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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Driving....can make you insane

Last week I drove Ensa and her mother to a clinic in Petionville, which is only a few miles up a hill from my house, but it can take an hour or longer to get there with traffic. I took Anderson, one of our boy graduates, along with me to help me navigate and make me feel safe. I knew already that he's not the best at navigating...but he's better than nothing and always provides entertaining conversation. He is willing to ask for directions. We started out the morning with him calling the doctor to ask for directions. She told him a landmark then said for him to call back when we arrived there. Thankfully he knew how to get to this location, a church. After that we pulled over so I could call the doctor. Two attempts and she didn't answer. I pulled over to the edge of the street, but cars honked furiously at us nonetheless.  We had not been given the address or the name of the clinic when we'd called her earlier in the morning. She had given Anderson a general area. We could no longer stay in the intersection so I picked a direction and drove off. Finally, the doctor's assistant called back and Anderson spoke to her. With confidence he told me where to go. Then, silence. "Where do I turn?" "I don't know," he responded. I called the doctor's office again and Ensa's mother spoke with her. Same result as with Anderson: we turned a bunch of times and then were lost again, as we looked for "Thyle Market," which the office claimed was nearby. And she was told the office was named "Citi Med." I pulled over again and a female street vendor offered to get in the car to show us where to go. Upon arriving at "Citi Med" we were told they did not know the doctor we were looking for. Another phone call. NO, its not Citi Med, its called "Omni Med." Are you kidding me? Again, we drove in circles looking for a market supposedly close to the office, but this time we were told it was called "Star Market." Ensa's mother gave directions to me from the back seat using hand signals. That doesn't really help when you're trying to avoid hitting other cars and people. You can't look behind you. I frequently told her to say "Right, Left, and Straight" in Creole and she agreed to, but then I began to wonder if she knows her right from her left. Anderson would tell me where to go two seconds AFTER I had passed the intersection. A few more phone calls, being told to look for "Big Market", and praise God we found it! When we pulled up the lady who had been giving us directions shook her head in wonder and laughed at us. Thanks so much.

The doctor, a rheumatologist, was very kind and thorough in her examination of Ensa. Hospital Espoir had been unable to figure out why she continued to have fevers and pain even though she received treatment for her diagnosis of typhoid. All of Ensa's symptoms and clinic picture led the doctor to believe she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She started Ensa on three times per day Aspirin which Ensa seems to be responding to. She had labs drawn last week and the results should be in in the next few days. We are very thankful that it seems some answers are being found for her.

Thank you very much to those who donated to Ensa and Mikerlange's medical fund! Mikerlange seems to be gaining strength and her skin is completely cleared. She has a follow-up appointment with her HIV doctor next week. Both she and Ensa and family attended our annual Christmas program on Saturday. 

Ensa all dressed-up for our Christmas Program

Thank you and blessings to all of you, for reading and for supporting these girls!

P.S. My friends and coworkers moved into the apartment below me. Last week, in preparation of them moving in, a couple of painters came by to paint. When my friends saw the apartment the day before it had white walls...dirty white walls, but white walls, nonetheless. They assumed that when the owner said she would have the walls re-painted they would be re-painted white...right? No. Wrong. Pink. Pepto-bismol pink. I shouldn't be surprised, because this is actually a  popular color here. At least my dining room is a muted shade of pink. I am so blessed.

P.P.S Yesterday I was talking with two ladies who were staying for a few nights at our guesthouse. They spent most of last week at a hotel downtown. A fancy-schmancy nice one. So nice that it had mice running in and out of holes that the managers or maids stuffed with newspaper. So nice that someone working there provided them with a billy club as a weapon to kill the mice. How would you like that for your first trip to Haiti? Here's some mice to entertain you while you sleep and here's your weapon to kill them. Wow. So thoughtful of you. 


Meg said...

Brooke, your sense of humor comes through in your writing more and more. Love it!
Merry Christmas to you!