On August 7th HHN welcomed Haitian Public Health Specialist Dr. Richemond Jean-Baptiste to Orcas. Dr. Richemond and his brother are building a clinic, Hospital Saint Raphael, in Limbé. Their motto is “Serve to heal”, and to this end they will provide full service affordable health care of the people of the region.
We had the opportunity to introduce him to local physicians, Dr. Diane Boteler and Dr. Dale Heisinger, both of whom have experience working in under-served areas of Africa and South America, respectively. The greetings and feelings of camaraderie between these doctors was a pleasure to see. They plan to stay in touch for possible collaboration.
HHN is joining with Dr. Richemond in public health education for the region. Fund-raising continues in an effort to complete the clinic. An interesting and frustrating side note: Dr. Richemond told us that building progress has slowed due to the fact that the price of all materials has sky-rocketed since the 2010 earthquake. Through the kindness of Orcas supporters and a contact at Seattle University, Dr. Richemond returned to Limbé with two badly needed microscopes and other easily transportable supplies.
Michael and Anne Karp joined us for this gathering at the Orcas Library. Michael is the founder and CEO of A W.I.S.H. (www.awish.net) our fiscal sponsor. Both he and Anne are dedicated to positive change in our world and provide for us, and others, a wealth of information and support. They hosted us at a small al fresco dinner following the gathering which gave us a chance to talk further with Dr. Richemond exchanging ideas and possibilities for funding and training.
Through a series of happy coincidences, Rosedanie met Dudney Silla, a young Haitian-born man studying for his master’s degree at the University of Washington who was spending the summer working on the leadership project at YMCA Camp Orkila. Dudney has expressed an interest in joining with us for some leadership training classes in Limbé. We are eager to connect with other young Haitians willing to share their knowledge with their countrymen. You can reach us through the “contact” button on our home page.
By the end of the first week of August, the three hardy troopers ,who had traveled to Limbé in July to teach English, were back on home turf with stories to tell. Please visit the blog and photographs on the home page for some of their impressions. The consensus was the the ESL classes, for both children and adults, were well attended and that progress was made. They noted that our resident Haiti Committee was straining to collaborate and stalled in moving forward on projects. Rosedanie has been focused on helping them gain collaborative skills, but this is difficult to accomplish at a distance and will have to wait until she or another HHN representative is in Limbé. We have learned that, in Haiti, the path to progress begins at the ground level and must be built stone-by-stone and brick-by-brick. We’re doing it.
One of our Orcas supporters, Gwen Stamm, spent hours over a hot stove this month making delicious jams from local fruits and honey which she’ll sell on behalf of HHN at the Orcas Artisan’s Faire the first week of December. This is the second year of her “project preserve”, so we are doubly grateful. Thank you, Gwen.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead