Day Six ( From Dr. Groetken)


We arrived in down town Cap Haitian and we unloaded. This day we met the smallest working conditions we have had yet. Unbelievable! It was difficult not to say, “how and the heck are we going to get all 500+ people, who were waiting for us when we got there, through this small room!”

It was an outdoor room and it had just rained. The locals tell us these are the hottest days and they were not kidding!   We worked so hard on this last day. It was actually quite intense,  it was a mental struggle to not want to give up and try to get back to the hotel. 

There were so many people waiting the entire day and it was so hot and muggy (which is not a strong enough word for the conditions).   One of the other volunteers looked at me with a tear in her eye and I could tell she was wanting to give up…. Me being the way I am, went over and did a jig to “Cotton Eye Joe” and it gave her a chuckle and we moved on.

At dinner we all talked about our ” 4 seconds of crying”. I told everyone that we were all entitled to our 4 seconds of crying this week and everyone shared their moment when they actually cried for a few seconds. One of the most touching was when a 35 year old had blinding end stage glaucoma in one eye and was almost blind in the other (at age 35!!!). That is too much!

Aside from the emotion I felt when I would see someone have a blinding eye diseases, there was one encounter of genuine thankfulness …it was when a patient came up to me during one of the “I want to give up and go home moments”on the second day. He spoke a little English, and came to me as he was leaving and wanted to thank me for leaving my family to come to Haiti and help him, he said “God will bless you” and that he would be praying for me. It was so heart felt. I had to wipe my tears mainly due to the shame I felt for wanting to go home just moments before that.