Here we are at the end of a wonderful week at the clinic, all of us on the work team a little sore but thrilled with the changes we see and excited about leaving a shiny clean, bright clinic for the medical team coming next week. After an informal meeting at the clinic to evaluate the amount of work we wanted to accomplish over seven days and to plan our attack, we gratefully accepted Corkey Gray’s offer to hire 6 Haitian workers to help the team. Within minutes, Boyer had contacted three painters and three general helpers, all of whom came ready to work by just after dawn the next morning. The work of moving furniture to the second floor deck and dismantling shelves began immediately as did the heavy-duty scrubbing of fans, cupboards, windows, counter tops and anything within reach of a soapy cloth, bleach solution or straight ammonia.
We painted and reassembled the kitchen first and then attacked the women’s quarters and bathrooms, with Maggie Jackson finishing each day with scrub rags and ammonia. Next, we prepared the pharmacy and first floor rooms and transformed them with three coats of white paint. One of our Haitian workers was very tall, and “Tall Man”, originally trained by Tracey Higdon when the outside of the clinic was repainted several years ago, finished up each room for us, easily reaching areas we couldn’t get to. Every evening ended with our crew slumped in fatigue but reinvigorated by a cold Prestige and thrilled with our progress.
Meanwhile, in the pharmacy, Team Leader Ed Monroe and his assistant Bill Cicala counted pills and readied inventory throughout the first floor for the work team to have open rooms to attack with soap and paint. Jane Gray washed windows, sorted stacks of scrubs and supplies and trimmed bushes. Jane Hense spent time crawling around on floors painting the bottom inches of rooms and trimming along doors and windows; she wins the dirty girl award.
On Friday night, we invited our Haitian team to join us for hamburgers as our tribute to the amazing support they gave our effort. So many times we said to one another, paint all over our arms and dirt under our fingernails, “We couldn’t have done this without these guys.”
We are happy and proud of the bright clean walls and organized rooms, of the new sheets on every bed and the stacks of new towels for our medical teams’ comfort. We are making notes to ourselves about what we want to do next time and regretting the work we couldn’t get to this time, but we have had such a great productive and fun week here.