Monday, June 23, 2008

Hispaniola

Shortly, I will be traveling to the island of Hispaniola to participate in a medical mission to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Haiti has been in the news recently as it has been hard hit by the global food crisis. There have been riots in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, as well as smaller demonstrations in other parts of the country. You can watch a well produced video on the subject here.

I've been interested in visiting Haiti for a long time now, especially after reading Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains in 2003. Of course, I have had many reservations about making the trip. You'd be nuts to travel to a country in economic and political turmoil, right??

But, part of me feels that I would really enjoy this type of work, to use my skills where they are most needed. I want to see if this is something I could really do in the future on a more long-term basis. I also want to see the beautiful parts of Haiti that we don't see or hear enough about.



I was worried about security, but I will be traveling with physicians who are very familiar with the country, and we'll travel with armed security at all times. We'll visit 5 clinics and 2 orphanages throughout the country during the trip.

The thing I'm most concerned about now is the heat and humidity. It's currently about 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 84% humidity in Port-au-Prince. I've been told I'll never complain about D.C. summers ever again.

3 comments:

The Lone Coyote said...

Have fun. Hopefully, this trip will allow you to recharge your batteries a bit and get to really make a difference. I assume you have read Paul Farmer's works? If not, definitely do at some point.

Dragonfly said...

I have been trying to read Mountains Beyond Mountains for over a year now...I keep borrowing it from a friend, having it sit on my shelf for several months then having to give it back. The trip sounds fantastic though. (I really must read that book and soon).

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