Troubleshooting, Dance Party, and the rain starts
Trip Start Feb 02, 2009
10Trip End Feb 10, 2009
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Jerry and I hit the telephone system running. There are a lot of problems, so we spend most of the day running around diagnosing the problems more than anything else. We are able to get the whole surgery area cut over onto one 12 pair. And we get most of the phones there working, but still are having some issues with the one in sterilization. Perhaps the phone is just off the hook. I got to see a new tool today, though I didn't use it. I call it the punch/cutter thingy. It is really cool and it cuts wire and attaches it in one punch.
It is also raining off and on today
Jerry had me running around plugging in this device that helps him find the line. I can't remember what it is called. But it seems to work on an induction principal. So he had me running that around to various place in surgery. In the one room, I found the phone jack crawling with ants. I sucked it up and plugged it in trying not to get them on me. It was kind of gross.
After lunch, we worked some on the phones at the House of Hope. At one point Jerry had me replace a phone jack and told me he would be 'over there.' Well I finished up the job and I could not find 'over there.' I went to surgery, I went to Linda's house, I went to the switch room in the admin building, I went to the pedestal but no Jerry to be found
In the afternoon, we worked on the phones over in the compound. The terminal blocks were very corroded and most of them needed to be replaced. Now instead of offices, we actually had to go into people's residences. This felt very awkward to me. I felt like I was intruding, but Jerry told me not to be shy. It might be too that I have a hard time communicating with my lack of creole and limited French. I think if I could have communicated better what we were doing, I would not have felt so bad.
Paul is still sick with the Haitian Happy
We tried to finish dinner up early because we were all excited to head over to the dance party. I was so happy that I was going to get to do this. It was cool out (for Haiti standards) which I thought was good because dancing makes me hot. Most of the Haitians were bundled up. Nani looked adorable in her little hoodie. I am still amazed at her. Two years ago she was a premie who could fit into the palm of your hand and was AIDS positive. Now she is a mobile toddler of two who I think runs the place. And she is now also AIDS Negative. She is also the energizer bunny. She just goes, and goes, and goes. At one point she decided her sandals were too inhibiting so she kicked them off and started dancing in her socks.
The kids had this hand clapping game that was kind of neat. Reminded me of some of the games we played when I was young
At one point in the night, we all sat on the floor around the dance room. The group would start chanting someone's name and that person would have to go to the middle of the dance floor and dance. All of us American's took at least one Haitian child/teen with us I got video of all of us except Sammie because I didn't have the camera ready. Dukeman was awesome. I only got him dancing in the circle, but later he was break dancing. I took Djoulie and another little girl who was sitting on my lap with me.
Later in the night, they got a congo line started. John Mark and I joined in while it was in the room, but later they moved it throughout the House of Hope. Rich comes back with a kid who he is afraid got hurt. Seems that when they went by the basketball court, Rich tripped on a curb and fell down. This kid fell on top of him. Turned out that the kid was ok, but Rich cut open his elbow
Throughout the dance party, we would throw candy out to the kids. It was unbelievable how they would all swarm for it. Nani was in the mix and came out with her share. She's a tough little kid. I took a piece and brought it over to John Kerry in the nursery. While I was there, I saw Owen as well. I asked Jenny if I could bring Owen out because I wasn't sure if he was supposed to be sleeping. She said yes that he would really enjoy it. So I wheeled him over to the door of the party room. He got so into it, he almost fell out of his wheelchair. He has so much joy it always amazing me. At one point, Steph carried him out to the dance floor and helped him dance.
When I got hot and tired, I retreated to sit on the table just outside the room. John Mark came and curled up onto my lap. He is just so sweet, gentle, and sad. He hardly plays with the other kids and doesn't smile much. I asked Linda how old he is and when did he come to the House of Hope
The dance party finally begins to wind down and the little ones head off to bed. We head back across to the compound and I'm struck by how empty the street is. I hadn't really noticed until Steph says she feels more unnerved by no one being out at night than last year when there were people milling about. I think she's right. We learn from Lois that since the Hurricanes, there have been a lot of thefts at night so people don't go out unless they are in large groups. I think the rainy, cool weather adds to it.
I take my cold shower and hit the hay. Content in the work and the fun I had all day.