Anna Babkowski: Hi everyone, I’m Anna and this is my first mission trip to Haiti, and I already know that it is not going to be the last. I’m part of the dental team, back at home I work as dental assistant and hygienist. The help we provide to those poor people is amazing and so…ooo rewarding. The dental team is an amazing, great group of people that are caring and hard working. The whole experience exceeded my expectations. Today we have washed 9 heads with one bucket of water, amazing how spoiled we are at home. Haiti needs caring and loving people for a long, long time and I’ll make sure that I’m part of it. Our mission doesn’t end when we leave, our commitment needs to be long lasting. The poverty that I see here is incomprehensible, one needs to experience because there are no words to describe, no picture to show and emotion that one can’t describe until you are here and feel it. Keep us in your prayers and we’ll be back.
Mary LaPonsie: Another trip. Another success. I hesitated about taking this trip because of how busy things are at work. Dr. Laura Champion said, “Mary, I hope you don’t let that keep you from going. The work will always be there.” All I needed was that reminder. As January 12, approached I got more and more excited about returning to Haiti. We boarded the bus to Detroit about midnight, and I was on my way to my next Haiti adventure. It has been wonderful so far. The team includes many new people, and all is going well.
Gary Bissonette: Today was our last full day of clinic. It is hard to believe medical teams have been coming to Seguin now for 10 years. In general I am seeing a difference in the overall health of the people. The number of scabies and malnutrition cases are down significantly. The poverty level is still hard to comprehend, but the people work tirelessly to build a better life for themselves. With your help you are making a difference in Seguin. We look forward to coming back home in a few days to share our experiences. Thank you everyone for your prayers.
Lori DeBruyne: It is hard to believe that we are half way thru our mission trip as of today. I just want to hold all the babies and take as many home with me as possible. As the week goes on, the poorer people come to clinic. They travel from far away villages, as far as 5-6 hours away. Some come on horse, but most walk. Seeing the clothes and shoes on many kids is so depressing. We have so much and they have so very little. The people are so appreciative of our efforts. We have had a lot of people that come back to clinic or the rectory to give us thank you gifts. They give us sugar cane, carrots, eggs, onion and grapefruit. The baby blankets that the women at church have made are so wonderful. The people have the biggest smiles when they see their baby wrapped up warm. I have been in triage this trip and give the people Vermox (de-worming medicine). After they have their meds, we give them a piece of candy. The pill does not taste good and is very chalky. I also worked today for an hour in the dental clinic. I learned how to sterilize the instruments and to fill the syringes with the numbing medicine. I have enjoyed everything so far- I will look forward to making more trips in the future!!
Andrea Beukema: Today is Wednesday and it is our third full day working in the clinics. I have enjoyed my time working in the dental clinic but unfortunately, due to lack of anesthetic, we will no longer be able to treat patients tomorrow. I have had the opportunity to assist the two American dentists, Dr. Mike and Dr. Bruce and have learned all about tooth extractions and reconstructions. I’m thankful that both the American (and Haitian) dentists are very patient and more than willing to teach. No minute goes to waste in the dental clinic. In between cleaning instruments and treating patients, remaining time is spent replenishing vitamin D in the beautiful Haitian sun. According to the explorers who have gone on past Haitian explorations, we have had more rain than normal. This sunny day was very much appreciated especially considering Grand Rapids is receiving a lot of snow. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the trip home.
Betty Krauss: Thank you all that have supported me in coming here, as I would never have made it without all of your support, love and most of all your prayers. This medical team is amazing. You all need to know that indeed, Haiti needs you and we are making a difference. I have been humbled many times today by the people, the love and the joy that I have personally found through them. I am missing you my family, especially my little grand daughter but know I will see you all soon. Again thank you and pray for our safe trip down the mountain and then home.