You just never know who is going to knock on your door. Monday morning a car drives up to the facility, and a local Haitian pastor gets out with three other men. He introduces me to the three men, who are down working in the DR and Haiti for two weeks from Spain. We spent some time touring the facility talking about the projects they are working on and our goals with the facility here. They are connected to the DR through UNIBE a medical school in Santo Domingo which has a cooperative agreement with the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. The three men are a psychologist, physician, and nurse that are doing mini-clinics over two weeks in both the DR and Haiti. They invited me to join them yesterday on a trip to Haiti where there were doing a clinic in a small tent city between Jimaní and Port au Prince. I had driven past several tent cities in previous visits to Haiti, but this was my first opportunity to go to one. I’m glad I went. I have to tell you, I pray that I never have to find out whether or not I could adapt to living in those conditions. The people were very well organized, and were waiting for us to arrive (We were delayed at the border because of traffic; two way traffic was trying to make it through a one-lane wide gate, and 2/3 of the vehicles were tractor trailers. It only got worse throughout the day, we found out on our way back to the DR). While the doctor and nurse were seeing patients and doing training with some local nurses living in the community Pepe, the psychologist, and I had an opportunity to talk with people living in the community, listening to their stories, getting tours of their “homes”, and meeting their families. We didn’t want to monopolize an interpreter’s time, because we wanted them to stay working in the clinic tent, so we struck out on our own. I ran through my limited Creole fast, but we soon met a lady that had lived in Venezuela and spoke perfect Spanish. We could only stay a couple of hours, so there was no way that they could see all the people, but fortunately they are taking a team of doctors and medical students back on Sunday and they will be making trips every other week for follow up and continued care.
I invited the group to have dinner with us that evening, and I told them that in looking for something new to make with potatoes and eggs I had come across a recipe for a Spanish Tortilla (a variation of a potato omlete). They said the would come over, but they would cook us a real Spanish Tortilla. And let me tell you, it was good! There is nothing like inviting someone over to your house for dinner, and having them do all the cooking. It was a very interesting day, that went from one of the poorest conditions I’ve seen to an impromptu dinner party. Kate and Michael especially enjoyed the Spaniards’ Spanish accents, and Melissa even found an egg dish that she liked.
I look forward to see what comes out of this unexpected friendship.[nggallery id=10]