One Day in Haiti, Part III

The orphanage has 50 kids. These are throwaway kids. And a kid isn’t truly a throwaway until they are a Haitian throwaway.

I’ve got to say at this point I’m humbled and somewhat emotional. What we saw was hard to fully comprehend, and the orphanage added to the sensory overload. I discover how lucky I was to be from a rich country. What I used to think of as “poverty” wasn’t poverty at all.

I went in and scouted around, because I knew it would be a while before the others got here since the truck got held up by Haitian Customs. George, Raphael, and Madame Troussant, the head of the orphanage, former government employee and somewhat of a local celebrity, went back to Customs to get the truck away from those thieves. The doc was setting up his “clinic.”

I found the well that had recently been built (15’ to water, then 10’ of water, not bad) along with the pump to the tinaco and filtration system. Pretty sweet:

Only one problem: they get power maybe once a week for maybe 2 hours…and don’t know when. Otherwise they use those buckets on a rope for their water. Part of today’s mission was to install a manual pump.

The clinic was now open. The patients wait patiently in the waiting room.




Some kids had never been examined by a doctor before.

Seems EVERY kid in the place had intestinal parasites. One was epileptic, two others had water on the brain, all were malnourished, some anemic. These kids are 3-4 years older than they look. I was shocked. The doc brought a ton of medication. Every kid got parasite meds, vitamins, antibiotics, and iron pills. Madame will be in charge of making sure they take them.

But how effective could they be with the sanitary conditions? This is THE bathroom:

BTW-I had to use that…once. That’s not water on the dirt floor or concrete seat.  You can imagine the stench. The distance from the hole to whatever is semi-solid below is maybe a foot. Do the math. I’ve had nature call at times that weren’t the best, but this was the worst. The doc had some antibacterial gel; I wanted to bathe in it.

So kids poop and pee pretty much wherever they want on the grounds, or: