Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The name of the young man from Manresa is Bathelmy, or Bartholemew, and I commend him to you for your prayers and good thoughts. We found him at last, at the refugee camp this morning. His family name is Silencieux, he is eighteen years old, and he is left-handed. He used to be a construction worker. On January 12th, he was at work when the earthquake struck Haiti. The building he was in collapsed, partially burying him under cinderblocks and trapping his right hand under the corner of a heavy table. He was pulled from the rubble with his hand crushed, and learned that his mother was dead. The next few days were like a bad dream for him. His hand was bandaged by a Haitian doctor the next day, but the doctor had no medicines, no anesthetics, and no way to properly treat the injury. Bathelmy’s sister Sterlande took care of him, but they had very little water and less food. Bathelmy stayed at a place a short distance from the Manresa camp, but he came to the camp each day because Sterlande told him that the Catholic priests would send doctors to the camp as soon as anyone came to help. When our team arrived, he was the first patient we saw. Bathelmy remembered me, and Brother Jim, and Jake, and he remembered our efforts taking care of him and getting him to a hospital. The pain and swelling in his crushed hand eased soon after we treated him, but the surgeons were unable to operate on him for another two days because of the number of patients and the shortage of doctors. When they were finally able to operate on him, they amputated his hand. He survived the operation and the wound is healing appropriately. He no longer has pain in his arm and he will see a doctor again in five days. He was very, very grateful for everything Rubicon was able to do for him. “That [the first day Rubicon came to Manresa] was the first day I felt like I was alive again. I wish you would be here every day.”
The earthquake happened thirty days ago today.
Haiti's president declared that today is the first of three days'
mourning and remembrance. The US Embassy, most UN offices, and every
official building (of those that are still standing) was closed today.
And as far as I could tell, the vast majority of Haitian citizens did
NOT stay home. They dressed in the best clothing they could assemble,
and walked to church. And there they stayed for the better part of
the day, preaching, listening, mourning, singing, and remembering.
Friday, February 12, 2010
As you can imagine, the planning going into this is enormous, and includes recruiting teachers, requesting funding, meeting with other NGO’s, securing tents, classroom materials, and everything else that any school would have. At times it seems overwhelming, but I do have confidence in our team and the products of Fe y Alegria around the world. One walk through the camps lets me see firsthand the tremendous need in the educational area, and rekindles the hope that some of these emergency schools might grow into something permanent.
Today was simply delightful! I got to give away presents, hung out
with Brother Jim, got a hug and a kiss from Gary Cagle's nine-year-old
daughter Rachel (via a small pillow pre-loaded with 1000@ hugs and
kisses), and generally did a bunch of miscellaneous and hopefully
useful stuff. The day's focus was on proceeding forward with the
refugee schools, but mostly what Jim and I did was hang out and drive
around, which was just fine with me. He's been doing sustained
disaster relief ops for 30 days, so getting stuck in traffic for most
of the day might have been a welcome change of pace. (Of course, he
was stuck in traffic with ME, so by tomorrow he will probably be
begging to get back to gangrenous wounds and mortuary transport.)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
0210 Rue de miracles
Written from the novitiate house at 3AM on Thursday morning.
I set out to reach here, 24 hours ago. It is miraculous that I have arrived, and I do not use the term lightly. It is also a testament to the inspired teamwork of SO many people! The experience also makes me hopeful, and humbles me. Nothing "I" am doing is being done by me alone -- and that gives me great comfort.
For starters, just getting me to the airport needs to be credited to my lovely bride. When the snow started falling, and she saw that I was torn between staying with her, and going forward, she said, "Get out of here; go do what you need to do." And, thereafter, buoyed up by Zak (working alternate flights), Graeme (ditto), Cammie (suggesting I try the Richmond airport), Cheryl (covering my shift), Jeremy (authorizing the swap), Cammie giving me en-route flight updates as I slushed down 95 towards Richmond), my dad (floating me the cash I needed to fund the whole massive mutating operation), and, oh yeah, Cammie (backing me up and staying positive as I traveled), I made it to Richmond.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Gunny and Dee, the last two members of TR2 (minus Gary Cagle) departed Haiti Monday, and are back home safe and sound in New York. The folks in the attached picture (L to R) are: Edmund Lo (Jesuit Novice, and first "local recruit" to TR), Mac McCormick (Gunnery Sgt, USMC (R)), Dee Spina (RN), and JJ Aerulus (Haitian translator and all around good guy).
The picture was shot as they were heading out to the airport in a tap-tap. The only original members of Team Rubicon still in country are Brother Jim and Gary. Jim is doing his typical SJ stuff (currently setting up schools in the refugee camps), and Gary is now working for the WHO (He has been hired to "fix" the problems with their medical logistics warehouse and system here in Haiti). The mission continues....
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
Hayward offers treatment after quake
The devastating earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 12, was more than a news story for Mark Hayward. He saw the images on TV and immediately recognized places he had been, streets he has walked and thought of people he knew.
Hayward, an emergency medicine physician assistant at St. Mary's Hospital, worked in Haiti as a medical officer for a team of United States law enforcement personnel for three months in 2009.
"It was very personal," he said by phone this week from his home in King George, Va.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Here's a link to the veteran's representing the IAVA in Washington LINK
Ladies and Gentlemem! It's time for the Team Rubicon army of supporters to unite once more!
I have exciting news from IDEX! Helen has decided to offer a one of a kind doll for auction. We wanted to give you the opportunity to have her for your very own. By bidding you'll be helping the relief efforts in Haiti as all proceeds from the winning bid will go to Team Rubicon. Read on to learn more. To take a peak at Baby Aisha click here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kishandcompany , or just visit the Photo Section and look for her name.