My May 2016 trip: Part 2

(If you missed part 1 of this story, you can read it here.)

Where was I? Oh yes. The beach.

We were hoping to get to the beach on Sunday … but it was not meant to be! The weather was not looking good for it. And although it did not end up raining that day, we did not end-up going to the beach.

Monday, May 9 

We were blessed with another sunny day so we were set to head up the mountain to LaFond. This started with a quick trip to Rebuild Global to pick up the founder and one of their interns. 

We were on our way to deliver 40 pairs of shoes from Duex Mains to schoolchildren in LaFond.  

It was about a 10 mile round-trip to Rebuild Global and it took us three hours and 45 minutes to drive it! Traffic in PAP continues to get worse and worse.  

We then headed to Petit-Goave where we would meet a pastor who’d drive us up the mountain.  We also changed trucks for the remainder of the trip. The last 14 miles to LaFond would take us 2:45. This time it wasn’t due to traffic as we only met 1 other truck on the entire trip. This time it was because of the shape of the roads.  

 The “road” on the way up to LaFond.

The “road” on the way up to LaFond.

The roads were steep, rocky, muddy, and rough. We also had to forge through four streams along the way. This is why a trip on Saturday wouldn’t have worked in the rain. The water was way up and we would not have been able to pass or been at risk of being washed downstream (insert water/road photo).  

Moto’s (motorcycle taxis) are the main source of transportation up and down the mountain. They carry everything; people, goats, bundles of 10 ft. PVC pipe, and anything else you can think of.  

Shortly before we reached the top of the mountain, we came upon a group of people standing by the side of the road. The pastor in our truck knew just about everyone up and down the mountain, so when we stopped, I thought it was so he could visit for a bit. 

I heard the word “Moto” and thought it was a Moto stop. Meanwhile, the pastor was talking to the group of people, I spotted a small boy down by a little hut on the bank on the side of the mountain (he probably had not seen many white people) and I began playing peek-a-boo with him. Jayme then asked me to get out of the truck. I asked what was going on and she said that there had been a Moto crash. 

A Moto with three men on it had gone over the edge and they were injured! I was told that one of the men was bleeding badly and had already been taken away before we arrived. (I am not sure where the bleeding passenger was taken. The translator told me there were no nearby hospitals or clinics!)

I sprang into action to inspect the situation. 

The driver of the motorcycle had a lot of pain in his right leg as well as in his chest. His leg had soft-tissue injuries but was not fractured. It appeared he’d taken the handle bar directly to the chest. His lungs sounded good and he did’nt appear to have any fractures. 

The other passenger had a lot of pain in his right foot. It could have been fractured. He also had a laceration to his right ear. He didn’t look too good. He had been knocked out in the accident, the translator told us.  

The embankment had about a 30 foot drop. I am not sure how far down they had gone through the trees because someone had already carried them all back up onto the road.

Since there wasn’t a clinic nearby, I ended-up providing the pre-hospital care, the in-hospital care, and the post-hospital care — this was my first true field emergency experience in Haiti.   

We gave them Tylenol and the driver stated that he had someone coming to get him. We loaded the passenger into our truck and took him home — farther up the mountain. 

This was certainly a new adventure in expanding my experiences of medicine in Haiti!

After we took our passenger where he wanted to go, we carried on to our final destination. When we arrived we were greeted by a beautiful sunset. It was a nice reward as we finished out a 10-hour trip (which was only a total of a 60 miles away). 

 The sunset that met us at the top of the mountain in LaFond

The sunset that met us at the top of the mountain in LaFond

It was a very cool temperature on the top of the mountain (which was 3,000 feet above sea level) and was a nice break from the heat of Port-au-Prince. It lead to a chilly night, though. It was probably the first time I have ever really been cold in Haiti!

Tuesday, May 10 

it was a beautiful day and the view from the top of the mountain was breathtaking. 

 It might not be the most exclusive in Haiti but the school we visited had an incredible view from the playground.

It might not be the most exclusive in Haiti but the school we visited had an incredible view from the playground.

We followed a trail to the school and distributed shoes to a bunch of the kids. They were excited to get nice, new shoes to wear to school. Some of the kids wanted to remove them so they wouldn’t get dirty! They may have never had a new pair of shoes in their life.  

It was great to be a part of the first distribution of shoes for Rebuild Globally!

 A group of 6th grade boys before getting their new shoes

A group of 6th grade boys before getting their new shoes

 After. Steppin' out!

After. Steppin' out!

We didn’t stay long because we needed to start the trip back to PAP.  

On our way back, as we were driving through a market near LaFond, the passenger from Monday’s Moto accident noticed us. He walked up to our truck, smiled, and gave me a fist bump and a thumbs up. It was nice to see him and know that he was OK! (It had been a little un-nerving for me the day before to know that he had a loss of consciousness but wasn’t going to get a CAT scan.)    

Wednesday, May 11

Larry and Jayme left for the airport at 7:30 in the morning. I was on my own for the rest of the trip. 

My driver, Arnel, was going to take me to the organizations that I wanted to look at as I worked to find places to partner with. But it was his second job and we had some things that would need to be done for Friends Of Haiti Organization (FOHO).  

Firstly, he needed to get a load of cement block to the FOHO property so they could continue to build the wall around their property. So we got in the truck and started driving.

We drove. And drove. And drove. I started to wonder where in the world we were headed just to get blocks! 

Then, all of a sudden, I knew where we were! It was near one of the ministries I wanted to visit! It was the Mission of Hope …

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Tune in next time to hear how the rest of Wednesday (and beyond) went!

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—Kelby