May 6-12, 2010 Trip Summary

On May 6, nineteen S.o.S. mission team members from New Hope SDA Church in Fulton, MD arrived at the Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti. Several members on this trip were part of the group that was just hours away from flying out to Haiti on January 13, the morning after the earthquake hit. From the airport, we boarded a big yellow school bus and headed out of Port-au-Prince traveling north along the coast and through the countryside dotted with blue tents belonging to those displaced from the earthquake. Several of our group were also in Haiti this March on an evaulation and assessment/water well drilling trip and observed that things did seem to look better, with less tents than they had seen several weeks earlier. After a few hours, the hot, dusty and weary travelers arrived in the town of Montrouis, home to the Eden Garden Orphanage that New Hope has had a supportive relationship with since 2007. We were greeted with hugs and a welcome song from the 27 children currently residing at E.G.O.

The purposes for this trip to Haiti were to conduct medical and dental clinics and to complete the water project that began with installing a new water well at the orphanage during the March trip by our team (in partnership with "Hands Together" organization). During our May 6-12 visit, the medical team saw over 600 patients with ailments that included typhoid, TB, pneumonia, malaria, H.I.V./Aids, fungal/parasitic lesions, malnutrition and dehydration. Although their nutrition was better (most likely due the humanitarian aid), their overall health was deemed to be worse than before with minimal clean water and shelter available, which corresponded to a rise in the amount of skin disease, rashes and lesions. The dental team also held clinics at E.G.O. and pulled 165 teeth. If you’ve ever suffered with tooth pain before, you can imagine the relief of those who were able to see a dentist and put an end to their pain.

The water well team completed electrical repairs and plumbing work that was needed around the orphanage. Shower heads were replaced, faucets were repaired, ceiling fans were wired in and 5 new water storage tanks were set (replacing old tanks that were contaminated) which increased the amount of water that is available for use. A chlorinator pump was installed which gives regular, measured injections of chlorine into the water to keep it clean and bacteria-free. The team also put in the water lines which carry water out to a water station bordering the orphanage (6 sinks and 4 showers) which had been inoperable until this visit and is now accessible to the community. Most importantly, the water was tested and found to be free of bacteria, which will dramatically impact the overall health of E.G.O. and the community of Montrouis.

Aside from the 4 days of clinics and repair work, the S.o.S. missions team enjoyed a few hours at a nearby beach on Saturday with the E.G.O. children, as well as a shoe presentation at the orphanage where each child was given a brand new pair of sneakers and sandals, sent with love from the New Hope church family. To see pictures and stories from this trip as well as a video of the water project from the March trip, see below.