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Great News from Hinche

February 25, 2010

I spoke with Father Bourdeau and other friends in Hinche for nearly 45 minutes this evening – thank goodness for Magic Jack!

Things are still tough, all the folks at Sacre Coeur are in good health and I think things are settling down. Upon the urging of several committee members I asked Fr. Bourdeau what his priorities are right now. He has received the second emergency check and is beginning to use that in the same manner as before – giving to patients and quake victims for food and other expenses. Specifically however, he is hoping we can use any more emergency money to increase teacher salaries or increase food money for Carissade. He says the cost of life in Hinche is exorbitant right now, so by just bumping salaries by say $5, we could have a huge impact.

Food being prepared at the Sacre Coeur Soup Kitchen - a daily feeding program funded by St. Monica's and which some of our donations are going to supplement.

Additionally, I learned that two priests from the Diocese of Hinche will be transferred for a few years to the Diocese of Richmond. This arrangement was worked out about two months ago – before the quake – but according to Bourdeau the priests (one from Los Palis and one from Maissade) will be coming to Virginia in July. This is pretty exciting and hopefully it will help support the diocese-wide twinning efforts. More on this to come soon.

Finally, below is the latest update from the Duluth, GA -based St. Monica’s Church medical team which is in Hinche right now. Read on:

One interesting story from yesterday afternoon’s stroll through town
before today’s report. Peter, Kicker & one of the interpreters were
slightly behind me & Champaign near the UN complex simply mingling in
with the locals on our way to the old Cathedral. Peter had his video
camera with him and a UN truck pulled up & began to inquire about what
they were doing downtown Hinche; politely but obviously with a
security guard’s inquisitive nature. Turns out it was the head UN
Regional Security Officer, who is from Austria. After he realized the
video camera & our group were Missionaries, they began to make small
talk. Peter swam in college with a native Austrian who was the 1st
Austrian to make the summer Olympic games and win a medal. The officer
knew of him & after a more friendly conversation gave them his card &
Haitian cell phone # in case we ever had any “trouble”. God works in
mysterious ways!
Great day, today! Have Fr Bourdeau & Fr Whitney along with entire team
walking for 30 min after breakfast for CV exercise – will hopefully become
a habit after we leave. After that met Dr Dagerus & went to
St Therese. Met with a Haitian Medical student who identified 6-7
patients who needed cardiac echos. Met with Dr Prince briefly who
thanked us & asked again for their own SonoSite echo machine – wish
there were a way but without highly trained tech or MD would likely
just gather desk. Many new Cuban Doctors & some of our old Haitian MD
friends were also there. Showed the newbies the Zanmi Lasante HIV &
MDR TB unit behind the hospital & returned to clinic & saw more
patients than yesterday, too tired to count. Rosalie put her dental
hygienist knowledge to work on a pt with tooth ache and peritonitis!
Kicker (a paramedic from LA, Calif) saw pts in one room, Dr. Dagerus
in another & me in a 3rd room. Misty, Roslie & Clunie ran the
mobbed triage desk. Interpreters are great & as usual the food is
superb! All is going well – will check back in tomorrow

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