After a long day of travel (began at 2:00AM) we are are here at Danita’s in Haiti and we are very excited!
Going through JKF airport with the fourteen duffle bags was almost as exciting as exiting the Santiago Airport with the same bags!!
When we arrived and were settled, we toured the Main facility as well as the individual homes for the boys and the girls. The whole team is both amazed and surprised how well the children are cared for and how much more there is to do. All students (there are 500 who attend the school from the town and from the orphanage) wear uniforms. Their manners are impeccable. They are so very happy, but have so many needs.
The church has been converted to house the 55 Pot-Au-Prince orphans, many of which have chronic medical needs. Services are now held outside. Check out the photos in the photo section of the site.
We are very impressed that Danita’s staff has taken on the challenge of kids with needs such as burn victims, hydrocephalous, amputees and others. With all the great work, the staff here is definitely challenged. Aftershocks scare the Port-Au-Prince children terribly. Emotional needs are high especially for the children who have just recently lost family. Support is around the clock.
The staff is grounded, well spoken and fully engaged. There are a number of other volunteers here as well from a fourteen year old girl who is stationed here with her family to college students who chose to come here for their spring break.
Tomorrow is our formal orientation. We will be getting assignments as to where we can begin help hand-on. We will also be spending some time distributing the donated materials and learning what the individual team members can do to engage in the medical and educational support. Some great relationships have already begun!
Speaking with our Field Coordinator, Karris, she wanted to make sure that we pass along our their thanks and gratitude for all of the people that have supported the team and Danita’s in general. The donations made for the advancement of the clinic seems to be assuring that it will be completed before the end of 2010.
Please check out the new pictures in the space. However, we must include this one directly in the blog. Denise carried a large platter of Cini-buns from NJ all the way to Haiti for the staff. The entire team begged her to throw them out all through the day, but Denise persevered. Here she is pictured with Brittany, our direct contact, who exclaimed that this was “the best thing she has had to eat in months!”