I am in Haiti this week with an organization founded by a colleague of mine with whom I shared pediatric residency training, Dr Jill Ratner who practices pediatrics in Mount Kisco, New York.
The organization, Hands Up for Haiti, is a not for profit, non-denominational group that is dedicated to treating pediatric patients in northern Haiti as well as teaching staff in the clinic facilities it serves.
I am here with another pediatrician from Westchester, Dr Katherine Hough from Hastings and two nurses who also work in Westchester, and we are sharing a house with a group of eight football players from the midwest who are here with an evangelical Christian group from Florida. They are here to build additions onto an orphanage they started in this village, sweetly called Limonade, three years ago.
"Non-denominational" one discovers in the developing world always has to be re-defined when it comes to funding and possibly to getting things done. This orphanage is part of a complex which includes our clinic called "Porte Ouverte" or Open Door, a school for 500 students, the orphanage for 26 children, and of course a well-attended evangelical church.
This is a complex country, we live in complicated times, and I am here to learn how one person can make a dent that might last.