It’s a steamy Sunday afternoon, and we are settling in to our temporary home in Hinche. There have been a ton of joyous reunions from our driver and his cousin who met us at the airport to our kreyole teacher at the orphanage. It really feels like a homecoming this year, as friendships are truly being forged. We received a particularly warm welcome from the girls at the Maison Fortune orphanage yesterday after our 2 days of traveling. They remembered how much I loved to dance and cheered and chanted my name while I shook my booty to their drumming, their enthusiasm, as always, is infectious. Maria has brought her daughter and her niece along with us this year, they are 13 and 18 and a big hit with the girls. They are planning on running a summer camp for them while we are working and have brought along a volley ball net, with volley and soccer balls, nail polish, lollipops and bubbles, it should be great.
Our housing situation is different this year and it is making things a bit confusing. It was important for us to stay at Maison Fotune, where we have stayed every year for the last 4 years. But they have now separated the girls into their own compound about a 15min walk away from the boys orphanage, which wouldn’t be a problem on its own but all our meals are at the boy’s place and the streets are twisted and unmarked. So we have to remember things like turn left at the cemetery and right at the auto parts roadside stand. While I can memorize routes, I have no innate sense of direction, so we’l
l see if I can get it all figured out by the end of the week. Our work is at the Hospital and the midwives for Haiti house, another 20min walk from our sleeping quarters in the other direction, so lots of walking and mototaxis for us this week. O our personal inconveniences aside it is fantastic that the girls now have their own place to call home. It is much bigger then where they were and there are no boys to steal their soccer balls and taunt them from over the wall, although some of the older girls miss the taunting I suspect and are a bit pouty that they no longer have the boys to flirt with.
The midwifery students are not doing night shifts yet so if Maria and I do any this week it will only be to assist the staff midwives and not to teach. We will work days with the midwifery students and volunteer on the mobile clinic as well. They are 2 other midwives from the US here as well as a few other volunteers. It’s a full house and Maria, Dina and I are the veterans of the crew so there is a lot of explaining Hinche and St Therese hostpital, as best as they can be explained. So as I said, we are still settling in and there will be more news to follow.
Thanks for all the love and support,