Mission Trip Report- January, 2014
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
b. Provide Echo-cardiograms using a $100,000 portable echo brought on the trip by one of the
c. Run dental clinic and provide cleanings, extractions, and restorations. Continue to assess new
Haitian dental team to determine if using them in the future is beneficial.
d. Create ID cards for patients for best possible patient tracking.
e. Work for the fifth time side by side with the Haitian nurse which was hired to work in our sister
f. 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.
g. Transport emergency cases from Gandou to Port-au-Prince using our truck.
h. Involve the 3 students we are sponsoring to go to university in our clinic work and allowing
them to run the ID card table/computer/database.
3. Work to obtain visa for a patient in our sister parish that needs to come to the USA for surgery and
bring her back to the USA with us.
4. 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
Construction of the new church continues and it is clear that much progress has been made since the last trip. The walls are about twice as tall. The church choir loft is in place. The arch on the entry way is in place. The cement walls in the sanctuary have been smoothed with cement stucco and look very nice. A very deep and large hole has been dug for the latrine.
Daily Mass was held in the small one room walk-out basement under the church Sunday Mass is still being held under the temporary pavilion like courtyard of the school.
Father Nexcene reported that he was happy with the progress of the church and showed us the steel tubing that he had purchased for the roof. We let him know that we only had $15,000 more dollars available for the church and he felt that was enough to get a roof and doors on it. He was hoping that they would have their first Mass in the church at Easter time. We will continue to pray for this.
We would be extremely happy if they are able to get a roof and doors on the church and were able to start using it with only the $15,000 we have left for the church. We never thought the little money we had would get so much of the church done. We continued to be impressed with their ability to get things done cheaply.
We let Father know that we had no idea where to get the rest of the money for the Church and he seemed to understand this. We need to continue to seek funds any place we can.
Earthquake Damaged Home Rebuilding Project– This is the third home we are building.
We spend much time working on the details of this project. Several meetings were held to discuss the details of the project.
The family had the foundation of the house dug and are awaiting some block work.
Father Nexcene had purchased some supplies for the work.
The donor of the project made it very clear that this house was a gift to the mother and the children of this family and Father Nexcene is not to wait on them to provide anything for the house…Father is simply to use the donor’s money to complete the construction.
Father Nexcene reported that he would get his construction people very focused on this project and complete it in the next two months.
There is still a need to build more homes for families living in unsuitable conditions. Estimate to build a very simple 2-room home is between $3,500 and $4,000.
New Clinic Construction
We still need to work on fundraising for this. No construction has begun yet.
Before we begin this project, we have been waiting to see what happens with another clinic that has recently been built nearby.
Several team members visited this new clinic building and talked to the people that apparently were in charge of taking care of it. These team members reported they were extremely impressed with the building, the size, the quality, the cleanliness, the electrical system, the water system, the different rooms, and the layout. They reported that it would be prefect for our clinic and it would solve many of the problems we face today with space in the clinic. They reported they think it would be large enough for a medical and a dental clinic.
The location of the clinic is about 20 minute walk from the rectory, but a truck could be used to get most of the way there. It would add some new challenges since we could no longer walk to and from the rectory during the clinic day.
The team members that visited talked to the people around the building which seemed to be organizers for the building and the organizers seemed very open to working together.
Because this situation seems so attractive for solving some of our space issues in the clinic we spent much time talking to Father Nexcene about this new clinic building. He reported that the number one problem with the situation there was that the land and the building were owned by two different people and they were in conflict. He asked us not to get involved because he feared problems. He said he would never be open to the idea of us working there. He asked us not to work there even with any priest that is to replace him. He said if we wanted to work there we could not do this as long as we were working with him and the Church.
The NGO that reportedly built the building is asking the Haitian government to take it over and staff it and they reportedly have not yet done so and according to Father Nexcene will not do so.
Fr. Nexcene does not believe anything will come from this clinic, he would like us to continue fundraising to begin building a clinic of our own.
We are watching this closely to see if it changes anything for us. Father Nexcene is getting upset with us asking about this clinic. We will need to drop the topic for a while.
Father asked about our plan to build a new clinic. I reported the following to him.
• The current clinic is clearly too small and we need to do something.
• We put everything on hold when the other clinic was built….we need to see what is going to happen there.
• If nothing happens with that other clinic and it is something that we cannot use then we will need to build one.
• Raising funds to build another clinic will take time.
• If we need to go this route then we will want to talk to the family that we purchased the land from and see if they still want to sell the other field to us.
Roof on School in Gandou
Father Nexcene has the money to repair the roof on the final classroom on the school, however his focus has been the construction work on the Church.
He reports this work will not take long once he is able to get the construction people focused on it.
In the mean time the kindergarten classes continue to have school under the condemned cement roof.
Old Rectory Construction and Earthquake Damage Repair
We were so happy that much progress has been made on the old part of the rectory. A room for Father to stay in is completed and a new bathroom has been added on. It is useable but not completed.
Father Nexcene is now living in this room and this has opened up his old room for us to use.
General School Situation in Gandou
o Everything seems to be going well. When our team sent doctors to see the school kids I asked the Principle when the kids had last had their vitamin and he reported that the nurse had just provided it like a week before. I also asked about fluoride and he reported that that had been done in December. This seemed great…they seem to be getting the stuff we are sending for them.
• High School/LaValle 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.)
o On the previously trip we asked that each student being sponsored write a letter to their sponsor. These were not ready. Fr. Nexcene was supposed to bring them when he visits in September but he forgot. He provided them to us on this trip.
• University Kids Project(Sending Kids done with High School to University)
o Once again all three university kids took time away from their University work and came with us to Gandou to run the medical clinic.
o We spent significant time with them and we continue to be impressed by them. The university students ran the ID card part of our clinic independently for us this trip. We are so impressed by their work. They were able to connect the laptop and printers and get everything with the database up and going without any help from us. They were doing a great job working making sure the patients who previously had an ID card printed were not getting entered into the database a second time with a new ID card number. It truly did seem that they were asking each patient if they had previously had an ID card printed and if they did and they lost it or it was damaged then they would simply print them a new card with their old ID number. This is exactly what we have been asking for and finally are getting now. They are doing so much better with this ID card station than what we could do. We are so happy to have them taking care of it for us.
o The university students each gave us a letter for their sponsors.
o We met the fourth student who started nursing school in Jacmel. We gave her another copy of the questionnaire/application for her to fill out. She had to get back to Jacmel for some exams but she said she understood it, agreed to it, and signed it and I took her picture with it. She will continue to fill it out and will provide it back to us on the next trip.
o We spent some significant time talking to the University Students about what will happen when they return to Gandou. They seemed excited about this. We were worried we were not going to have enough class room space for them to add high school grades onto the current school. They said that the high school kids come in the afternoon and there was plenty of room in the school for them. Father confirmed in this conversation that they don’t need anything from us to prepare for the college kids coming back to Gandou. No need for us to prepare books or anything.