You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2015.

Cherlie and I and our staff aren’t getting any time off from our clinic this holiday season, since Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Fridays, which is not a regular clinic day for us. But, we did try to make the season real by playing Santa Claus ourselves. As any of you know who have visited us here, as we get within a couple of miles of the clinic, we start noticing an interesting phenomenon. As our jeep slowly wends its way up the mountain, all the little children who live by the side of the road come running out to shout “Goodbye” and wave to us. They’re all between the ages of about 2 and 5 years old and our morning and afternoon passing has become a sort of ritual for them. It’s become quite comical to us, especially when we hear one child call out to another “the doctor is coming, the doctor is coming”!

Well, this year on Christmas Eve afternoon as we made our way down the mountain and past the waving little ones, we had special gifts for them – large stuffed animals (Beanies) and brand new hot wheels cars still in their packages. The squeals of delight were a joy to behold and we felt certain that we blessed the lives of at least a few little souls this holiday season. Santa couldn’t have been more pleased himself!

Gifts for our little friends

Gifts for our little friends

Squeal of delight!

Squeal of delight!

Something for everyone

Something for everyone

Our website has been quiet for several weeks, but it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot happening! Cherlie and I were in the US for most of November, visiting family and churches in New Jersey and attending a board meeting and other activities in Milwaukee. It was a productive time and provided a nice change of pace for us.

The clinic has been very busy lately and we were blessed earlier this month with having a team from Avera Health System in South Dakota here to help us out. Joining their group was Dr. Bruce McIntosh, a pediatrician from Jacksonville, Florida. The team had a very busy week helping in the clinic, putting up doors in the pharmacy building, getting a sterilizer working and giving out lots of clothing, diapers and sanitary kits to our patients. In addition, they brought us some much needed medications and supplies as well as patient numbers with the clinic logo on them. It was a fun week and we appreciated their help.

Team leader and nurse Kathy English holding an infant with a new handmade knitted cap on her head

Team leader and nurse Kathy English holding an infant with a new handmade knitted cap on her head

Dr. Bruce McIntosh helping with patient consultations in our Gatineau clinic.

Dr. Bruce McIntosh helping with patient consultations in our Gatineau clinic.

Dan Irvine and Steve Kruger busy putting up doors inside the pharmacy building.

Dan Irvine and Steve Kruger busy putting up doors inside the pharmacy building.

Nurse Jan McGrath with one of the clinic patients

Nurse Jan McGrath with one of the clinic patients

Mary Fargeness shows patients how to brush their teeth with the help of a translator, a huge toothbrush and a large stuffed crocodile “Croc”.

Mary Fargeness shows patients how to brush their teeth with the help of a translator, a huge toothbrush and a large stuffed crocodile “Croc”.

We have been having record numbers of patients lately in our clinic and have had to occasionally turn people away. All the school children are on vacation and many of them are home with their families out in the country. So, when they get sick, they’re coming in to see us! We’re glad to be of service to them, we just hope the overwhelming patient volume will let up soon!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

It’s always a little hard to feel much in the Christmas spirit here in Haiti due to the tropical climate and lack of visual evidence of celebration around us. This holiday season has been an especially difficult one for the Haitian people because of uncertainty and unrest related to the recent Presidential and parliamentary elections. A date for the final runoff election hasn’t yet been decided and many people are restless and upset with the unfair practices they perceive have taken place. It is in the midst of uncertainty in the world that the Gospel of Jesus Christ becomes most comforting – the Rock of Ages, the One on whom we can throw all our burdens and cares. We rejoice in celebration of the birth of the Christ child – sent to earth by the Father to redeem us from our sins and give us New Life in Him. All of us with Friends for Health in Haiti wish for you a very blessed and peaceful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas!

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