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Due to my perfectionist tendencies, I’m not a very good blogger. It’s because I want to be sure that anything I write is well-written and says something significant. I realize those are not really priorities in the social networking realm, but it’s hard to break from well-established habits! In this blog, however, I am going to attempt to be a bit mundane and share with you some photos of our newest batch of puppies! We have a prolific female dog that is a typical Haitian “mutt” but she is a very good mother and is very fertile, having had numerous litters of puppies over the years, most of which we’ve given away. Recently, however, we kept her in the yard with our half-German Shepherd male, Smokey, hoping that nature would take its course and they would mate. Well, 6 weeks ago, she birthed 3 male and 2 female puppies and we think they definitely have some Smokey tendencies! Below are photos of the cute little things, all of whom we think we’ll have to keep!

 Here is a tired-looking mama nursing all 5 of her babies at once. And some of you thought twins were hard!

Here is a tired-looking mama nursing all 5 of her babies at once. And some of you thought twins were hard!

Puppies_closeup

Each one finds the perfect position

All three boys are cream-colored, as is one of the females

All three boys are cream-colored, as is one of the females

The one black baby is a female who looks just like her daddy!

The one black baby is a female who looks just like her daddy!

 

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This summer we undertook a very ambitious project – that of doing a house to house census in the three rural sections (like counties) that our outpatient clinic serves. These three sections contain an estimated population of 40,000 and they could include as many as 8000 houses. Right now, we have ten teams of two in these three areas going door to door doing a simple survey and GPS mapping each house. The project is going much better than expected, thanks to the dedication of our census-takers and the strong support of Gemi Baptiste, our Community Coordinator. In addition, we have been blessed by having the assistance of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health student Brooks Morgan with us for several weeks. Brooks is taking all the information that is collected on the tablets that the census workers are using and is “cleaning” the data and troubleshooting problem questions or responses, giving that information to Gemi who is communicating it back to the workers. This has resulted in minor changes to the survey questions, but is making it easier to get complete, usable information. Once all the data is collected, we’ll be able to tell what is the exact population, how many houses are in each rural section and each locality (the Haitian equivalent to a village), where they go for health care, whether or not they have a latrine, and some estimates at maternal mortality in the areas. It is a huge project, but one that will give us information that can help us plan future community development projects and future health care outreach.

Here are photos from the training session for the last three teams that were just sent out:

One of the teams working on getting used to using their tablet for data collection

One of the teams working on getting used to using their tablet for data collection

Another team practices taking a GPS reading on their tablet

Another team practices taking a GPS reading on their tablet

Brooks Morgan, MSPH student at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health helps with training of the last three teams to be sent out

Brooks Morgan, MSPH student at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health helps with training of the last three teams to be sent out

Please keep these 20 census workers, Brooks and Gemi in your prayers. The work is fatiguing, with miles of walking over difficult terrain, but the teams have shown tremendous commitment and conscientiousness thus far and we pray it will continue until everything is completed in another month or two. Stay tuned for the results!

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