Mission Trip Report- June 12-20, 2012
Overall Missions Goal: Serve God’s beloved poor.
1. Continue to build sister parish relationship and understand current status of ongoing projects.
2. Provide health care for the people of our sister parish in the following ways:
A. Run medical clinic/pharmacy and provide the best possible medical care to the greatest number possible.
B. Run dental clinic and provide cleanings and extractions, no restorations were done on this trip due to the reduced number on the dental team….we simply
could not find the dental team members we were in need of.
C. Create ID cards for patients for best possible patient tracking.
D. Support the patient testing through the use of a $80,000 portable Echocardiogram laptop brought on our trip by one of the team members.
E. Improve our medical missions through the use of process documents which describe the different steps needed to get the different areas of the medical
clinic quickly started and ready for the mission. This included a pharmacy process document, blood pressure program process document, referral
program process document, and a school clinic process document. These documents more than anything help to make it possible to quickly get to
maximum efficiency. The serve as a starting point for getting everyone up to speed the whole process and then slight alterations are made from there to
adjust for the different skill sets of the people that are on team.
F. Work for the second time side by side with the Haitian nurse which was hired to work in our sister parish.
G. Continue with our referral program and referral patient tracking which provides the support for the people in our sister parish to get health care in the cities
of Jacmel or Port-au-Prince when we are not in Haiti.
H. Transport emergency cases from Gandou to the cities of Jacmel and Port-au-Prince using our truck.
3. Provide opportunity for our team to experience Haiti and especially our sister parish.
Focus Area #1 - Sister Parish Relationship/Status of Ongoing Projects
Earthquake Rebuilding/Construction projects
1. Father gave us a copy of the reconstruction building plan. Last time father gave us a 9 page document details out the rebuilding plans, this time Father gave
us a new version that is 12 pages. New Church building is to be 85 feet by 42 feet.
2. The reconstruction plans continue to show the project as an 18 month project.
3. Total cost estimated for this new Church has increased from $190,230 US to $231,503. Father already has $20,000 US from a German organization. We
currently have about $75,000. That means we are short $95,000. By the end of our trip Father had heard back from his Bishop and they were going to start working on the church in a few days. After the trip we got an email from Father that said they had started digging the foundation.
4. PROCHE – Catholic Church’s Organization of the Rebuilding Efforts in Haiti. This is the organization that was formed by Catholic Relief serves and the
Catholic Church. They help organize the aid organizations to help rebuild Churchs in Haiti. They have seen the plans and have given their ok. They believe
the plans are good enough. PROCHE does not actually give money to help with reconstruction, but rather helps to make sure the plans are good and in-line
with the overall earthquake reconstruction approach. PROCHE is who donors like Adveniate and The Church in Distress talks to. If PROCHE does not
agree with the plans then these organization would not help.
5. The people of the community had already carried and sorted rocks at the building site. There was a huge pile of them there.
6. They need a Church building to go to. The leaky roof pole shanty with the dirt floor that they are using now just does not work when it rains.
Earthquake Damaged Home Rebuilding Project – This is the third home we are building.
1. The family is trying to find sand to do the construction.
2. The place they want to build has crops on it and they are waiting for that.
3. Expecting to start construction in September. Father expects it to take several months to build.
4. The leader of the construction project has been found.
5. Father still wants us to kick off a home building fund raiser project for all the other people with earthquake damaged or destroyed homes because many of
the poorest people still need homes (2 years after the earthquake).
6. Estimate to build a very simple 2-room home is between $3,500 and $4,000.
7. Father specifically asked that we try to seek out money to help rebuild one of our health workers (Xavier’s) home.
New Clinic Construction
1. Father is ready to start anytime we can come up with the money.
2. Father had an estimate done.
3. We had earlier estimated $30,000-$40,000 for just the basic structure. The estimate was more than twice this amount.
4. We had made our estimate based on the school building which was close to the same size.
5. The estimate had many more rooms and furnishings inside than what we must have.
6. Expect that we can make this more simple and get it done for much less.
7. Father is fine with two or more construction projects at one time.
8. Father said it is possible to build the clinic in about one year if he has the money.
9. Much to our surprise when some of the team walked to the market which is about 15 minutes walk from the rectory they found a construction project was
taking place for a new clinic. Father explained to us that this is being built with money from politicians. The clinic was nice with several rooms and a cistern
and latrine. It is exactly what we need. Father said he has seen this type of work before and he expects it will never get a doctor or a nurse. He said the
people that owned the land (sounds like several people) are already fighting. He said it would likely get built and sit and never be used. Another group we
know that served another part of Haiti tried for years to buy a clinic building like this and were never able to. The building just sat and no one used it. Father
said an organization called ONG/Jaconie built it.
10. We later talked to father about the costs and told him it was too high and he said….tell us what you can pay and we will accept that amount.
School in Gandou
1. We have been in discussion with Father Nexcene for some time about repairing the roof some of the school classrooms that were condemned after the
2. The rooms have been condemned because they have a 20 foot by 20 foot 8 inch thick cement roof on them that is cracked and likely to fall on the children,
however one of the rooms is still being used for the kindergarten class and every school day there are about 85 kids that spend their day under this
condemned cement ceiling.
3. Please pray that this cement ceiling does not fall on these children!
4. There is an organization in Canada that is willing to help us fund the replacement of this roof.
5. They have simply asked that they get an email from Father stating the plans and costs to replace the roof. They want assurance that after giving the money
the work will be done and the school room will remain functional.
6. When we were there we sat with Father and typed an email to the leader of this Canada group instructing him of our plans to get him the information he
7. Father had a plan to get the person that helps him with construction projects to provide a quote by the end of the month on the job to replace the roof.
8. It is going to be a very tricky job because the cement ceiling is directly attached to the rock walls and when you try to take down the cement ceiling the walls
are likely to fall as well.
9. Not sure how he will keep his workers from getting hurt when the ceiling is dropped.
10. If the walls fall the total room will be wasted.
11. We emailed the Canada contact that by the end of June we would have a quote and proposal for him.
12. They guy from Canada seemed happy with that.
13. By the end of August, Father did not yet have this quote and plans for replacement of the roof, but now expects to have it in September.
14. Father helped us capture pictures from the school sponsor students that we had missed last trip due to the students not being at school. There was still one
student we did not get a picture for.
15. We took several check bags of school supplies and toothpaste and toothbrushes with us to Gandou and gave them to father. He is always very pleased to
High School/LaVallee House (House we are renting in a nearby city that has a high school so the 14 kids from Gandou can go to high school.)
1.This is working very well.
2. Father had organized that all the students come to see us on Sunday. They all showed up together. They all seemed very happy.
3. We took their picture as a group.
University Kids Project (Sending Kids done with High School to University)
1. We had asked the three kids that we are sponsoring through the University to come back to Gandou every time they were able to help us with the work of
the medical/dental clinics.
2. So far they have done this for all of our trips.
3. This time again all three University kids were available to help us.
4. We spent significant time with them and we continue to be impressed by them.
5. For some of the trip they were working to help with patient registration, as Father had told them to do at the rectory, but as a part of our goal to work
ourselves out of a job in Gandou we decided to see how much they could do to help with the ID card system and process.
6. We asked them work beside Cindy at the ID card computer. Somehow Cindy was doing ID cards faster than we could do patients in the clinic and so it was
fine for her to take some time to explain the ID card system to the three young college men.
7. After working beside her for a couple days, she had taught them enough and started having them run the ID card computer.
8. Soon they were working the database and entering new patients as well as checking for the patient in the hard copy ID list and printing the new badges,
laminating them, and adding the string to the badge for the patient.
9. At first while running the ID card computer, the university students would get stuck and would quickly need Cindy’s help. After a little time they were doing it
completely by themselves and Cindy could walk away.
10. By the last day, Cindy simply gave them the walkie talkie and told them to call for her in the event that they needed her and she was able to come to the
clinic and help us there.
11. There was a time or two where we found some errors, but it was wonderful that the students had made such progress is such a short amount of time.
12. It is extremely encouraging that in one year of university and a couple days of working with them, we could have someone from Gandou doing one of our
most complicated jobs. This is truly encouraging.
13. On Sunday we had a talk with the students about how school was going.
14. We talked about their grades. Each of them say they are doing well in school. We asked for grades and they said they have not yet received their grades.
They said they have seen some of their test results and they were good but not their final grades.
15. Father and our translator talked to them about what they needed to do in order to get a copy of their grades. They were going to use the methods that
Father and the translator suggested and try to get a copy of them for us.
16. Six months ago on our winter trip the University Students had talked to us about taking classes during the summer semester to try to get done with
University quicker. They explained to us during this trip that they looked into the classes that were offered during the summer and there were not classes
that they could use so they decided they would not do that. We had talked to their sponsors about possibly needing sponsor money sooner than we
expected because of the summer school in addition to the standard fall and winter semesters, but this will no longer be the case.
17. Two of the University students will be working for Father in Gandou this summer. They will help with what they can in the school, Church, and rectory.
18. One of the students is going back to Port-au-Prince to work with one of his teachers in Port-au-Prince for the summer.
19. I had asked them for more details about their lives in Port-au-Prince.
20. All three are staying with some types of relatives in Port-au-Prince. They live fairly close together in Port-au-Prince.
21. They consider themselves like brothers. Sounds like they spend much time together and are very close friends.
22. I had asked them more about their lives in Port-au-Prince. I told them I wanted to know if they had enough to eat etc….they said “well we are Haitian we
accept what we have”. I am sure this means that they accept it when they often don’t have enough to eat.
23. One of them had emailed us earlier in the year and said school is going very well, but they had one problem, they had much homework to do on the
computer, but no computer.
24. They described that there is a computer lab, but it is seldom open, and when it is there is a long wait. There are so many students and so few computers.
They said most of their homework is to be done on Microsoft Word.
25. When we got the email from them about the computer they needed we went to Walmart and they had a computer on clearance for $270. We got it and
added some software on it and took it with us.
26. We explained to them that there are many good things that can be done on computer and many bad things as well, but we bought this computer for good
stuff only. Father reinforced this and we gave it to them.
27. Father and I explained that the computer was not theirs, but only for them to borrow and that the computer belonged to the University Student program.
They next students that come into the program would get the computer after them. We explained the care of a computer.
28. Father said they needed to pick one of them to be the organizer of the computer…this person would coordinate when each of them got to use it.
29. Father said he had a jump drive for them to use so they could keep a copy of their work.
30. We later found an organization that might be willing to donate several used laptops to our work. Maybe we might have a laptop for each of the students next
31. The students were very happy and full of energy.
32. Father asked that anytime anyone email the University students that they copy him on the emails so that he is aware of what is going on. If money needs to
be transferred it should go through Father.
Clinic/Health Care Workers/Nurse
1. After mass on Sunday we took some time to sit down with the health care workers to talk through how medical care is going in our sister parish when we are
2. This was the second meeting which has included the nurse since she got to Gandou about 8 months ago. Our last meeting which was six months earlier, the
nurse had only been there for a few weeks so she was still so new to everything and she was still just trying to figure out how all the processes worked.
3. This time she was contributing much more and was a key part in the whole process.
4. The nurse reported the clinic is open from 8am to 2pm on Monday through Friday. She reported seeing about 10 patients per day. She said there is a health
care worker that works the clinic with her. They have a schedule they go by to determine who is working with her that day.
5. She reported seeing things like fever, cough, scabies, giardia, diarrhea, and hernia.
6. She reported that when she runs out of a medicine she reports to Father and he can get more.
7. She reported that the biggest problem is she doesn’t have a bed for the patients. Father said they have talked to a carpenter who is supposed to make one.
Sounds like he is also going to make a desk. They have already made a change in the clinic itself. They have added a semi-permanent divider in the clinic
area that separates out a small area for an examine room. This is great for us from the standpoint that we now have a dedicated area for exams, but not so
great in that it takes us 35% of our clinic floor space so it makes it a little more difficult to have three providers working in the clinic at one time, but we can
8. Father reported that the two new health workers are starting to do the referral work and next trip we should begin paying them for that work.
9. Health care workers suggested that next time we give numbers to the patients after they get their dossiers that will determine when they get in the clinic.
They would like to keep more patients up at the rectory and only bring down a few patients to the clinic at a time. This will help them take better quality BPs.
They said they could provide the man-power to do this. Likely just write a number on top of the dossier to signify the order that they were given out. I will try
to get these pre-printed on the dossiers.
10. Out of the suggestion of one of the providers from an earlier trip, we created a small hand-out that tells the patients about scabies and the care for scabies.
It explains that we have medicine, but it only works on one person (everyone else in the family still needs treated) and the scabies are in the cloths and the
bed cloths and everything needs to be washed to get rid of them. Everything is written in Kreyol and the handout is simply given to the patients that have
scabies. The health workers really loved this paper and asked that we bring extra next time so they have some to hand-out when we are not there.
11. The nurse reported that in addition to running the clinic she has been doing health training as well. This is great because prevention is what we are really
12. We found out that our nurse has a husband in the USA and a 3 year old boy that lives in Jacmel.
13. We told Father and the nurse that since St. Anthony’s parish is paying for the nurse’s salary they would like regular updates from her on how things are
going. In order to enable her to do so we took her a laptop computer. We talked to Father Nexcene about this first and he was all for it. He was happy and
said that his internet cord could be pulled through the rectory window and she can sit on the porch and type up emails and send them. We asked for regular
updates every two weeks if possible on what kind of issues they were seeing in the clinic, how things were going, what type of health problems they were
finding, what help she needed from us, etc.
14. A couple weeks after the trip we received our first email from the nurse. It was very nice. It had a detailed report that told how many births of male and
female children, it told about the types of health issues the people that have come to clinic have had. It talked about the number of each problem. It talked
about the number of deaths.
15. She apparently already has a notebook of what she has been doing where she basically kept track of this information already.
16. The deal we worked out is that all communication with the nurse we need to copy Father Nexcene.
17. The nurse said she was going to have Father check all her emails before she sent them.
18. We provided the laptop to the nurse, but she really did not know much of anything about how to use it.
19. We worked with her for maybe about 2 hours trying to teach her how to turn it on and get it ready to use, and how to send an email. She had it by the end of
our training session.
20. We spent some time talking about the blood pressure program and the referral patient program.
21. We clearly explained that we are holding the nurse responsible for these programs. She is the highest paid and had the highest level of education of the
health care workers so she is responsible. She already seemed to understand this for the blood pressure program patients and was already working close
with the health care workers on this, but she was less involved in the referral program, and she agreed to get much more involved in the referral program
and said she would help the health care workers organize their information for the next time.
22. We provided each of the health care workers three ring binder tabs so they can organize their blood pressure and referral patient information. They had
requested this on the previous trip.
23. Father and the health care workers again talked about the problem with the referral program is the fact that they have so little access to transportation. They
cannot rely on Father to drive them back and forth to Jacmel. They continue to request a motorcycle to help with patient transportation.
24. Both the health care workers showed us the patients they had completed the referral work on and the receipts they had to demonstrate the costs associated
with the referrals that they were working on.
25. Last time we asked for the health care workers to come more prepared to share the status of their referral patients. We asked them to have the receipts
already sorted out and with the referral patient information so we could go through this update process much more quickly. They understood and this time
they had their records sorted out fairly well and provided the records to us quickly.
26. We continue to be impressed by the skills of the two new health workers…Oscal and Ricko. There blood pressure measurements seem to be good, they are
hard workers, and they seem to be picking up most of the skills that our older health care workers.
27. We asked the nurse if she had a camera and could send us pictures of patients or anything else when necessary and she said she did not. We need to find
28. The nurse reported that she needs to work with the mid-wives. They need some materials so they can do their work well. We told the nurse to let us know
what they need. This is a project we want to support and make sure they have what they need.
29. Since the last trip one of the health care workers (Francois) worked with the referral patients and completed 1 hernia surgery and 1 breast cyst and 1
30. Since the last trip one health care worker (Xavier) reported that he completed 2 surgeries….one prostate and one keloids.
31. The total cost per patient for the surgeries is still very cheap…something like $150.
Economic Growth in Gandou
1. We talked to Father about having the school kids make cards that we would bring back and sell to people in the USA. We had taken card stock down about
a year ago for them to do this.
2. I had some example cards and gave them to Father Nexcene so he would know what we were looking for. However, they had already completed the cards
and gave them to us. They are wonderful. They are little pictures that the kids drew or traced….they are so cute.
3. We don’t think they know what a card is because they cut most of them from being a card that you open to just a single piece of paper without a flip lid. We
will need to remake them into cards so we can sell them.
4. The plan is to sell them to try to make money to buy some desks for the school teachers so they don’t have to stand all day and they have a place to work.
5. Our plan is to have a bunch of these for the silent auction.
1. The next trip dates are January 17-25.
2. These days are good for Father Nexcene.
3. We told him there would be a big dental team for the next trip.
4. Father said it will likely be hard for him to find a generator for the dental team.
5. We decided we would try to send one on a sea container before the next trip.
1. We had no mass stipends this time.
2. Need to run an ad in the bulletin or something to try to stir up some.
Father Nexcene’s Priorities
1. Father still really wants to fix the room on the old part of the rectory that was damaged by the earthquake.
2. He said when it rains really hard the water comes down between the walls where the old part of the rectory mates up with the new part of the rectory.
3. He seemed to be worried about several things, one of which was the wood that attaches to this wall that holds up the floor in the old part of the rectory.
4. Once this floor falls it will damage much of the rest of the old part of the rectory.
5. We had a person on the trip that is an architect. He looked at it and made a recommendation to help support the floor joists in the old part of the rectory. His
fix was a fairly simple one, but it required some lumbar to be purchased. It did not address the leaking water from the two walls.
6. The water that comes between the walls must also cause significant issues because of all the places in goes once in comes in the rectory.
7. Father would really like to make major improvements to the rectory, the estimate for this is $14,800.
A. This would yield another room for our team to stay when we went to Gandou.
B. This would also have another bathroom on it.
C. Father said this room has become his #1 priority.
8. Father is still asking for someone to come to talk about development in Gandou….how do they improve all that they do….farming, economic growth, public
health, infrastructure. We need to work on who this would be and how they would help.
9. Father is asking for help with a project to teach people about the Church. He said he would send us an estimate.
10. Father is asking for a project to help train the farmers in the area. He said he would send us an estimate.
11. He later sent us an estimate for several projects and we were not able to fund all of them. We need to look for donors to help fund more of these projects.
12. Father reported that the biggest problem they have is the secondary school. There was a government and private school somewhere fairly nearly close but
they don’t work anymore. Many parents have come to him and asked him what he can do. The problem is there are no teachers that can teach beyond the
grades they currently have (up to 6th grade). He is asking if we can help to add at least one more grade onto his current school. He would like us to help
fund a 7th grade teacher because the current school only goes to the 6th grade. We asked for the cost of this and he later emailed us the cost. The teacher
would need to be moved into the Gandou area and so the cost will be higher because of this. The cost turned out to be over $7,000 per year. We simply do
not have the funds to start this project. This is much more than we expected it would be. We need to find a donor to pay for this. We emailed father back told
him we are sorry but we cannot fund this project at this time.
13. When Father emailed us he also asked for help for a couple projects just like he did last year.
14. Father wants some help for Catechists, to train the people in the faith
15. Father wanted some help for a youth spiritual retreat.
16. Father wanted some help for young adult retreat. and
17. Father still wants to move ahead with the motorcycle project. We have talked about this several times; Father would like us to move forward on this. We
need to raise these funds. The motorcycle is greatly needed for transporting patients and health care workers back and forth from Gandou to the Jacmel
Hospital (3hrs drive away). The health care workers go between Jacmel and home so much now and they have to find their own way to get there and back
all the time. They really need this. Many of the patients are able to ride a motorcycle…some would not, but the majority still would be able to travel through
18. Father also emailed us and asked for money to fix the truck windows which were damaged last year after the spare tire exploded. He coupled this with the
need to fix the tie rods that steer the truck. He asked for $1700 for this.
19. Father still wants to kick off a construction project for the clinic.
20. Father still asked for a project to help the rebuilding of homes after the earthquake, not just the two we started but all the other ones in the area that need