Friday, October 10, 2014

Heading back to Haiti

 All packed. I’ve had as little time to prepare for my return trip to Haiti as I had to contemplate leaving. I just finished working 3 consecutive overnight “house officer”-like shifts 7pm – 9am. 22 H&P’s (History and Physicals), a case presentation to the IM program, and an aggregate 18 hours of daytime sleep later….. I’m ready to return to Haiti in true ER doctor form– sleep deprived.

Hitching a jeep ride to the US embassy in Port au Prince after spending a day helping provide emergency care in Leogane was the last glimpse I had of the town I lived in for almost 6 months. Evacuated on Jan 15th 2010 in a C130 military transport exhausted and terrified that a poorly timed aftershock would crash our plane during takeoff was where I left off. After several failed attempts to get LECOM to approve a medical rotation in Haiti, and several failed attempts to protect my Haiti return trip fund from the nostalgic allure of family reunions and expensive weddings, I have managed to accumulate the time off from work and the money. Here I go.

After a layover in NYC tonight, I’ll fly to Port au Prince tomorrow. I planned to meet the director of Zanmi Lasante at the airport, but she just emailed me to say that we are on the same flight tomorrow from JFK?! The plan is to meet some of the first intern class of Haitian emergency medicine residents of Partner’s in Health’s new residency program tomorrow and Monday in Mirabalais. I hope to tour the Hospital University Mirabalais learn a bit about the local healthcare needs then return to Leogane where I lived in 2009 for the rest of the week.

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