Haiti Is A Dichotomy

We landed at the airport early in the morning, around 0800 and it was already full of life. A local band was playing, families were rushing around.

So far, Haiti is a dichotomy. Beautiful, yet rough. Traveling through Port Au Prince was definitely dirty and there were animals wandering everywhere, folks dodging traffic, busy claustrophobic outside markets, bright colors, lots of beeping horns. A clear residual sign of the earthquake in 2010 was the rubble piles everywhere. We passed by a Medecins sans Frontieres clinic as well – another sign that you are in a developing country.
The scenery changed as we left the city; steep mountains with terraced growing fields mark the landscape. There are still plenty of goats, cows and chickens roaming around. The drive over the mountain to Jacmel contains tons of switchback roads, steep drop offs, scary turns. I was really trying to stay focused more on the sites, instead of clinging to the seat for dear life????
This is definitely the most organized trip I’ve been on. Things so far have gone so smoothly! Everyone seems motivated to be here and eager to pitch in. We unpacked everything, stocked medicines and reviewed medical guidelines all in a couple hours. It definitely helps to have a bunch of people. I also love that we will be taking inventory at the end of the trip so the November team can collect exactly what’s needed.
In addition to being so organized, it’s so beautiful. We’re getting the full tropical experience tonight – thunderstorm, random jungle sounds, and ocean view. I already feel at home here!
I’m so excited for tomorrow. I’m feeling ready for the challenges after quickly building camaraderie today. There is something special about working with folks that have come here a TON and folks that are new to the trip. This will be a great opportunity to learn from experienced providers, pharmacists, nurses, and other mentors. Most importantly, I’m excited to serve and learn from Haitians.

Kristina Anderson MD

SLU-Belleville Family Medicine Residency

Faculty Physician