Wednesday - went for a fast short run with Beth, nice to know I can survive a run here even if it is just three miles.
Because of violence and kidnapping this area was closed and barricaded by UN three years ago when we lived here. Today we not only were able to go in but to continue the prenatal program started there last month. We are 'escorted' by a young man that works for Heartline and lives in the area. He is our connection to the community and his presence gives us legitimacy and an element of safety. We drove deep into the crowded ghetto, masses of people, small shanties and small children,most were barely dressed. The fact that so many children were running around during the day is evidence that few go to school. White people coming into this area is not common so we had a crowd around us.
Once the pickup was parked (as close as we could get to the location) the streets narrowed even more - people cooking in out side pots, selling charcole, mudcakes. We entered a small church where women were already waiting for us.
We are caring for 30 women, that is all we can handle right now. Beth spoke a short welcome and introductions, Aghott opened with prayer, Jonna taught about Eclampsia; what to look for and what can be done. The women listened intently! Then we started doing exams. Beth and I did all the vitals and then the women went to Jonna and Stephanie for their 'bellies' to be measured (fh) heart tones and general exam. We enquire about their general health, signs of STD's or infections etc. These women live in conditions unacceptable to us foreigners, but normal to them. We are able to treat infections(UTI) and direct them where to get treatment for a suspected STD. This was just our second time in there, we go once a month. The need is so great and our care appreciated - hard to put it into words;;too much for me to express. One women had gone to a clinic to get pills to abort the baby, but she said it did not work. She said she wanted the baby but had no way to care for it....sad... this is one of the many reasons we are doing what we are, we will help her in every way we can. All of their stories are hard, their lives are hard. They were like sponges receiving our care and love.
Still cannot find my camera, will need to start using Shanes - too much to not share with you here, you need visuals!
Still not sleeping much : / Taking Valerian and Ashwagandha herbs, hope they start helping soon. Boys are doing well, doing their school. Joe loves it here. Shane is a HUGE help.
Today is Heartline Prenatal here in Port, I will walk down and spend the afternoon caring for some lovely Haitian women : )