Takeaway producer Anna Sale is on an eight-day trip to rural Haiti with a medical team at a hospital 75 miles north of Port-au-Prince. Her parents are part of the team and Anna is sending dispatches from the trip. While she's there, she is also on the lookout for someone who might make use of her late grandfather's prosthetic arm.
UN special envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton, has urged international aid groups to help rebuild Haiti's government yesterday. But as Takeaway producer Anna Sale reports, some Haitians don't think their government should be trusted with the job.
I spent an hour or so yesterday learning Creole in one of the tents that house earthquake patients. We went over the basics — "What is your name?" "Where do you live?" "Are you married?" "Do you have any kids?" And of course, there's the key question that usually comes about third in any introduction — when are you leaving? These patients are used to foreigners coming in for a week or two, and knowing how long each one will be around is a vital statistic.
After the earthquake, injured Haitians flooded the hospital. Now, some of them are cured, but like the 700,000 other homeless Haitians, they have nowhere to go. So they turn to their doctors for help, adding to the overstretched workload of the medical staff.
With two full days down, I continue to be struck by the incredible mix of everyday miracles and frustrating setbacks here.
On Sunday, I watched an airlift transfer of an earthquake victim who is paralyzed from the waist down. Her name is Marilynn. She's 32 years old and has three daughters. This was her fourth trip on a helicopter since the earthquake, she told me. This latest transport would take her from the hospital in Milot, where she had surgery last week to stabilize her spine, to a spinal cord clinic that's opened in a town about 10 miles away. The road, though, was too rugged to keep her healing back immobile en route, so she took the trip in by air.
On Monday, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush visited Haiti. All this week, Takeaway producer Anna Sale is also in the country, but at a rural hospital 75 miles away from Port-au-Prince. Today, she reports on the journey of 17-year-old Joseph Maxon, who spent his day navigating through Haiti's bureaucracy in search of a birth certificate.
Takeaway Producer Anna Sale is in Haiti on a medical mission, and sending reports back to us - her most recent email sent these photos and song. As Anna described them:
Pictures and sound from the Catholic church service in Milot. Everyone was dressed to the nines and every bench in the huge, domed church was full.
Takeaway producer Anna Sale is accompanying a medical mission in Haiti. At a hospital in Milot, 75 miles north of Port-au-Prince, many of the injured have been transferred from the capital. For some of the patients there, the biggest fear comes at the prospect of leaving.
We arrived Saturday afternoon on a charter flight to the north Haitian town of Cap-Haitien – after a stopover on a Bahamian island, because it's difficult to get gas in Haiti. The airport was bustling, filled with aid workers coming and going on top of the already steady flow of local traffic. A guard stood in the lobby to manage the crowds, it took a minute before I realized the flag on his shoulder wasn't the Haitian flag. It was from Jordan. He's here on a UN Security mission to maintain airport security – just the first of many signs of the continuing international presence here.
On most days, I work with The Takeaway's dayside production team, but today I'm leaving on an eight-day trip to rural Haiti. I'm traveling with a medical team to Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, a town about 75 miles north of Port-au-Prince. Doctors, nurses, and rehab therapists from across the country will spend the week there, joining the effort that local staff and foreign volunteers have sustained at a breakneck pace for more than nine weeks now.