In the episode of Answer the Question, Dude! we were asked several questions from four different people. Ready or not, here we go………..
What would you say is the biggest challenge to living and doing work in Haiti?
LORI: The biggest challenges for me are to not get discouraged when I see so many people suffering so much and the heavy workload.
LICIA: limited space and resources while trying to balance meeting the needs of many sick patients and pleasing visitors
ALLISON: It is being separated from family in the states.
BRENNON: language, communication barriers between Kreyol and English
MEREDITH: It is a challenge to learn how to build relationships without using words because I’m not fluent in Kreyol.
KRISTIN: Dealing with the some of the small inconveniences that we have here. There are things that we tend to take for granted in the states. Some things that are easy and take very little time to do in the states take much longer to do here.
Does your family speak Creole at home at night or English?
ZACHARY (DAVIS OR ZACH & LORRAINE): English
MOISE (LORI & CHARLY): Kreyol
BETOR (ENOCH, LICIA, CARMELO, HENLEY, TREY, & AMEYAH): English, except Ameyah who seems to be on a Kreyol kick right now
GARRETT (BRENNON, ALLSION, LESLEY, & BRIANA): We speak English, but are fluent in sarcasm.
Who is Lorraine, and is Jessica not with you any more?
Zach married Lorraine in August. Jessica (or Jess) left RHFH in November of 2011.
My husband and I try to follow the work you and the Community Group are doing to improve Haitian farming methods and restore the ravaged landscape with trees/vetiver etc. What are your dreams/goals in this area?
CHARLY: I am interested in vetiver right now. In Haiti, we have a rainy season and a dry season. I planted vetiver from March until October during this year’s rainy season. I think that in Feb, I’ll start a new nursery for vetiver and about 1000 tree seedlings. All of these will be planted on the mission’s land and will be an example for others to see. The vetiver will be ready to plant in March 2013. I have talked to some farmers to see if some might allow me to do treatment for their land, but have not yet found anyone. It is still a new idea and many people aren’t sure of the benefits. Using the mission’s land as an example area might be a good way to show them.
How can we (all interested parties) be of help and support to you in this difficult task? (reforestation)
CHARLY: For this project to be a success, I need some materials like sacks, pick-axs, shovels, and machetes. I’ll need to fence in the nursery also so that animals don’t get in. I will need to hire a few people to help me plant and care for the nursery. So, I mostly need some tools and money to advance with this project.
When you’ve worked with a child who has suffered from kwashiorkor and they look like they are really getting stronger and healthier but then they die, is there a common reason? Are their immune systems weak, or do they have some sort of internal consequences from the kwashiorkor? Or are the reasons as varied as the children’s personalities?
LICIA & LORI: I think that it varies somewhat. Some reasons are electrolyte imbalances, low blood sugar, body system failure, hypothermia, septic shock (infection), and anemia.
In the US there are more and more kids with peanut allergies but around the world kids lives are being saved with Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Foods like medika mamba. Do you have any theories as to why it can save so many lives and yet here we have classrooms and schools that are “peanut free”?
LICIA: Out of 388 patients that have been on Medika Mamba, there has not been one that has had an allergy.
LORI: No idea, but have thought and talked about this before. Americans seem to have significantly more allergies than Haitians in general, not just peanut allergies. I’ve heard some people say that it’s because Haitians live a much more natural and preservative free life than Americans. I’m not sure that there is any science to back that up though.
What are some of the “gifts” you’ve been given that those us in the US would be surprised by?
LICIA: fresh eggs wrapped in banana leaves, shrimp, a colorful bracelet that said “RICHARD”
LORI: goat, rooster, fish
CHARLY: peanut brittle
GARRETTS: mystery fruit
Here are a few pix of gifts that we’ve gotten….
OK, well that wraps up this forth edition of Answer the Question, Dude! Thanks to everyone who commented and left questions. Be thinking up some more good questions to ask for the next time.