Haiti. We landed.

Negotiated two hours in the airport to get our “tax” charges for supplies brought down from $154 to $52, got picked up by Claudin and Paul, went through the city traffic and bustle, and then arrived at the gates of MamaBaby Haiti, greeted by the midwives sons with thumbs up and smiles. Came in to be welcomed by 14 of our dear staff, unpacked, caught a baby and sutured a mom.

Haiti. We are home here.

Busy morning with 35 prenatals. Everyone pulled together and we finished by 1:pm so we could head to Shada and Calvaire. We are getting around today!
Rowan and Paul made a screen door for the kitchen today. Paul reminded me that he is not a carpenter but it’s functional, lol! I am grateful to cut down on flies in the kitchen. So glad to have some men on this trip!

This place holds my heart.

We hung the swings today and the children came running and yelling. The word was out and within minutes we had a throng of over 50 children laughing, pushing, and yelling for a turn on the swings. These structures have not seen swings in most of their lifetime.

The smiles and laughter filled our hearts in this place where there is so much poverty that many little bums sat on that swing naked, or in torn T-shirt’s with underwear.

This place by the trash filled river where life is hard and bellies are often empty.

As we left the kids threw kisses. The girls asked for dolls and the boys for soccer balls.

My head is filled with the many things I want to do for these children and mommas, these strong and beautiful people of Shada.

This afternoon we went to Calvaire, the city with 400 steps. My son asked me if there are really 400 steps. There actually are more…. but if you go straight up the stairs and don’t deviate on the side steps and the steep mountain paths, it is 400 to the top.

Now that we have been caring for this hillside village for over six months we can never walk straight up.

Carmelle knows all the turns and pathways. We visit the mom who had her baby yesterday. We visit the twin momma and assess her house. We stop to say hello here and there.

But best of all we arrive at a home where there are over 16 beautiful pregnant mommas waiting for us for their prenatal care. More arrive and we do prenatals on a sheet on the floor with the women surrounded by other pregnant women. We finish hours later, having seen 21 women.

We walk down the stairs, hot and sweaty and tired. Evening is falling and people are headed up the stairs, returning from work, carrying heavy loads on their heads of mangos, water, bananas, dinner. Everyone we pass says “bonswa” and I think to myself, “mwe kontant”.