Today we got to work! And boy did we work!!!
The day started with breakfast with the staff and volunteers… and Coffee lots of coffee. We then met for our orientation to discuss the process for integrating the new children, the rules for the environment and the shifts available to work with the children. The meeting closed with a devotional and songs.
Every member of the team worked quite hard. Drew and Denise went to the clinic and worked with a number of children. Drew is already thinking of how he can establish an immunization program for the children at Danita’s. They also took a trip to the local hospital. Art and Adam did some heavy lifting and started the process of unpacking the duffels. Art is also working the night shift in the Church where the new arrivals from Port-au-Prince are housed. Cathy is also working the night shift tonight. They will be joined by two other volunteers.
Dawn got to sit in a staff staff meeting with the school and will be meeting with the teachers and interpreter on Monday. She already has a number of ideas where we can have an impact on the school environment, starting with supplies. Kim worked the afternoon shift with the kids in the church and performed a feeding evaluation on a child with Cerebral Palsy.
As you can see from some of the photos, there are a number of children who have been through a war (the earthquake). There are moments where they are happy and laughing and others when there is no question that they have been deeply touched by the recent disaster. There are a number of amputees as well as special needs.
The team is finding that there are many people with good hearts who have come to volunteer. There is a staff of 54 people from the local community that cook, clean teach and the like. However, there are only four permanent staff members that run the whole show locally. At any given time, it seems that at least one of them are away on some mission.
We are seeing some amazing things at Danita’s but we also see that it is a refuge in a deeply impoverished country. All around is vast desperateness. We took a heartbreaking tour of the local village. While Danita assists them, she is maxed out for resources. The school ($5.00 charge per year for the local families and free to the orphans) is full with 500 students. The students that attend school from the town get hot lunch included which is usually their only meal of the day.
Tomorrow Danita will be retuning from a trip to the DR and she will be joined by Sheree Bowie. Sheree is the Executive director for the US office for Danita’s.
Every night the team is meeting to discuss new ideas, what we feel is working well and what is not working. We are all very tired and very excited!! We are all in agreement that this trip was a great idea and there is so much work to be done for these kids!! We cannot wait to get back to work tomorrow… at 6:30..AM 🙂