| Feb 16, 2010
February 16, 2010 | Tuesday
I think I may have mentioned this before, but I have now moved into a new role at our main office in Port-au-Prince. So I thought I would give you a new look at my day to day life. This first picture is our office, where we are running all of our Haiti operations out of. It may seem like a simple thing to show up in Haiti to help out and for some of people it may be just that simple. But behind the scenes, there are a lot of people working to support those who come to help out.
Organizing 30+ medical volunteers in a country that is completely lacking in infrastructure has proved to be quite a challenge. Food, water, interpreters, transportation, communications, medications, security, partnerships with governments, NGOs, hospitals and clinics, and keeping 30+ doctors and nurses happy can be very time consuming... Which is where I come in.
I sleep up on the roof of our compound in a "bug hut" as shown above, I have a tarp all ready to go in case it rains. I usually wake up about 6:00 am when it gets light outside, read my Bible for a few minutes, wash my face, get dressed and prepare for the day. Breakfast starts at 6:30 am, which usually consists of porridge, bread, butter, jam and some good strong Haitian coffee. We eat and meet in the area shown below. After breakfast, our goal is to get the teams out to the 4-5 locations we are working in throughout the country. This involves ensuring we have adequate drivers, transportation, interpreters and communication. We usually have the teams all loaded up ad ready to go by about 8:00 am. After this we usually relax for a few minutes and make plans for the day.
I usually end up going to 1-2 meetings per day. I stay in contact with our Portland office, to keep track of teams coming in and out, and figure what resources are needed and how we will acquire them in order to keep our teams functional.
Once we get the office a little more stabilized and our routine in place, I will also have the opportunity to go out with the teams on occasion and do some medical work... It's a good variety.
The teams usually come back around 5-6 pm. Dinner is at 6:30 pm and we usually have a team meeting after dinner. While the teams decompress from their days, the administrative group usually keeps working until anywhere from 9:30 pm to 1:00 am depending on the workload for the day. I finish the day with a cold bucket shower. I then crash in to bed and try to sleep with the noise of roosters (which are everywhere and crow all night long) and airplanes (our compound is right at the end of the International Airport's runway) all about. Then the cycle starts all over again.
I guess that gives a pretty good summary of the day to day life for me here in Haiti.