Nursing duties

Since I ‘ve been back, we have been nurseless at the school. The school nurse found a better job at the hospital which now leaves the sisters and me to nurse duties. We have to watch out for any kids who look sick to make sure they get to the hospital and get medication. A sure sign of sickness is when a student doesn’t eat lunch. I’m not kidding usually it means malaria.

We also put a lot of bandaids on scratched knees. But even this I have found it is important. One of the second grade boys never came back to school after holidays. He died from an infection from what should have just been a little scar on his leg. The sisters were in Port-au-Prince when it happened and didn’t find out until after.

Thank you to whoever recommended me bringing Aloe Vera. Fortunately, I haven’t had to use it for myself. Last week during recreation one of the first grade boys came up to me and as I looked down at his hand, I almost jumped back. Half of his hand was bright pink, swollen, and slightly shrivelled. It looked horrible. The sisters told me that he placed his hand in the fire at home. His family is very poor with a lot of kids without the extravagance to go see a doctor for just a burn. After a few days of wondering what to do, I remembered Aloe Vera! I called him over one day and we went into the Nurses office and put it on. He winced just from a slight touch. His mother had been putting on alcohol to keep it from getting infected but which was also making his skin tender and hard to heal. I told him to come when he comes to school and when he leaves to come find me. Not once as he not remembered. He likes the green goo and his hand does look a lot better.

This nursing business is getting more rough more so the kids are getting more rough. One girl in the fourth grade, Bianca, as she was riding on the back of a motorcycle to go home from school saw her uncle in the distance. In excitement, she jumped off to greet him and get badly burned by the muffler. As I was cleaning it, Bianca told me nobody had cleaned it yet and this was a week later and she can’t stand up for a long time from the pain. I definitely felt queezy after looking at it. Please keep Bianca in her prayers. Bianca every day after recreation goes up to Sr. Danielle and asks her if she can pick up the trash in the courtyard. Usually there is a lot because typically in Haiti the ground is the trashcan and usually the Sisters give that job as a punishment. Bianca also thanks me every time I give back their notebooks with corrections. She says, Merci Madame Elizabeth pour les cahiers. (thank you for giving back the notebooks)

Thank goodness, Sr. Marie Mercie has relieved me of my nursing duties. She studied nursing before she became a nun and also understands what the kids are saying. It takes enough concentration to understand French but to try to understand a first grader’s whipsered creolized French in between sobs and stutttering is a challenge beyond me. Now my duty is to be the lookout for for the wounded.


About biffy317

This blog is about my year in Haiti. I came here not speaking the language, not having a clear idea of what I will be doing to a small, impoverished country in the middle of a crisis. Haitians have A LOT of sayings and one of them is Piti gren fe gro pie bwa, which means a little seed makes a big tree. I hope that my time here will be fruitful and also to participate and observe as Haiti grows and flourishes as well. Seeds need a lot of time, a good foundation, and help from others to grow.
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