To start off, I'll admit that I stole this idea from my sister's blog, but it was such a good idea that I wanted to repeat it here. Also I have updated the photo gallery with almost twice as many pictures from dad's trip.
Basically, Dad went to Haiti for a total of 16 days as a pharmacist with the Samaritan's Purse ministry. He had contacted Samaritan's Purse a few days after the earthquake hit to apply as a pharmacist, and they told him there wasn't a need for a pharmacist. As the story goes, the people from Haiti reported back to Samaritan's Purse days after they turned Dad away, saying they needed a pharmacist immediately, and asking if they had any pharmacists on-hand, ready to go. SP contacted Dad and soon after, Dad was in Haiti. The following is his correspondence with us. I think it gives a good glimpse of what was happening in Haiti, from the hospital's perspective.
Dad sent me the collection of pictures he will be using as he talks to different groups, and I have posted them in my gallery. Check them out to get a non-national news perspective of what things looked like down there.
Dad's Haiti Trip Photo Gallery Note: gallery temporarily unavailable while I'm revamping the site
Date: February 4, 2010 8:36:59 PM EST
We are here. Good flight over and we landed about 1pm. Took 2 hours to get to hospital. Port au Prince is a mess but things got better as we got out of town and up into the mountains. It was continuous city from airport to the hospital. Got here around 3pm, got the tour, and they turned the pharmacy over to me. Everyone here seems to be happy that I am here. Spent til 7pm in pharmacy just orienting myself to what supplies that we have. The pharmacy is nothing more than a large closet, no windows. The hospital sort of shuts down at 7pm, We eat meals at 7am, 1pm, and 7pm, and then the hospital is sort of on its own at night with the Haitian nurses watching over the place. The team that is here is good. Friday will be a little more active and I will get more involved. So far, so good. I am well and everything has clicked OK so far. Will try to communicate again but it may be a few days. All my Love to everyone! Tony
Date: February 6, 2010 9:37:26 PM EST
Hey to everyone. All is well. We worked this morning at the hospital, had lunch, went on a 4 hour trip to see the real ground zero of the earthquake. After that we went to the other camp on the other side of Port au Prince and saw that part of the Samaritan's Purse that is working in Haiti. We got back at 6pm, ate supper and headed to the hospital to catch up on all that we missed out on this afternoon. Got back after 9pm and I hope to get my first shower tonight. The team here is good, with 2 leaving today and us adding 2 new ones. I have a new roommate from Kansas. Food is good. Last night not much sleep. Work is good and not hard. I am doing the pharmacy and spending some time in the rooms with our staff and patients. Everyone is here for the right reasons and their priorities are right and the Lord is truly the Lord of their lives. Hope all is well. Love to all of you. DAD/Tony
Date: February 11, 2010 9:43:30 PM EST
Hello for Haiti! Things are going real well here. We actually have empty beds in the hospital but there are still patients with earthquake injuries in the hospital and they are still showing up for treatment. It has really settled down. Samaritan's Purse has now committed to be here through March and discussions are underway to go past that. Four of our team left today and eight will leave on Saturday, which will leave only 4 of us here for about 8 hours until a new team that is mostly Canadian joins us. There are a lot of great stories happening here and none can be explained by man so we are just trusting that God is adequate and He is still in control. The current team is still good and it is the 4 of us left on Saturday to transition this operation over to the new arrivals. There is very little overlap between teams now. I watched a C-Section today and held the baby that was probably less than 15 minutes old. Probably did not do that with my own children. Things are expected to be slow for the next few day because Haiti has designated Feb 12-14 and a time of national mourning. Our cooks are gone as of today so we are on our own for a few days. I think we will survive. Temperature here is about 85 each day and we are all working in T shirts and scrubs. Such a difference in medicine in a 3rd world country as compared to the US. Hospitals have no private rooms, grand pianos, water walls, or air conditioning. Our internet has been out for more than a day, and most of the computers are leaving Sat. Do not know when the next communication will be. Hope everyone has a great (and chilly I understand) Happy Valentine's Day. All my love, DAD/Tony Psalms 91:1-2
Date: February 12, 2010 9:58:15 PM EST
It's Friday night in Haiti and it was a wonderful sun shiny day of about 85 here at the Baptist Mission. We are into to now turning the hospital back over to the local doctors but that full transition will take place over the next 4-6 weeks. Feb 12-14 is 3 day national holiday for the mourning of those lost in the earthquake. The church on our compound seats about 600 and there was over 1000 in attendance today. They were lined up around the walls and into the streets. They started before 8am and went to 12noon, with about 3 hours of that being singing. The pharmacy is located through the wall from the sanctuary so I got a full dose of that service. We had a great fellowship tonight with the missionaries with the 8 that are leaving the medical team tomorrow sharing their thoughts. The common theme was the love and thankfulness of the Haitian people towards us being here. We are truly the ones being blessed by a people that have so little in material possessions but have such a dependency on the most important thing, the Lord and His acceptance of all of us no matter what our circumstances. There will only be 4 of us here for about 8 hours on Sat and then we start all over with a new team in a new week. It is great being here. I just hope that I have made it a little better for someone that is here. I understand that it is not favorable weather at home and that is probably the only thing that I dread about getting back to SC, USA. God Bless All Of You, All My Love, DAD/Tony Psalms 91:1-2
Date: February 15, 2010 8:56:31 PM EST
Monday in Haiti was a very busy day. Even though many of the earthquake victims have been discharged, there is still some major efforts having to be done with those that we still have. Our sickest patient with a spinal cord injury from laying under a fallen wall for a long time was medEvaced to the US today. This has been being worked on since before we got here and it all of a sudden happened today when the Navy called and said their helicopoter was on the way. Another patient needed parenteral nutrution and I was able to find 4 bottles stashed away and only out of date by 6 months. We started it today and are trying to work it in between antibiotics so that we don't blow the IV line. Very interesting practicing medicine in a stop and go world when we are so used to running absolutely on schedule and everything expected at a moments notice. An 8 person Canadian team joined us on Sun and it is amazing how quickly people can come together when the same goals and beliefs are common. We are seeing a lot of things happen here that are out of the ordinary and know that we are just observers to something that is coming from a Higher Power. Sunshine and clouds here and still 70-85 degrees every day. We are blessed and know that we are in to turning this hospital back over to the Haitians. May God Bless. See all of you soon! DAD/Tony Psalms 91:1-2
Date: February 17, 2010 7:45:04 PM EST
It is now about 8pm in Haiti on Feb17. I have completed my service and assignment with Samaritan's Purse at the Haiti Baptist Mission. It has been a great 2 weeks, I have worked every day with varying hours, and I have made many new friends in the process (American, Canadian, Dutch, British, Haitian and many others). Hopefully this time has been good for the people of Haiti, we know we have had positive results, and the ultimate and final will probably not be know in this lifetime. On Thurs morning, the 4 of us that are leaving will go through a debriefing at 8am, we will begin our journey down the mountain at 10am to make the 30+ hour time period of travel to hopefully get home on Friday evening. Thanks for all the prayers, support, and help in allowing me to be a part of this. I only hope that Haiti is a little better off and I know that I have learned and been blessed by this experience. See all of you soon. DAD/Tony Psalms 91:1-2
Date: February 20, 2010 10:11:52 AM EST
YES! I am back on US soil, in my own home with running and hot water and a great bed to sleep in. It is a blessing to be an American and have the privilege of living in this country. God was good to all of us on the trip. Those that are Christians in Haiti are a part of a church that is alive and well. The medical team that I worked with was amazing and we always seemed to instantly become a family with a common cause once we met and went to work. There has to be something about this Christian thing and the common purpose for which we were there. Personally, all of the work to be done in Haiti is so overwhelming, I feel like I may have accomplished the equivalent as compared to that one grain of sand on the beach. Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I look forward to seeing all of you real soon. Hope that each of you will some day be able to take a trip with this kind of experience.
All My Love, DAD/Tony