crafts and earn a few dollars. As one vendor bluntly stated, she had "no food, no money, no water." That afternoon we returned to the monestary for a much anticipated children's activity. Back in Philadelphia we spent many hours preparing coloring books for the children, using images to highlight the animals and their value in society. With an oversized bag of candy, we undertook what might have been our biggest challenge of the week! It was a lot of fun both for the kids and our team, and we were happy to leave them with a coloring book and different educational experience.
Thursday: Our final day of the veterinary clinic. By the end of the day we had treated a total of over 200 patients over our three day clinic! Of these patients, the majority were cows and goats. Some farmers that have visited us on our first of the clinic visited us to happily report that their cows had been shedding their parasites!
Friday: Treatments for the wounded horse continued. We visited Fritz's, and then Tewill's farm to treat his cows. We then hiked to a water hole far up, guided by the local kids.
Saturday: We visited Rudney's farm, vaccinated and treated his goats. We returned to the monestary and spent time running fecal floats on our patients. In doing so, we confirmed that many of our patients suffered from various endoparasites.