Today, Thursday, we were able to successfully make it up to our clinic in Gatineau without running into any problems or disturbances. There were about 6-8 places along the road coming out of town where there was black dust on the road and burned steel wires from tires which had been burned there earlier in the week. These were obviously areas where roadblocks had been created with burning tires and debris, keeping traffic from passing to and from town. Roadblocks are a common form of demonstration here during periods of political unrest, and something that we’ve seen often over the years. We’re hoping we won’t see more in the future!
It appears, from reports we’ve gotten from Port-au-Prince, that the demonstrations and violence there has abated as well. All of this has been due to the rising price of goods and increasing hunger and poverty in the country. There have been a number of news reports lately about Haitians making and eating mud pies, due to lack of food. While that hasn’t been typical in our area of the country, there has definitely been a worsening of the economic situation in the country as a whole and an increase in the level of hunger and poverty in the communities around our clinic site. Every day we hear stories about the scarcity of food, due to poor crops and high prices for seeds, and we often truly wonder how these country people are able to live each day.
With poor nutrition comes worsened health, making people more vulnerable to infections and illness. We’re seeing increasing numbers of patients in our clinic with high fevers, pneumonia, malaria and typhoid fever and several patients with suspected tuberculosis. We give vitamins and worm medicine to nearly everyone, to help improve their resistance to infection and fight their illnesses. We’ve received donations of infant formula and milk, which we give out to our pediatric patients’ mothers. But, our greatest need at this time is to receive enough funds to be able to begin construction of our clinic facility and living quarters, so that we can live in Gatineau fulltime, provide medical services on a daily basis and begin to help improve the economic status of our neighbors. We appreciate your continued prayers and would be grateful for any financial support you are able to give us during this difficult time in Haiti.