:: Yeesh in Rwanda::

my 3 week trip to Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda – Ch. 3 — September 23, 2018

Rwanda – Ch. 3

So, after we parted ways yesterday, Magnifique invited me out for a late dinner on a rooftop bar, Ubumwe grande. I had already slept for 4 hrs (still jet lagged) and even though it was about 10 pm at this point, what the heck, I’m always down to hang for a bit! I was also starving, there were no matches for me to use the stove to heat up the left overs from Safrinas, home cooked meal the prior day. It wasn’t far from my house, he recommended I walk or take a moto but that made me a little uneasy. Jean, the French only speaking security guard recommended I call Aimable (taxi driver). The only way I can really communicate here is WhatsApp and he was offline! In any case, after much effort I found a ride to the establishment. To my dismay- Magnifique was no longer responding to messages, I was already on my way! To make a long story short- I got stood up! FOR SHAME. This morning I woke up to perfuse apologies. Apparently he fell asleep (he worked the night prior and was up all day). I forgave him and got invited to church for all my trouble.

The church was called the Christian life assembly. As much as I tried to make excuses not to go- I was dragged via moto to the 12 pm service in the same blue dress I wore the day prior with some red lipstick. Yes- I took a moto (don’t tell my mom!!!). Safrina gave me a look of disbelief as Magnifique rolled up with 2 motos. She gave me a hug and told me she was praying for me. NOT HELPFUL. I was already so nervous to get on one. I must say it was exhilarating. We made it to church (and I’m still alive to tell the story)! It was a great service and very much reminded me of my home church growing up. Except with a ton of African garb. It was all in English and at the end of the day, I was very happy I went . I got a lot of closure on things I had been struggling with personally and professionally these last few weeks.

Of course by the time we step outside its monsooning. Definitely not taking a moto back! Magnifique called his best friend and her fianc√© since they also attend this church and had a car. Sylvia and Robert. Sylvia is a resident aspiring to be a neurosurgeon and Robert is a General surgery attending. They met when she was a Med student and he was a resident. They’re cute. We all went out for lunch and since everyone got burgers I ordered the same. Robert asked me if my burger was as good as in the US. I assured him it was not but if he ever comes to NY I’ll treat him to a real burger. He laughed.

On the way home, the car started acting up so magnifique ended up walking me home. He offered to get me a moto back, but I think 1 near death experience a day is more than enough. We talked about our families, residency programs, and life. I’m sad he is rotating at a different hospital, would’ve been nice to see a familiar face on my first day tomorrow!! Of course, I walk into a 7 course meal Safrina left out for me. Ugh I was still so full from my burger. I placed it all in the fridge to warm up for dinner tomorrow. She has an exam tomorrow so she won’t be here, phew I have some time to make it all disappear before she returns!

Oh well, wish me luck tomorrow ~

Rwanda Ch. 2 – Kagarama — September 22, 2018

Rwanda Ch. 2 – Kagarama

Today, although Saturday, I was able to meet up with some of the OB/GYN department. I was invited to participate on a healthcare forum discussing family planning with secondary school children at a boarding school called Kagarama. VERY IMPORTANT. The rate of unintended pregnancies is very high in Rwanda and family planning is probably one of the most important things an OB/GYN will do, that is even more true in a low resource setting like Rwanda. This program is the result of a collaboration with the University of Michigan, and for those not in the medical field, or even if you are and just aren’t familiar- family planning is a sub facet of obstetrics and gynecology dealing primarily with birth control, termination of pregnancies, etc. Its about providing the special and important art of helping women have children only when they are ready. Secondary schools are a great place to begin educating. Besides the fact that the team waited 1.5 hours for me to find my way to Kagarama (my taxi driver got lost!!!) I was integrated completely into the panel which was awesome.

Ok- a lot of introductions but first and foremost I met Diomede and Magnifique. Two people I have had email correspondence with over the past few weeks but haven’t officially met. They’re phenomenal! Magnifique is a second year OB/GYN resident at CHUK and I guess in charge of rotating providers. I asked him what that means and how he got the task and he said his job is to “make sure you are happy and safe.” Sounds exhausting. But apparently it was a highly sought after and competitive position. But whenever he says something I don’t agree with, I tell him I don’t feel happy or safe. He’s sensational. After getting out my 2 hour taxi ride he gave me the biggest hug and welcomed me to Rwanda. He seems so genuine and is always smiling. I’m a fan. Next is Diomede. He’s the chair of the OB/GYN department and comparably as awesome. He explained everything that was happening and translated since they were alternating between Swahili, French, English , and Kinyarwanda. My head was spinning. But he sat next to me on the panel and translated all the good stuff. One of the Gyn Onc attendings who works here but trained at yale even reached out and sent me an email welcoming me and offering to come to the house. We took a selfie and sent it to her! The department so far seems amazing, they don’t have an MFM but if they keep this up they might get one in the next few years ūüėČ. Magnifique and I were talking about goals and I spoke about MFM and the upcoming match and he explained that he’s choosing between urogyn and family planning. He also very much wants to do a rotation in the US. I have to look into this for him when I get back– I feel like it’s only fair, I came for a month, why can’t he?! I’m sure it’s more difficult than that but here’s to wishful thinking. He explained that he’s applied for a visa several times but is declined each time. Ugh so frustrating. He’s got big dreams though and wants to go to Stanford or The Brigham for fellowship. I hope he makes it! Apparently there are not many sub specialists here and he wants to get advanced training to return to his country. Thus gyn onc ( a provider who focuses on gynecological cancers) is a rare gem. I’m happy she is providing care here.

Next I met the other panel members- Sandrina, Doreen, Jared, and Gilbert. They’re a group of various health care professionals. A nurse, midwifery student, and medical student. Jared started off the panel and got these 10-18 year olds really fired up about the talk– I was so impressed. They were first timid and quiet and then after only a few minutes, they were chanting, singing, and dancing! I took videos that ill post separately on FB, but it was so wonderful to watch. Then we each had to introduce ourselves- Diomede gave my introduction. I was sure I’d get boos, these kids were a tough crowd! When he introduced me as a doctor from the U.S, I was obviously surprised to hear “oooohs” and “ahhhhhs”. I stood and waved. Next each panel member went up and spoke to the students, telling them anecdotes, reminding them of what they have to lose, and most of all educating them on safe sex. A good number of the kids raised their hands and said they want to be doctors too!

They invited me to lunch but my driver- Aimable, was already here and waiting! I went home to take a 4 hr nap instead, I’m still so tired!!!!

On the way home, I saw a corner store selling drinks. So once I got settled I asked Jean (French speaking security guard) to walk with me. So I still haven’t changed my currency but my money should be good everywhere! Well not here, the store owner was nice enough to give me the beer with only my word that I would bring back RWF (rawandan money). This place is special. I gotta get money exchanged ASAP. I haven’t tried the beer yet but it’s a 40 of mutzig, highly recommended by Jean. I will let you all know how it is.

Rwanda Ch. 1 — September 21, 2018

Rwanda Ch. 1

I have not slept in 36 hours. 24 hours of travel plus a little exploring for me ūüôÉ. There is a 6 hour time difference so I’m all sorts of jet lagged. First off, this flight was so swanky- I legit didn’t want to get off the plane. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring omelettes, sandwiches, and chicken tikka misala accompanigned by all you can drink spirits. I was one very happy passenger. I watched 8 movies including “the shape of water” which I watched with my head cocked to the side the entire time. Layover in Qatar and Uganda- then finally Kigali. I met so many amazing people and hearing their stories was incredible. One other black woman was going to Qatar by herself to help Syrian refugees. She said she saw their need and felt a call to action. She was impressed by my OB/GYN status, but I assured her that I hope to one day have the kind of passion to drop everything to serve a cause bigger than myself. I was awe-spired.

Africa is a fascinating place. It’s so beautiful and filled with so much rich culture. I love seeing all the beautiful brown and black faces around me. Rwanda is so advanced!! Ok, it’s no Wakanda but it definitely exceeded my expectations especially when I compare it to my experience in Haiti. There is electricity, running water (even hot!) street lights, fancy hotels, reliable internet connection, and all the other things that are luxuries other 3rd world countries (I.e Haiti) do not always have.

In any case today went very smoothly. I was a little nervous traveling across the globe by myself, not speaking the language, and trying to find my way around– but things went seamlessly. My taxi driver was standing outside the gate with a sign with my name on it. His English isn’t great and my French is no better so we struggle communicating- maybe tomorrow we can try sign language.

He dropped me to the house I will be staying at and it’s lovely! It’s very quaint and comfortable. 5 rooms but I’m all alone!! There is a security guard here all the time (although I feel so safe) and I met the cook, Safrina, who is absolutely sensational. I begged her to sleep over but she has 5 kids and told me she’d be back on Monday . Sigh, I thought my pouty face would win her over, it didn’t. She did manage to fix me the most delicious meal I ever had- more than enough to feed me and her 5 kids !! I asked her to join me but she refused– she said it’s all for me. She made beef, salad with avocado, and veggies, some type of bread that I call naan because I can’t remember the African name, spinach, and boiled eggs. Ugh. Followed by dessert. I told her I had dinner plans but she insisted I eat. I didn’t push it because in my preparation I read that it is highly disrespectful to refuse a meal. I shoved as much food as I could in my mouth. My tummy hurt after.

Next I got ready to go meet Christina (my attending) at her hotel. Coincidentally she is in town for a summit with the leadership for the sustainable village in Archaie, Haiti. So I met up with them and went to a fancy restaurant on a mountain with an amazing view. We had great conversations about Haiti, Rwanda, and goals for the future.

Today was a great day. Now excuse me while I sleep under my mosquito net for the next 18 hrs.

A demain.

PART 2: Rwanda — September 19, 2018

PART 2: Rwanda

BOO! Hehe JUST KIDDING. But seriously, I’M BACKKKKKKK. You’re favorite journalist-physician is coming back to you with a new book in this global health saga. Tomorrow I leave for a 3 week trip to Kigali, Rwanda where I will be working and predominantly developing a curriculum for future residents from Stony Brook. I really should be packing since my 24 hour flight leaves in less than 12 hours, but, what the hell.

* SHOUT OUT TO THE STONY BROOK GLOBAL WOMEN’S HEALTH TRACK*

Sorry for the Haiti doman, it costs 22 dollars to change it and it’s not that big of a deal! This time, I am much less prepared than when I went to Haiti, AND I have never been to Africa. No 300 dollar shots this time, or 3 suitcases worth of crap that I left behind for those who needed it way more than I did. Just a few dress pants, scrubs, pajamas, shower shoes, and mosquito repellant. The essentials ~ (plus enough snacks for a small army). I am so excited and everyone at CHUK seems so incredibly kind and accomadating. Rwanda is a country with a lot of history and scars that are still healing. I can’t wait to care for these women and I am so lucky to have this opportunity.

Will keep you all posted on how I survive navigating the country tomorrow after I land and making it to the hospital. I am sure it will be interesting.

 

La fin — May 13, 2018

La fin

This will be my last post. To say I was sad to leave Haiti is a severe understatement. I have met so many people who have left such a big imprint on my life. I learned about myself, about love, about patience, about kindness, and about persistence. I saw things I never would’ve imagined in a million years I would see and I am so thankful I was given this opportunity.

On my last day, I met with Dr. Gautier, she runs St. Damien Hospital and is a pediatrician. She is so lovely. We had a debrief prior to me leaving so she could hear about my experience there. We spoke for an hour and she took a page of notes. She was completely engaged with my thoughts and St. Damien is lucky to have her. She even gave me a bracelet as a gift. She assured me I am always welcome at St. Damien and even offered me a job when I finish fellowship (haha we will see). I am sure I will see her again.

Afterwards, I went to archives to say bye to the people I have sat with for countless hours every day for 5 weeks. I handed out pens, plume,  because they never have any!!!!We laughed and hugged and I promised I would return. BECAUSE I WILL.

Lastly, I went up to maternity to say goodbye. I saw Dr. Volmont, Dr. Pierre, Michoutas, and the other nurses and midwives. I will greatly miss them all.

To my new family that I gained- Madame and Monsieur Franklin, Madeline, Rose, Esaie, Mackensy, Whitney, Dina, Thomas, and Tania. Thank you for your love. Thank you for always protecting me and taking care of me. Thank you for welcoming me. Thank you for helping me hand wash my kilot (underwear apparently I am not very good at it). Thank you for taking me around Tabarre, for feeding me an infinite number of mangoes and Haitian food, for always being up to fete (party) with me and always open to trying all the crazy American things I am talking about. I love each and every one of you and you always have a place to stay if you ever get the chance to get on a plane and come to America. I wish that and so much more for each of you.

Being home is strange. Looking around, seeing all the infrastructure, driving my car, being in my air-conditioned apartment with electricity and water. I can brush my teeth from the sink! While it is nice to come back to, it is hard not to think of all the people left in Haiti with nothing. I mean, how different your life could be just by the country you were born in. If my mother didn’t immigrate from Haiti, that would’ve been my life.

This was the greatest experience of my life and I am eternally grateful to Stony Brook OBGYN Global Health for giving me this opportunity. Stay tuned for part II of Yeesh in Haiti because you can definitely expect sequels. I will return to Haiti.

Grossesse Abdominale — May 9, 2018

Grossesse Abdominale

Sorry team, I know there has been a pretty long dry spell here. I’ve had a lot of difficulties with internet connection. Anywho, I’M ALIVE. I survived a roach in my bed in the middle of the night and all! In any case, this week has been business as usual. Pounding charts in the archives while trying to balance being involved on the maternity ward. I have completed about 5 months of research and gone through 450 charts! I’m am very satisfied with what I have accomplished, especially since the charts were in French and I had little to no help.

Since this is my last week, I came up to say goodbye to some of the staff on the maternity ward as they don’t all come in on a daily basis. While saying bye to Madame phillipau, she alerted me to the fact that a case was about to start for an abdominal pregnancy, Grossesse abdominale. THIS IS RARE. 1 in 10,000 births (I looked it up when she told me they have had 4 this year). I had to scrub in! So I changed into scrubs and scrubbed in on a laparotomy to remove the infant. She was 31 weeks pregnant and this pregnancy has been growing in the peritoneal cavity of her abdomen (I.e not inside of her uterus). Like most Haitian women, she did not get prenatal care and she originally presented with abdominal pain and spotting and was found to have an extrauterine pregnancy at 31 weeks. The management for this is immediate delivery as this is life threatening condition. Since the fetus was viable she was given a course of dexamethasone (steroids) for fetal lung maturity and arrangements were made for delivery.

Given the rarity of this case and the fact that they have 4 in a year (hospitals accumulate cases over decades) the researcher in me jumped at the opportunity to write a case series. Madame phillapau was all over it too, I think she saw my excitement and couldn’t resist but to entertain me. She started looking through the registries of all the deliveries but unfortunately it’s about impossible to find the 3 other cases without going through chart by chart. There are no ICD 10 codes and no IT department to pull the charts you want. The archives are also a mess and half the time they can’t find the chart when you do have the name and MRN. Sigh. Unfortunately it’s unlikely I can do a case series but I will definitely do a case report. Research here is very frustrating but I’m hoping that will soon change and that Stony Brook can help them more effectively collect data.

In terms of exploration, I now consider myself a pro at getting myself around Tabarre. I have walked the streets countless times and even went to get some Haitian food in the street last night, NOM. Griot, bananne peze, accra, and patate. I was in Haiti Heaven NOMMMM. I threw a party for Cinco De Mayo and everyone got sou! (That’s drunk in creole) apparently my drinks are very strong compared to Haitian standards. Oh well! Everyone ate chips and queso and drank margaritas. It’s crazy, they had never heard of a margarita or a taco. I enjoy exposing my Haitian friends to things they have never seen or heard of !

Unfortunately, tomorrow is my last day and I’m so sad to leave the patients, the staff I’ve gotten so close to, and my friends at the house.

Tet Chaje — April 27, 2018

Tet Chaje

So couple of updates. For one, WE HAVE WATER AGAIN! I took a 45 minute ice-cold shower last night, and loved every minute of it. I washed my hair and all my lady bits 3 times through.¬†D’leau,¬†I never would’ve thought how much I would appreciate this. Here, my day revolves around d’leau (water). Is the pump on, can I shower? can I flush the toilet? Filling up bottles with clean drinking water at the hospital or at home so I never run out. Scarce. Clean water is scarce. Yesterday during our lunch break, I went to the supermarket with one of the ladies in archives just to fill two jugs of water. Jeez. In any case, I am happy and clean again and love water so so much, I will never take you for granted again!!

In research update news, I am 250 charts in!!! WOOO. 2 weeks exactly left, I am not going to be able to get through a years worth of charts they have over 2,000 deliveries in 2017 but I will aim for 6 months. It is crazy the pathology they see here. In one month I have come across 5 ecclamptics (women who develop grand mal seizures and need to be delivered immediately). It is an obstetrical emergency and in 3 years of residency I have not seen a single one. They saw 5 in March of 2017. In any case, going through the dossiers has giving me a broader creole vocabulary and I can better understand rounds. Even if I miss something because they are speaking to fast. I can glance through the chart and grasp the big picture because of all the time I spend reading through charts.

Yesterday we had a maternal death. A 31-year-old who presented at approximately 30 weeks ¬†gestation (unclear the exact gestational age but definitely 3rd trimester on appearance) with her mother. She had been complaining of abdominal pain and first shared she was pregnant with her family the day prior to presentation. In medical school, I had a resident on internal medicine who used to tell me, “I know this isn’t relative to you and you plan on doing OB/GYN, but if you get nothing else from this rotation, I want you to be able to tell ‘sick vs. not sick’.” I didn’t understand what she meant until I went to round on my patient with congestive heart failure and he looked different from the day before. He looked ‘sick.’ I called my resident to tell her. He died that day. This woman looked sick sitting in the triage waiting area. Her eyes were closed and she could barely hold herself up. She was rushed to the salle d’accouchement (delivery room) and everyone sprung into action. It reminded me of home. Pulse ox on, BP cuff on, someone attempting to get history from the patient, someone speaking to mom, someone assessing the fetus. All at once in perfect synchrony. Unfortunately she was DOA (dead on arrival). Then the focus switched to the fetus. You have 5 minutes to get the baby out after mom has died, that’s how long it can survive without blood and oxygen from mom. Unfortunately the baby had already died too. There is some concern this may have been an abruption (placental detachment prematurely) that may have led to DIC but no one has any idea. Another death. It’s all around me. Yesterday as I stood at the front door of the hospital 4 men carried out a dead body on a gurney covered in plastic wrapping. They placed it in the middle of the street. I felt so sick. This is someones mother, brother, child, and they are sitting in the middle of the street for everyone to see. Gut wrenching. TET CHAJE!!

The Black Jacobins — April 26, 2018

The Black Jacobins

Alright guys, time for a history lesson. This is important. I truly believe the only way to truly appreciate Haiti and see it for all it’s glorious beauty is to understand it’s intricate history. Prior to leaving the US, at the recommendation of my brilliant cousin Brian, I purchased a book called,¬†The Black Jacobins.¬†It is a book written by C.L.R James that examines the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find accurate dipictions on the events that took place and there aren’t history books lying around on the Haitian Revolution. So this book is as good as it gets. It is exceptional. On January 1st 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, an African-born ex-slave declared Haiti independent making Haiti the first black republic in the world and the first country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery completely. THIS IS HUGE. The tiny country of Haiti largely inhabited by illiterate and dehumanized slaves accomplished so much in just 12 years. Throughout the book, the author ¬†approaches the revolution by analyzing revolutionary potential and progress according to economic and class lines, rather than racial distinctions. It speaks of the conditions the slaves endured and how economic and class lines could allow one barely literate slave to lead a revolution. There were times the book had me in tears, it paints a vivid picture to the lives the slaves lived.

The Black Jacobins also focuses on Toussaint L’Ouverture as the revolutionary leader. He kind of reminds me of Obama. He is thought to have united the revolutionary forces and lead the slaves in numerous battles. His influence, as well as that of the French Revolution, is the main focus of the book. He spearheads the revolution nearly to the end when he is captured and imprisoned in France (where he would eventually die), and then some of his most powerful generals, Moise and Dessalines, complete the revolution.

So sure when you see Haiti, if you so choose, you can just see poverty and need everywhere you look. But if you look closely through the lens of history you can also see strength, resilience, and empowerment.

AYITI!

Meningite — April 24, 2018

Meningite

Bon soir zamis! Today rounds were cancelled as there have been 2 neonatal deaths this week from meningitis and the unit has been racking their brain as to what the common factors were. One of the babies was born with some signs of compromise and went straight to NICU. The other baby was vigorous and thought to be in good health until he began seizing the day of discharge. I don’t know if there is a common etiology between these two babies or not– I mean they were low risk and both born to primips (women who are giving their first baby) with no known medical problems. In any case, one thing we do in the US is GBS prolphylaxis. All pregnant women get tested at 34-36 weeks for GBS (a common bacteria that if colonizing the genital tract could cause neonatal infection) and if positive they are treated with penicillin (or an equivalent) in labor. This is impossible here. Many of these women never have a single prenatal visit and present for delivery and are “presumed to be term”. I can’t even count how many times I’ve come across that reading through my dossiers. Michoutas and I were discussing our frustrations of the recent occurrences and throwing some ideas around. One thing she said was being considered was a clinic at St. Damien for pregnant women in the 3rd trimester so they can regularly screened for hypertensive disorders which are so prevalent here and GBS. Also, screening for domestic violence is crucial here. The overwhelming majority of the 150 charts I have gone through thus far have screen positive for IPV, which we know can escalate during pregnancy. The problem is that many of these women do not want to seek care. There is a lot of myths and passed down legends on pregnancy and childbirth that are impossible to debunk. These women would prefer to deliver at home with the old woman who lives down the street and delivered all the other children on the block. I don’t know if any of the above would have changed the outcomes but I think they are good ideas.

I’ve heard many myths from the maternity team regarding deliveries and postpartum. For one, elders in the family beat new mothers with palm fronds after delivery to help with milk let down. OUCH! (I know some of my aunts were subjected to the same beat down after their deliveries). Also, there is the belief that they need to stay insulated and cannot cool off postpartum to preserve their pelvic organs. Moms cover themselves from head to toes with blankets and sit on a warm bucket. The warmer the better. Mind you it is 95 degrees out and humid as heck. I swear I can see the equator from my bedroom window. Also no sex for 3 months. I’m cool with that since none of the women here leave with contraception. They receive counseling but they have to wait until outpatient. I wonder how many of these women follow up? The cultural differences are incredible.

Remember Dina (other favorite 11 year old)? Her father has become very ill. He cannot walk and is having fevers and headaches. I’m concerned he may also have meningitis but there is a serious issue with access to healthcare here. Even if there is a nearby hospital, the cost is horrendous and you will wish you died when all is said and done if you don’t have the means to afford it. So he has been laying sick for 3 days now. I even offered my services (trying to expand my scope of practice to men, ya know?) but he needs antibiotics and an LP which I cannot do. It is very hard, Dina has been crying and I wish there was some way to help. Unfortunately the healthcare system in Haiti is severely underdeveloped, there is no insurance, rules, or regulations to protect the patient. So incredibly frustrating.

Side note, I am feeling much better from my illness yesterday. I got home from work with honey tea waiting for me and concerned friends and family. Still not 100% but definitely functional!

Montezuma’s revenge — April 23, 2018

Montezuma’s revenge

Sorry, Yeesh in Haiti team, I know I’ve been MIA for the last few days, I have been a little distracted, will possibly discuss more at a later date. In any case, I had a fantastic weekend and came back to work this morning. Yesterday, I hung around the house with my favorite 11 year olds who for the billionth time brought me some mangoes they picked for me off the mango tree in the yard. For the last week or so the water pump at the house has been broken, from what I understand, the water pump is an apparatus to pump water throughout the house for bathing, toileting, etc I have therefore been bathing from a bucket of water that gets brought up to my room every night. This is all fine and well, I can deal with only washing the essentials but it gets tough when the toilets cannot flush and you cannot wash your hands! I have gone through 3 bottles of hand sanitizer already. In any case, I pride myself on being very easy going and have just been doing as the romans. I have been being very careful with what I eat and drink so as to not get sick but I slipped up. Thomas brought me FIVE MANGOES that he picked for me yesterday and brought it for me to indulge in a big bowl of water. I did not even think to ask where he found this scarce resource and instead pigged out on my mangos inadvertenty drinking some of the water. Well now as one would expect I have gotten some sort of GI bug (hence the title of this post). Nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. GREAT, I got travelers diarrhea aka Montezuma’s revenge as I recall from 2nd year of medical school! Thankfully I have some prophylactic azithromycin that I took on the onset but I am still very uncomfortable. I know this may be TMI, but hey, most of you are health care professionals, you get it!

Yesterday I rode a tap tap (an open taxi where multiple people pile in to get around) to the supermarket and bought some groceries. Lugging all of it back up the hill with Madleine was no fun but still a great experience! Last night, I threw a party for Lolo’s (the driver) 62nd birthday! He was not present but hey is that a requirement? I taught my new friends how to make microwave popcorn (THEY HAD NEVER DONE IT BEFORE!) and we ate haitian creme (ice cream), drank wine and prestige all night, all in the name of Lolo! (haha all I need is a reason to have a celebration). At the supermarket, I bought him a cake and insisted we sing and eat it for breakfast this morning before he dropped me off to work! I don’t think they can handle me here!

This morning since I am so ill and running to the bathroom q 20 mins, I am going to go home a little early. ( I don’t know that that is a much better option since the toilets dont really work but I will figure it out). To my pleasant suprise, I had a visit from a friend from back home today, Miss Cooper, one of the postpartum nurses from back home! She’s been reading the blog and is here visiting family for a few days and stopped by the hospital this morning to give me some chocolates and say hello! Wish I wasn’t feeling so crappy so we could’ve grabbed lunch and chatted more. Thank you Miss Cooper, I’ll see next month at home. SBUH ‚̧

IMG_0292
Miss Cooper, postpartum nurse from SBUH who is in Haiti for a few days and came to visit! Thank you for the chocolate and the support Miss Cooper.
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