In a couple days, I’ll be going, going back, back, to Haiti, Haiti (sorry for a Biggie reference this early on). I’ll be in Ranquitte with the Peacework Medical team, as they hold their annual clinic seeing over 3,000 patients. I won’t be working at the clinic this year, but instead providing follow-up for the current and in-the-works Ropa projects. This includes homes and roofs built by Ropa, Grade school scholarships for local kids, and our Nursing Scholarship Program. It’s going to be a little bizarre not working the clinic while in Ranquitte, but I’m pumped to get the ball rolling on some Ropa projects.
We’ve been able to provide the funds to build roofs and even homes in the area, but without being in country, it’s proven difficult to document the stories. I’ll be meeting with the families to get photos and learn about how the roofs or home have impacted their lives. Additionally, this is a reassessment of the situation. We’re not interested in building roofs because we’re passionate about roofs. We work to empower others through the alleviation of poverty. This means we have to see how we are impacting people, and ensure we’re aligned with our goals. The Ropa team is heavily influenced by our medical backgrounds, so like a good clinician, we don’t just treat a problem and forget about it.
While providing scholarships for kids in grade school has proven to be pretty straight forward, Nursing school is a different story. There are multitudes of nursing schools in Haiti, and the government recommends ones that have been accredited, but the details are difficult to obtain from abroad. I’ll be visiting several nursing schools all across the Nord region of Haiti to find the best school for our scholarship recipients. Early attempts to schedule visits were not very useful, so I enlisted a couple Haitian friends to help contact schools. In true Haitian fashion, the schools did not want to schedule a time to visit, but said they’d be more than happy to show me around and introduce me to students once we get there. In the U.S., I’d find this to be worrisome, but this is pretty reliable by Haitian standards.
In past posts, I’ve mentioned that going back to Ranquitte feels like visiting old friends. This time, there’s a sense of comfort to returning. I can’t wait to see how the town has changed, and our friends have grown. A year can bring a lot of change, especially in a community as strong as Ranquitte. I’ll be posting pictures and info during the trip, hopefully daily, so keep an eye on the site for stories, and pictures of the trip!
Thanks and spread the word!