The Ackermans

The Ackermans

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Reopening of the Clinic or is this just a joke?

Luckily Jodie had agreed to go out with me to the first scheduled clinic since our return. This wasn't easy for her since she is already active at school testing kids for admission and getting her classroom in shape for their opening day. But we both felt that since Eden wasn't available I shouldn't go alone. There was always the chance, especially with the roads being flooded, of getting stuck and having to walk long distances while still on new knees. So we got back into the usual morning routine of "up at five, showers, breakfast, become presentable then leave the house by 6:45.

The traffic wasn't bad since schools hadn't opened yet and the roads were in better shape until we got to within a couple miles of the clinic. Then we saw the water flowing in the road. I'm not exactly known for giving up midstream but I did consider it. As we continued the roads became more rutted out with more and more water running in the ruts. One thing I hadn't seen before was women with their large basins of laundry sitting in these water swollen areas doing their laundry.

But we slowly continued. When we came to the area where we could see the church and clinic in the distance we had to leave the rutted road for the irrigation ditches beside it then sort of by surprise we actually arrived to the turnoff and drove into the fields that led us to Prospere. They were dry.

(editorial) When I turned off the road there were men cultivating the field. They didn't stop their work. I waved and they waved. It was like I was just one of the many passers by for that hour. But I know that mine was probably the first vehicle to pass that area in more than a week, possibly two. If I had been working in that field I would stopped my work, run to the car, and asked how in the world did you get through the flooded road? But no, they almost didn't take the time to look up from what they were doing or take their hands off their tools. It was as if a steady stream of cars had been passing all day. I've lived here 21 years now and this place never ceases to amaze me. Back to the clinic.

So we finally arrived. There was nobody in sight and all was quiet except for the roosters. I walked up to the pastor's (Pastor Francois) house and finally woke he and his wife up. We asked if anybody had come for the clinic. He said yes, but said he had sent them away since he knew we weren't coming back until the end of August. The last thing I told him was that I would be back in early August and our first clinic would be on the 16th. I love these people, I love this country but one of these days this place and these people are going to drive me to drink. Enough said!

To make a long story short Jodie and I cleaned the clinic for the next three hours or so and left very tired and sweaty, but with the clinic was much better prepared for what will be happening on Monday: a clinic.

Note: From Prospere we drove directly to downtown Port-au-Prince to the American consulate where we needed to go to renew our passports. We got our photographs taken. When the guard at the consluate asked us what we were doing here we told him and he told us the office was only open from 9:30-12:30. It was 1:00.

And so it goes.


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