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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:15pm
Departure for Labadie

We awaken for a 6am breakfast, a little tired from the clinic teardown yesterday, but we were well organized for our anticipated tap-tap water taxi. We packed up our bug nets and stored the mattresses to be ready for the next visit. Despite the heavy winds from the night before the morning was calm and we were told we would be alright as long as we left by 9am, as the sea was beginning to pick up. So after our breakfast, including Hyde Park Corn Flakes and milk, we collected our cases and bags outside of Jo’s. Many people gathered to send us off. Roxanne marveled as when she turned to begin dragging her suitcase to the beach Ezilia, one of Jo’s biggest supporters and 70 years old whom he calls Mama, had already thrown it on her head without a second thought. The strength and independence of these people cannot be understated. While we are thinking about how to accomplish a task they just do it.
The taxis were running on Haitian time and the seas were beginning to swell therefore it was decide to send the queasiest belly ahead with Jo on the wave runner. Carl step up! It was a funny sight seeing Carl in the 1 metre high waves across that distance wondering how is this better than the water taxi. But away he went and we caught up with him 90 minutes later.
Upon arrival in Labadie we immediately set off up “the mountain” for Prunette. Roxanne exclaimed “Tiffany you never stop do you!” We set up our mobile clinic
in a one room school house and saw approximately 50 patients. On our return we saw a voodoo baptism ceremony in the small river that runs through Labadie. We were intrigued to watch a man stripped down in the river, his underwear floating downstream as he was being christened, within a few feet others were washing clothes and bathing themselves. One hundred or so celebrants gathered to witnessed this ceremony while others obliviously went on with their days work. We kept our eyes open for the underwear for the next two days…who knows where they will wash up! We stayed at Norm’s Place and idyllic restored French fortress run by an eccentric American senior who has called Haiti home for forty years. Dinner was at the Hearts Together House, a remarkable setting in itself. We enjoyed the last of Jo’s culinary expertise, his famous lasagna, Kraft singles on top and everything! Even Sara managed to get a vegetarian plate after Jo washed the meat off some noodles, in a deft attempt at a vegetarian comeback, realizing he had forgotten to prepare a special plate for her! Sara you are a great sport! Not to mention Mel whose lethal garlic allergy meant she faced many dishes with trepidation, this fear quickly subsided knowing Jo was watching over her. It was Mel’s come-what-may attitude that rallied the troops many a day.
Roxanne departed from the old-timers group (Carl, Linda, Karen, & Caroline being lifetime members) and headed to the local beach bar to party on down with translators Keno, Bermann, Alex, Charles, Revelino, Bertoney, Blackstone, and Robert. Tiffany, who can morph into any age group, and the some members of the whipper-snapper group (Michelle and Sara). We ran into Keno who asked Jon if he was headed to the bar. Jon replied “no man, I ‘m headed to the bathroom!” We all roared with laughter. Been there done that.
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