Diversity In Everything

Geographically Haiti is very diverse. Here at Friends of the Children of Haiti Clinic the view from the upper balcony is like paradise. We are surrounded by beautiful tropical foliage, turquoise water and green mountains. If we walk or drive just a little way down the road we see tiny houses or tent like structures housing an entire family. We see muddy roads and garbage lined streets. We see unimaginable poverty.

The Haitian patients we see are just as diverse. We have seen very sick and starving infants that we try to help by providing nutrition for them and education for their mothers so that the babies can become healthy and thrive. We try to offer them hope and pray that we will see them come back to us for well baby checks. We also see babies that are healthy and happy as a result of this care. We see very elderly patients that we treat for hypertension and diabetes, etc. They receive education as well as medication. Some of these patients have lived far beyond the expected life span here in Haiti, which is only 54 years old.  We see very sick patients who require other care such as surgery, wound care, breathing treatments and much more. So they come to the clinic – the sick, the young and the old from near and far to seek what we have to offer them:  medical care, education and most of all, hope.

As Bookkeeper for Friends of the Children of Haiti I see on a daily basis what it takes to put these mission trips together. Preparation begins long before the team arrives in Haiti for each medical mission. Each trip to Haiti requires donations from our generous supporters, team leaders who dedicate time and energy to plan and facilitate each mission, individuals who order supplies and medications, volunteers who dedicate their time and money to come to Haiti – doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and non-medical individuals and so much more. The team members come from different places and walks of life all for the same purpose.  Much coordination takes place to make the two week missions succeed.

Once a year for the past three years I have been blessed, honored and humbled to be able to become a volunteer and to travel to Haiti to work with a team to provide care to the grateful and gracious Haitian people.

Paula Harms