Kara Groetken blogs day one.
Today we woke up at 4:30am although our flight did not depart until 7am…For some reason Mother really wanted to be early today! I don’t blame her though; the excitement was taking over us both! The flight was not bad at all we stopped in North Carolina for a connecting flight and then we were on our way! When we arrived in Turks and Caicos, it was literally the most beautiful sight to look out the window and see such clear aqua blue water. After landing we met up with the rest of the team, which we are so excited to be working with! Taking a van to the hotel we would be staying at was very interesting—there are not too many traffic restrictions so to say and they drive on the opposite side of the road as we do in the US.
The hotel we are staying at greeted us with punch and was so welcoming to our whole team! Mom and I both agreed that this was a great place for anyone to vacation! So if anyone is wondering where to take their next vacation or you are planning your honeymoon, Turks is highly recommended! We got settled into the hotel and then decided to venture off to the beach before dinner. The sand on the beach was absolutely wonderful; we both couldn’t help but go barefoot through it! Sitting in the chairs there and looking out on the beautiful blue was so peaceful for us both. This trip is really showing mom and I how blessed we are to be here!
Dinner was at a local restaurant called The Seaside—It was right off of the beach. The food there was to die for! We had ceviche and a coconut curry, two very spicy dishes! Without a doubt the server we had was the nicest woman, loved her!
During dinner we learned what to expect in the coming days. First things first… STICK TOGETHER at the airport. The airport in Haiti is supposedly very chaotic when you first arrive there. We will be traveling to different areas all throughout the five days! We will have translators, but to prepare Mom and I studied up on our French Creole, although, Mom may need a little more help then I thought (: (ha-ha). As they were describing the types of patients we were going to see, the realization hit that this is going to be such a beautiful trip. Many people that come in will not be able to be treated because either it is not bad enough or it will not help to treat them at all. The resources are scarce so there will be times when Mom will have to send a cataract or other patient away without a referral to an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). Something I feel a lot of people take for granted in the United States is their vision…Imagine if you walked into my mother’s optometry office and you couldn’t see and she had to turn you away because it wasn’t bad enough or was too bad to spend the resource on you. The good news through all of this is the doctors of the VOSH program are working towards starting an optometry school in Haiti to help educate Haitians so they will be able to treat more people. This is still a work in process though as they are still searching for the right finances.
Tomorrow we arrive in Haiti and I cannot wait. Goodnight world!