Catherine Mish ~ We are back in the Atlanta airport today, having flown in from Port au Prince this morning. We had to go through immigration, and then customs, and then another TSA screening. It was a long 10 day trip to Haiti, and we are glad to be back, even if we will find snow in Grand Rapids upon our return. I told the US government official at the immigration station that I was so glad to back in the US, I might kiss him. I think I have to claim the Fifth Amendment on the content of his response. 🙂
On this trip, it was my first opportunity to visit the DeliMart, a supermarket in Port au Prince. We went there on the second day in the country, as we set off on the drive up the mountain to Seguin. At the DeliMart, we bought coffee and vanille (that’s how they spell it) and I bought several containers of vanille for some of my co-workers. It was the first time I had tried to use American money to buy things at an actual store in Haiti. We also found some really great ice cream for sale at a gas station that we stopped at along the way. The brand was called Pat n To’s, and the chocolate flavor was really great.
At the end of the trip, we took a different road down the mountain from Seguin than normal, and it was a better road this year, both shorter and less bumpy. I actually made it down the mountain without getting sick this time! On the drive back from Seguin to Port au Prince, we stopped at a beautiful beach near Jacmel and Marigot. On the beach, we all ordered lobster or red snapper, and enjoyed a very nice lunch at tables out on the sand, while some of the travelers hunted for seashells up and down the beach. Some of the travelers went swimming in the ocean, and some of us stayed in the shade. The Caribbean sun was strong in Jacmel, and we all turned pink very quickly. It was a good trip. We worked very hard in a long 6-day clinic, and we helped a lot of people.
Allison J. Bartosh ~ We officially made it back to the USA and just landed in the Atlanta airport. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to suck down an American burger and fries, although, I thoroughly enjoyed every meal we ate in Haiti (even if it was spaghetti for breakfast every morning)! My first trip to Haiti with this Dental crew was definitely one for the books. I hope to be a part of another mission trip to Seguin soon. It was incredible to be a part of the difference we made in the health and oral care of the people in the area. After six full days of clinic, we had 749 patients come through our dental clinic, pulled 960 teeth, and Anna performed 54 cleanings. We all worked very hard and the three Dentists and Anna (our Dental Hygienist/Assistant) made huge contributions. It was a long 6-day clinic but we were rewarded as we stopped halfway down the mountain at a beach in Jacmel for a couple hours. We all enjoyed the sun, swam in the ocean, and I even had fresh snapper for lunch – head, tail, fins and all! Once we made it back to Port au Prince, I was so thankful to be able to take that long awaited shower after 8-days of traveling and clinics. All in all, I am so thankful to have been able to be a part of this trip and I am proud to have made such a different in the Haitian community. I will be back next year!
Kelly Ryan ~ This was a trip of many firsts for me even though I’ve been to Haiti so many times. It was my first time working in the dental clinic, my first time pulling teeth, my first time helping with sutures, and my first time assisting with restorations. Seguin is such a welcoming community, and the people are so grateful for all that we do. Thank you all so much for your prayers as we helped over 700 patients and impacted an entire community! I look forward to going back to Haiti in the near future!
Anna Babkowski ~ No matter how many times you come to the community of Seguin, you always receive a warm welcome and people are happy to see you. My 6th trip has almost come to an end, as we are safely awaiting the last fight back home. Leaving Seguin is never easy. There are tears of joy from all that we have accomplished and tears of sadness because we must leave all my friends and Seguin children. This year The Team was exceptionally productive and we left the village much better off than we found it few days ago. From my point of view the community (especially younger generations) is catching on caring about their health and many of them are asking for dental cleanings in the hope of saving their teeth. I was very happy to see that I performed almost 80 cleanings and as many protective sealants. I could not have done it without the support of my hard working fellow team mates. Thank you for the prayers and good wishes that we received from many of you. After intense 8-9 hr days we needed those prayers to go on. Hoping for a good and healthy 2016 and God’s guidance.