I set off for Haiti in November to be a mere drop in the ocean, full of curiosity and not without a little trepidation. Simply to help a little bit. I know today that my fears then were unfounded. Everybody I met there, colleagues and patients as well as the doctors, were really sweet and friendly to me.
The work wasn’t always easy because there aren’t many materials to be had, and material acquisition isn’t that simple either. But I had a lot of fun.
Time isn’t as important over there as it is here, which is very strange for us northern Europeans.
The first thing I learned there was how to wait. On the other hand, we would all profit from being a little more laid back and relaxed in our world full of hectic activity and stress.
The orthopaedic technicians who work in Deschapelles and in Port au Prince, where I spent my third week, are fantastic and very competent. They understand their work, but they’re still grateful for any suggestions, and they’re not too proud to ask for advice. The work there is so important. Many of the children have knock knees or bowlegs. Apart from diabetes, the most common reason for amputation is road traffic accidents. It’s really not surprising that so many accidents happen because they often ride six up on their motorbikes.
I have so many pictures and so many impressions in my head that I can’t write them all down. I had so many striking experiences there, above all of the human kind. The people there thanked me more than once for being there to help them. Whenever I think about that I have to cry. I can only recommend that everybody who gets the chance to go there really does go. I’d love to go there again. I’m so grateful to medi for making the trip possible.
All of Haiti is very poor, and unfortunately often very dirty. But the country also has some very beautiful parts. The people are proud and friendly.