Friday morning, Oct. 23:
The team has returned from its two-day trek into the mountains to see several hundred kids at four remote clinics. Today, the last day of clinics, will be spent in town.
Dr. Derek Dephouse reports that it rained most of last night. And returning from the mountains, they encountered mud bogs on way down, but these were not a problem for their rental vehicles, which, he notes, “are crucial to get our job done.”
In the video below, shot last year at the Piyat clinic, Dephouse briefly explains the goals of Mission MANNA’s twice-annual medical visits:
Commenting on yesterday’s clinics, Dephouse says, “This poor child has Kwashiorkor, a form of malnutrition. He has swelling of his face, arms and legs because of the type of protein-calorie malnutrition. We also are seeing kids with Marasmus, a wasting form of malnutrition. We hope to add more children in our feeding program to be able to prevent this sad disease. The AK-1000 (akamil) Mission MANNA provides greatly helps these kids.”
“As we were seeing these kids yesterday, I felt so sorry for them,” Dephouse recalls. “They did not choose to be born in Haiti. They are unfortunate. They deserve better than this.”
Ironically, Todd Kaderabek, who is Mission MANNA’s point person in Asheville, notes that he wasn’t able to make a doctor’s appointment for his 12-year-old because, he says, “Her doctor is unavailable today; he’s in … Piyat, Haiti.”
Meanwhile, in between relaying Dephouse’s comments from Haiti, Todd give details on the turkey-attack incident he mentioned briefly in yesterday’s Asheville-Haiti connection report: “A couple of years ago, Greg and I were hiking ahead of the group on the way out of Piyat clinic. We got to the point where we had left vehicles and were chatting with locals (there’s a small school there on the trail). They had this big tom turkey strutting around and just as Greg and I were discussing why they don’t eat him, he comes out from behind the fenced-in area, full feather display and charges us. I have on Teva sandals, so I get airborne quickly and he passes by us and continues to strut about. Couple of minutes later, here he comes again so Greg and I jump in the Jeep and the turkey is trying to flap his way up to us, so we end up on the roll bar. Thankfully the bird’s owner showed up and got him under control. The Haitians were laughing hysterically as did the rest of our group who showed up just in time to miss the attack. Moral of the story: In the presence of a Haitian turkey, don’t wonder aloud as to why he hasn’t been eaten.”
And recalling yesterday’s graphic photo of the injured and bleeding child, Todd says, “This is not sensationalism but reality in Haiti. What we survive here, they often don’t in Haiti.”
Another Mission MANNA doctor, Ora Wells talks here about what the project means to him and why he keeps coming back year after year. This video was taken during one of last year’s two Haiti trips.
David Bourne, who shot the two videos above, talks in this clip about Haitian music’s universal power to connect us.
If you’d like to assist Mission Manna’s efforts in Haiti, you can find out more or make an online donation at http://www.missionmanna.org/. You can also help Mission Manna by purchasing a pumpkin at Grace Episcopal Church’s pumpkin sale, on Merrimon Avenue through Oct. 31.