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Monday, January 26

Gary Bissonette: Today is a first in ten years coming to Seguin. We actually closed clinic by 4 pm because there were no more patients outside wanting to be seen. We still saw about 350 patients but they are much more healthy than in years past. We are not seeing the scabies and malnutrition as in years past. The number of people surveyed have greater access to clean water and latrine use is also on the rise. We are all very encouraged by the change we are seeing in the area. Pharmacies are now available for patients to get medication after we leave and health workers in the area that can work with the people. This is all possible through the efforts of everyone at Holy Spirit Parish. The dental clinic still seems to have a steady line of patients and we are hopeful that with continued education progress can be made. We continue to focus on the school children when here that number approximately 530 students.

The landscape has also changed here in Seguin with solar powered
street lights. In the past our generator powered lights in the rectory was the only light we could see on the mountain. On our trip up we also saw new bridges being built over rivers that were not passable during the rainy season or hurricanes. In general you get a sense construction is on the rise. The church here in Seguin is still dismantled and unfortunately the engineer did not have revised plans for the new church available to review. Still lots of changes to come but progress is all around to behold.

Bruce Murray: Interesting day here today. Removed a 6cm lipoma from a mans scalp that was there for 8 years. Also had a 25 yo with a bone cancer in his tibia. Good to close early today. The people seem better here than even 2 years ago. The children are great and love the gum Juciy Fruit and mints I give them. I saw a lady with torn up jacket from Florida State where I went to college. The weather has been great, sunny and cool at night. Food has been good, mostly rice and chicken. They had fish last night but I passed on that. Not sure how it was cooked. Or what kind of fish it was. Tomorrow we have another clinic all day. It is only about 7pm but feels like 11pm. Roosters crow all night and sometimes hard to sleep well. We were all talking of how great a five guys cheese burger would be WITH extra bacon, and at Atlanta they have one in the airport that we plan to hit asap on the way home. Tonight was hair wash night and we all got a shampoo over a bucket. We all miss our families very much. Today Mike and I (mostly him) were able to fix a sump pump to pump water up to the barrel on the roof from cistern were water is trapped when it rains. That then feeds by gravity to toilet and shower. No hot water, and its often contaminated water. But it beats a latrine. I got to say a few words at church on Sunday on behalf of the group and I was so honored to do that. The people are so thankful. Hi to our friends at Zeeland ER.

Michael Petrella: It’s so nice to be back in Seguin on my fifth trip to Haiti after not being here for two and a half years. As the team fix-it man, I receive projects from all the team members with most of the big projects coming from Tim. Many projects are quick and easy like changing a broken toilet seat. With all the medical personnel on the team doing such amazing work in the medical and dental clinics, it’s comical to receive so much praise from the team for such an easy fix. Although, a new toilet seat is nice if the only one you have is broken. One big project that I started the last time I was here in 2012 with Jim Cwengros was to place a sump pump in the cistern to pump water to the top of the rectory, our living quarters, to a large holding tank so the toilets, sinks and showers have water. The project turned out to be difficult because we cut the power cord and then had to rewire to a different plug and figure out how to take the float off of the pump. After the we figured out the power source and hooked it up and placed it in the cistern, the water pumped up to the roof, three feet short of the mouth of the holding tank and we couldn’t figure out how to get the thing to work. Tim brought a thinner hose to try this year. As I looked for the sump pump yesterday, I found it sitting next to the cistern in the mud with the end of the power cord cut off and nowhere to be found. As I was looking though the maintenance closet for some other tools today I found one lone plug. I assembled it to the end of the sump pump cord, Dr. Bruce Murray helped me get the hose to the top of the holding tank on the roof, we sunk the pump in the cistern, plugged it in and it worked!!! We completed the project, on Haitian time. I’m sure Jim was looking down on us and smiling that we finally finished the project we started two and a half years ago.

One more exciting project we are trying to start after so many years
is to build a house for Roger, a blind man that lives here in Seguin. I went today to survey Roger’s property with a local builder and then we discussed the size and layout of the house. The builder came by later and we talked about cost for completion of the entire project. Although the cost is very reasonable for a house because it is in Haiti, we will still have some fund raising to do in the next few months so that we can get started. I want to see the house completed this year so he has a home to call his own.

In closing, I feel so blessed to be able to come here and help.
Although the living conditions are not plush, we have more than enough to be comfortable and I always feel like I am suppose to be here doing this work. Thanks for reading this blog and please consider coming to Seguin. I promise you will love it. If you can’t come here, I assure you that your donations to our Haiti twinning parish program is making a difference. As you can tell from the medical teams blog, the health of the people is so much better and improves each year. God Bless you, or as they say in Haiti, Bonjay benne ou!

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