Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Need

Haiti medical  team, 2011

Some of you probably already know that in January I'm volunteering to serve as part of a medical mission in Haiti. I know, I'm still a little shocked, too. Here I am, a non-medical person needed on a medical mission. Blows my mind. I couldn't really explain why I said yes. Or even all the steps that led to it. Everything just kind of...happened. But I can tell you how I feel. Most of the time, I'm excited and just can't wait to get out there.

Haitians waiting for medical care
But sometimes? I'm really, really scared. I don't know what all I'll be facing. It'll be unnerving, I'm sure--we'll be dealing with abject poverty. Sick people. Wounded. Hungry. Tired. Diseased. Hurting.


It's the hurting that will get to me.
For laundry, bathing, drinking


So many struggling just to eat day to day or to find clean drinking water. Of course, cholera is an issue there, so we'll see some of that, too.

The first day, we'll hike three hours up a mountain to reach a remote village that might not otherwise ever receive medical care. It's hard work, this mission, where we'll carry our supplies on our backs, be on our feet most of the day, staying in open air quarters. But whatever. That's nothing compared to what so many Haitians have to deal with on a daily basis.


And there's an orphanage on site, where I'm going. So we'll be surrounded by children, which, oh my word, how awesome, right? Their laughter. Their little hands. Even the teenagers with their heavy-lidded eyes and shy smiles...love it.

But these are not children like so many of our children. My children have me. No doubt. They know when they need me, I'm there. Any time, all the time. When they're hurting or angry or happy, I'm there. Always. But these kids?

They say sometimes the children will line up just to sit on your lap. That they'll follow you around talking and talking in creole, waiting for a smile from you or a laugh or a kind word they don't understand or for you to hold your arms out so they can jump into them.

This infant's life was saved last year
They know that when the foreigners come with their medical supplies, that they come not with candy or toys or any of the things that could be destructive giving, but with medicine to help them...and hands to hold. Every inch of my heart breaks at the thought of that kind of need. And yet I want to go, more than anything. I want to hold the hand of someone who needs it.

These Haitians? It calls to me, their need. So. I will go.

But I can't do it alone.

As part of this mission, all serving are required to get immunizations and raise enough to cover our plane tickets and stay in the meager accommodations as well as money for RX meds and supplies for the mission. Additionally, we're expected to bring as much over-the-counter medicine as we can carry. Right now, I'm short. Like, by a lot. I need to raise at least $400 more. And I have all of 13 boxes of OTC meds. I'm desperate enough that I've finally done what a couple of my friends have been telling me to do, and I'm turning to you for help.

So what I'm asking of you is to search deep inside yourself and do only what you can. Of course, your emotional support is just as valuable to me as anything else, but if you can spare even a dollar, less than the cost of a cup of coffee, that's a box of children's vitamins from the dollar store--at minimum. Because we also have pharmaceutical connections and can purchase RX drugs and supplies at cost, so that $20 can support the medical needs of something like 60 Haitians for over a month. Seriously. An American family can blow that in one meal eating out. If you feel that you can, please click on the Paypal Donate button to donate funds for this medical mission, as little or as much as you like.





But please. Only what you can. In exchange, we're trying to procure Internet in Haiti so that I can blog about what we're doing while we're there--and so you can see how your support is helping. But I'll ask you only to do what you feel is right, what you feel moved to do. Dude, just reading and tuning in, caring about the welfare of others, thinking about how connected we really are--that's huge, too.

Anyway, this has been a really hard post for me to write. How do I convey a need I feel inside myself in such a way you might feel it, too? I don't know, honestly. I don't. When you look at these eyes, do you feel it?


It's piercing, isn't it?

------
Information about my trip in January


Locale: Medical clinic volunteers for Mission Haiti Medical will reside on the compound of L’Eglise De Dieu Reformee in Saintard, Haiti. Saintard is a small village in the Arcahaie region of Haiti, about 30 miles northwest of Port AuPrince, Haiti’s capital.

Accommodations: Accommodations are meager and volunteers are asked to share rooms with other volunteers. The sleeping quarters are open-air, but protected from rain by an overhead roof. Running water for the restroom and showers is used conservatively. Clean drinking water is provided at all times. Electricity and telephone services are unreliable and availability cannot be guaranteed.

Schedule: A Mission Haiti Medical work camp lasts 7-10 days. Three to five days are devoted to mobile clinics, in which the team travels to a rural area to provide a one-day clinic. These are full days and may involve driving through rough terrain and a few hours of mountain hiking. A mobile clinic requires medical professionals, but also relies on a team of persons to assist with procedures,
crowd control, and dispensing medications.
Language: The spoken language is Haitian Creole. Interpreters are used in the clinics.

------

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. Seriously. Even just stopping by, reading, commenting. Huge.



***Please note, in order to prevent unscrupulous people from attempting a scam...while there might be others directing you to my site, I'm only accepting paypal donations from my blog/Facebook for my medical mission.

46 comments:

  1. You are a saint. I'm glad to help in any way I can. I only wish I could donate more. Power to you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're beautiful, you know that? I'm pretty sure I just sent through a donation, but I'm on the road for work and the internet's moving at a snail's pace -- when you get a chance can you check for me and let me know if it didn't go through? Otherwise, have a fantastic time, and it's an honour to help support what you're doing in any small way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is wonderful!! I will live vicariously through you in January. I know it will be tough and emotional and...tough.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's so awesome that you are going. Even though it will be heart wrenching much of the time, I'm sure it'll be so rewarding too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I admire you. There's still hope for us as a race when I discover pure souls such as you selflessly taking action instead of those, like me, that are unable, or too afraid, to do anything. If I had anything to give financially, I'd give it all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here's to hoping the joy of giving outweighs the hurt of suffering. There is no greater gift than compassion for your fellow man.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Carolina - you are a shiny bright sparkly star - sorry about my little donation!

    I wish you and all those involved in this project all the best!!

    :-)

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Carol - Way to be a hero. I hope the cash helps. I'll try to get something up on my blog today, too. Have a safe and productive trip!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope those eyes pierce all the right people! Good luck on you Mission! I'm over the moon excited for you! I know the scared feeling you speak of but let me assure you... When you arrive it lifts! And pure joy to help these people replaces any fear or anxiety! Love you girl!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is beyond awesome--both the mission and you. It's hard to imagine what you will experience, but I'm sure it will be unforgettable and rewarding on many levels. Your heart is huge.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an amazing opportunity! My husband and I worked in orphanages in Ecuador the first summer we were married and it really was heart-wrenching. Those kids need so much love. You will have an amazing time, good and bad.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I sincerely believe we get by giving. I know this will be a life changing trip for you, in the best of ways. I also KNOW they couldn't find a better human being than you for this mission.

    Love you, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "How do I convey a need I feel inside myself in such a way you might feel it, too?"

    I think you conveyed the need in a beautiful and unobtrusive way!

    *HUGS*

    ReplyDelete
  14. After doing a very similar thing in China, I can only say I wish I could give more than I did. Your heart will break and you will never be the same, but it will be one of the best things to ever happen to you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So proud of you! May your blessings be great and may you touch the lives of the people there in ways you will never know.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Carol, it was so great to meet you at WFC. I have donated what I can - I hope it helps! Good luck on the mission, and thanks for your service.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You have many people plugging this for you today, Carolina.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I gave you every penny left in my paypal account (it's next to nothing, but all I have to spare). You're amazing for doing this and I'll support any way I can.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You rock! We have sponsored a girl at a Haitian orphanage for 2 1/2 years now. Haiti needs all the help it can get.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So proud of you chickie! We go where we're led. Your life will never be the same after this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. God, how you write. How your passion bleeds onto the page. Stunning, your words, your dream, your action. I clicked the button. And I'll be saying some prayers in January.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What you're doing really is amazing. You are going in January? What's the deadline to donate? I can't manage it right, now, but I'd REALLY love to help you out. Next month? Is that too late?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am awed by your awesomeness, Carol. Happy to donate to a wonderful cause!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love ya darlin, you know that. YOU are the sweetest person I know, so unselfish and willing to do whatever you can for anyone. God Bless You.


    <3<3<3

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is so, so, SO amazing of you, and I am SO glad you have turned to the blogosphere for support. This is EXACTLY the sort of thing I want to put my money into, and I will now spread the word about your mission.

    Thank you so much for going out and helping the world. <3

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'll send a donation, Carol. Love what you're doing, pal. Smooch!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think it's great that you are stepping out of your comfort zone, and that you're sharing the journey with us!

    I am happy to help support your trip, especially since you have a connect to pharmaceutical companies. I can imagine the need for pharmaceuticals is great in Haiti.

    Thank you for sharing and best of luck, Carolina!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is the stuff of life, of love, of giving and re-giving. I think the journey sounds wonderful and it pulls me in. I would love to do something like that again. It changes you, and I need changing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What an amazing undertaking. You are awesome, Carol, truly. You bet I'll donate.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I don't know why I thought you already went on this trip, but I did. Silly me.

    But I do think it's pretty amazing that you are doing this. My mom's doing a dental mission in Honduras about the same time. You are all wonderful and total saints in my book!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You are amazing!
    Gorgeous inside and out.
    Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. You ARE a saint! I could never go for my own personal reasons. Thank you for being so generous.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It will change your life and I can't wait to read about it. Be safe.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Scary yet awesome, with the possiblity for immeasurable reward. I wish I could do something like this. But sometimes we only need to look next door to make a difference. I guess any of us can do that, if we'd but take the time. Good for you, going above and beyond what I can even imagine. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  35. So many people have given they're time, money, care and prayers. My sister's Rotary club, out of St. Thomas, was one of the first to get supplies in right after the quake. They continue to work tirelessly to help the Haitians.

    You will no doubt never be quite the same after visiting. You will see heartbreak and the amazing will of the human being to survive. All my best to you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. My mother in law did this, and she said it was a life-changing experience. I know you'll make a big difference. Good luck and be safe! :o) <3

    ReplyDelete
  37. I think it's wonderful you're doing this. I can't imagine how hard and rewarding it will be. I'm sure you'll be transformed.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You are a very brave woman. Best wishes on the mission, and for a safe return. I'll post this link on FB, and spare a little, since tomorrow is payday.

    ......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  39. I would give anything to accompany you, Carol. Truly I would. I remember doing a post about Haiti shortly after the earthquake 13/1/2010 - nearly 2yrs ago. It feels like yesterday. And there hasn't been a day that I have not thought about the people who have been left abandoned by their own government. And what's worse, is that so much money was donated, but never got to the people in need. Tragic to the extreme.

    I love and admire the person that you are.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm honored to donate. I only wish it could be more. I'll also be checking in from now on to see how you (and eventually the mission) are doing. These kids need medicine and basic living supplies, but they also need loving people to show them first hand how much they matter. Thank you and Bless you for being one of those people.

    Mrs B

    ReplyDelete
  41. I admire you for having the courage to make a sacrifice to step out you comfort zone to do such a thing as this. You are in my prayers.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is truly a great mission you are doing, Carol. So many people need so much help, and although we are only one person, we CAN do something, as you are doing.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

    ReplyDelete
  43. Just saw Simon's post and came over here straight away and donated. I wish you the best of luck on your mission.

    I'm applauding your human kindness. Loudly.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have a friend who made her first trip to Haiti this summer - she was nervous just like you, but she came back positively glowing. I'm sure you will too. The things you'll see will be heart wrenching, but the connections made and care given are more than enough to overcome that.

    Reaching out here was the right thing to do - it provides a way for us to do at least a small something to help get you down there to do a BIG something.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have to admire you for being willing to stand up and go help those people-- they need it. I will donate something. :)

    ReplyDelete

Make your comment stand out. Use bold words. Or italics. Whatever.