Mission Trip Report for 17-25 June 2014

  University Students Project (Sending young adults done with High School to University)
     1. Once again all three university students took time away from their University work and came with us to Gandou to run the medical clinic.
     2. We spent significant time with them and we continue to be more and more impressed by them. The university students ran the ID card part of our clinic independently for
          ​us again this trip. It is such an unbelievable help to us to have these guys running our ID card system. It saves us from having 2 of our team members running this station
          ​and hiring an extra translator that would cost us about $350 or more.
     3. The university students each gave us a letter for their sponsors.
     4. The fourth student who is attending a nursing school in Jacmel was busy with final exams. She did stop by for a short amount of time, but was soon off back to school. As
          ​we had asked for, she completed our application for the University Student Sponsorship and Father Nexcene returned it to us.
     5. We took some time looking at the University student grades and talked to them about them finishing their schooling on time. They all still feel they are going to finish on
          ​time and we are very excited to have them back teaching in Gandou.
     6. We talked to them about what grades they will be teaching when they come back to Gandou. Sounds like the government will not let you add more than one grade per year
         ​onto an existing school so it will take a little time to get all 12 grades in Gandou.
     7. Sounds like the biggest challenge to the University students is figuring out how to get all the books they need for the school year. It sounds like Father asks them to figure
         ​out what books they need and what they will cost then get back with him to get the right amount of funding. The problem is that it is not easy to communicate with Father
         ​when they are in Port-au-Prince and he is in Gandou and when we have priced transportation from Port-au-Prince to Gandou it has been close to $100…which they would
         ​never have. We tried to figure out a better way to get them books and asked Father to make this as easy as possible for them.
     8. We had two more laptops for the University students with us this trip….this makes enough for all the students to have one. They are so grateful. Sounds like they use them
         ​all the time.

Clinic/Health Care Workers/Nurse
    1. This was the first trip to Gandou we made after our Health worker Francois died. He was absolutely a key part of our team and a huge asset to us. He was the kindest and
         ​most loving man. May God rest is soul.
    2. We got some great news from the health care workers during this trip. They made a connection with a USA mission team that came to a nearby town and did surgeries very
         ​inexpensively. For example they were doing cataract surgery for about US$5. After all the travel and expenses we only have about US$12 in the patient. We decided we
         ​would try to contact this mission team in the USA and make an even better connection, then try to work with the health workers and nurse in Haiti to try to get more and
         ​more patients to this mission team for surgery.
    3. In order to help promote getting referral patient work done, we started an incentive program where each health care worker gets a bonus for every patient in the referral
        ​program they complete. We decided we would provide a US$20 bonus if they got the patient done. We took time going through the number of referrals that each health
        ​worker completed in the last six months. The health workers gave us a status on each patient and showed us receipts on each patient. We then told them based on the
        ​number that they accomplished how much bonus money we would be paying them. They really seem to be taking to these bonuses and working hard to get patients done.
    4. Here are the results for the last six months.
    5. Francois-6 surgeries done before he passed away. We asked Father to give the money to his family.
    6. Oscal-14 surgeries done. This was the most anyone has ever done. This is great.
    7. Ricgo-4 surgeries were complete.
    8. Xavier-6 surgeries done.
    9. All the details of which patients were cared for and all the details of what was done, total costs, and receipts were written down in the referral binder.
  10. We are very happy with the way that this program is now working. The health care workers and Father are as well.
  11. One of main challenges of the health workers in getting the referral patient work done has been transportation. To help with this, we previously sent money to purchase a
        ​new Honda motorcycle for the health workers to use. While we were there this trip the motorcycle was picked up and brought to Gandou. It is now available for the health
        ​workers to use. Sounds like it will take them a little time to learn to drive it.
  12. Since there are nearly 275 patients in the referral program, the challenge in the future might now be how to afford all this work on these patients. Everyone should start
        ​praying for more funding to come in and help with this since the project is working so well.
  13. On the last trip 6 months ago, we had many malnourished babies brought in by friends or neighbors. In most of these case, the mother had died and the families or friends
        ​taking care of the babies. Formula is very expensive in Haiti, without breast milk, these babies were starving. When these babies were brought in, we wrote referrals to enter
        ​the baby into our referral program. This would let them get funds to help them purchase formula. On this trip we found many of them had gotten no aid. Much of the reason
        ​for this is because we did not have a good communication link with the nurse to get updates from her. We talked for some time about communication. We had starting
        ​talking fairly often to the nurse using a texting application on her phone. We asked her and Father Nexcene if this was a good way to continue to communicate and she said
        ​yes. We asked if we needed to pay her phone bill and she said no. We need to make sure this time we are doing much communication with the nurse.
  14. Nurse reported that Thursday would be the best day for us to communicate with her. She said she would send a weekly update on Thursdays.
  15. Father reported that he had another person to take the spot of the health care worker Francois who died since the last trip. This new person’s name is Wilbert Lafaille. He is
        ​young and I met him and took a picture of him. He said he was able to take blood pressures. We are looking forward to working with him.

Next Trip
   We discussed Jan 28-Feb5 and Feb4-Feb12. Father said the first set of dates is better for him.

Extremely Poor Mothers/Families Fund
   1. Many of the people that we entered into the extremely poor families fund showed up again this trip.
   2. Several more patients were added.
   3. It is clear there is a great need to keep this program going.
   4. We discussed different ways with Father that we could run it in the future. These ranged from continuing to have Father hand out the funds to an approach where we send
        ​Father the money and he takes it out of the bank in cash and we hand it directly to the patients as they come through the clinic. Father was happy with either approach.
   5. We had so many extremely poor families that came through clinic this time. We added several more to the poor families fund and we kept most of the families from last trip
       ​which spreads the funds a little thinner yet. We really need to figure out how to double the amount we have for this. We will start asking God for this.

Beds in Gandou
   1. We had previously sent money to Gandou for beds for the rectory for us to sleep on. We sent this because last trip we really struggled to find enough beds to sleep on. People
       ​from last trip did not get much sleep during the trip due to this situation.
   2. Father had purchased 5 or 6 new mattresses, they were new in the plastic.
   3. We had enough for everyone to have a nice bed to sleep on. Fran had brought her own cot to use and it seemed like a good option to consider in the future.
   4. We talked a little on the plane about ways to get the beds up off the floor. This is especially important in the new rooms on the roof because the floors will likely get wet
       ​when it rains.
   5. We are now using up about every square inch of floors space in our rooms. If we could get the beds up off the floor, we might be able to store our bags underneath the beds
       ​and help with this.
   6. Need to also work on more long term covers for the beds.
   7. No construction workers were sleeping at the rectory this trip. This helped us much with space, food, beds, etc.

Nurse’s Visa
   1. Our nurse asked for our help to write a letter of invitation to see if she could get her visa.
   2. She had asked for this last time and we did not do it. We really need to decide something on this before the next trip.

Seminarian from Gandou Project
   1. Father reported he has two young men in the area that are going to seminary and they need help.
   2. Their names are Louiguere Frank and Woldem Ambroise. Louiguere’s family is not able to help him any and Woldem’s parents are deceased.
   3. Father reported they need help with clothes, books, fees, and living expenses in general.
   4. Father reported that $150 a month would be good. Anything would help.

Retired Priest Fund
   1. Father reported that there is little in place to help with retired priests in Haiti, and many end up in misery.
   2. Father reported this is not a big project. A contribution of $500 would be a good amount.
   3. Money is needed by the end of August.

Our Top Priorities for Father to Work On
   1. We provided Father with the following list of top priorities.
       A. Get the earthquake house built for the one family that has been in process for a long time.
       B. Get emails from Father often…just telling us a quick status update on what is all going on in the sister parish.
       C. Rapidly follow-up on the poor families fund patients.

Father Nexcene’s Top Priorities for us to Work On
   1. Clearly one of Father’s top priorities is getting the Church done.
   2. Father also communicated a desire for us to provide him with a personal laptop since his other laptop died. Father said this would need to be one that he could put all his
       ​personal files on and that he could then take with him when he is assigned another parish.
   3. We did not have time to discuss this with Father so I have included below what Father had reported the last time we talked since we have not gotten to these projects.
       A.  Build an office for the school. It would be close to the current school. About 12 feet by 12 feet. He has no estimate on cost yet. He said it would be used to store
             ​documents and a meeting space. Father reminded us on this trip about the need for this and the need to get the books stored in a place like this that is safe.
       B. Psychologist to come to check the school kids that are not learning well and have training for them to help them do better. Father reported that 15-20 kids need this.
  4. When Father was staying at Matthew 25 house with us this trip, the Haitian leader of the Gift of Water project was there and he spent time talking to Father about the project.
      ​I am sure Father had heard about it before as well, but Father asked us to do this project for the people. Last time we met with him I understood Father wanted a community
      ​water purification system for the rectory area, and I asked about that and Father reported that he preferred the Gift of Water project, not the community purifier near the

Mission Focus Area #2 – Health Care for our Sister Parish
Sea Container
   1. The sea container that we were waiting for was finally released and all the totes were in Gandou when we got there.
   2. Even though the container was sitting in the warehouse for so long everything in the container still seemed to be in great shape.
   3. We worked hard to use this medicine first.
   4. After the trip we took much of the extra things we had and put them back in the totes and zip locked them for storage for our next trip. A detailed inventory was taken so we
       ​know what we have for the next trip.

Medical clinic/pharmacy
   1. Clinic Results/Numbers
   2. Totals were 1146 patients that went through our 4 days of clinic.
   3. The ID card process continues to work very well. Most every patient that came into the clinic had an ID card either from a previous trip or from our ID card station that was
       ​producing ID cards this trip. The ID card station was easily able to keep up and keep us supplied with patients. The college kids are great at this and required nearly no
       ​support from us.
   4. While we were there we had several patient emergencies. We had several patients with all the signs of tuberculosis. Another mother was 6 months pregnant and bleeding. In
       ​another emergency case we had a patient with shock and an emergency diabetic situation.
   5. A huge part of our last mission trip was to work with a patient named Jesula. She is a young mother, who had an amelioblastoma which had yielded a huge mass on her jaw
       ​that was closing off her airway. She came to the USA during our last trip and had surgery. She was all done and better and returned with us on this trip. She was so happy
       ​and excited to see her family, but when we got back to Haiti with her the first news we got was that her 20 year old brother had died while she was in the United States. It
       ​was not clear what he died from, but since he was healthy just a few days before he passed away it likely was something that in the USA would not have been any big deal.
       ​This is this an example of the great problems in Haiti….while you are off busy saving a life the situation there is so bad that it takes another life. Please pray that we are able
       ​to help these people better in the future. .

Dental clinic and extractions
   1. We were not able to find any USA dentists to go with us on this trip so we only had the 3 Haitian dentists we had hired.
   2. 2 of the Haitian dentists were from the Haitian dental team that we had worked with last time.
   3. We also had our Haitian dentist leader…Dr. Peterson as usual.
   4. Fran Grebel from St. Louis also joined us on the trip as our much needed hygienist.
   5. Our dental team was very strong and they were setup well for extractions and repairs.
   6. The total numbers are as follows:
       A. Patients: 346
       B. Fillings: 83
       C. Extractions: 383
       D. Cleanings: 54
   7. This was our third time working with the Haiti dental team. They did well even with the pay by the day approach we used this time.
   8. This process seemed to work very well and they worked hard all week.
   9. We talked to them further about how they charge for their services. They reported that when you hire them you hire the whole group. Therefore you get between 1 and 5
        ​dentists for $300/day. The number of dentists doesn’t change the cost.
  10. Since Gandou is so remote they do not offer a pricing option for getting themselves to Gandou.
  11. For the future we need to figure out how we get 5 dentists transported to Gandou.
  12. We look forward to working with this dental team in the future. Everything worked out well.

Mission Focus Area #3 – Team Members Experience Haiti and Especially Our Sister Parish
   1. 2 members of our team had planned to spend the whole trip in Port-au-Prince at the Missionaries of Charity Orphanage.
   2. They did this and it was such a great experience.
   3. This is something we are thinking about offering as a side project on all our trips especially for people who can’t or don’t want to make the drive out to Gandou.
   4. The 2 person team was able to join the sisters for daily mass and adoration.
   5. They spent much of the rest of the day helping with the kids in the orphanage….feeding, changing diapers, holding, and loving these kids.
   6. Every day there is a couple hour break in the afternoon.
   7. The team was also able to join the sisters in a 2 mile procession through the streets of Port-au-Prince for the feast of Corpus Christi.
   8. They had very nice accommodations including some electric, a refrigerator, and a stove.

Travel to Gandou
   1. We didn’t have too much trouble with traffic in Port-au-Prince.
   2. We made good time and passed through the Baudin road.
   3. The trucks were very full.
   4. We had left Port-au-Prince about 9am and were able to do all the travels to Gandou in the light.
   5. We simply took our time and tried to be safe.
   6. At one point it started raining hard, but a few minutes down the road it had not even rained. We praised God!

Accommodations in Gandou
   1. Father had the new rooms done on the roof. This was a huge help.
   2. Father had a mattress for everyone to sleep on.
   3. Everyone was fairly comfortable.
   4. The weather was very nice. Nearly no rain and high 70s to low 80s all week. Praised be God.
   5. Water from the cistern seemed to be available as the team needed it.
   6.  We had plenty of Culligan water to drink as well.

Exposure to Haiti
   1. On Friday, most of the new group was able to visit the local market. This helped them better understand the daily life in Gandou.
   2. On Sunday, most of the group got to go out into the countryside. A few people were able to visit people in their homes.
   3. One area that we feel we are lacking on the trips is building a real connection to the people in Gandou and the translators. We did better with this on this trip compared to last
       ​but still not great.