Archive for February 8, 2010

Day 13: American field hospital in northern Haiti.

Today we picked up our GPS instruments in Gros Morne, Gonaives, and Desdune, and placed them on roofs in Cap-Haitien and Fort Liberte along the northeast coast, and Milot just inland to the south. In Milot our GPS went up on a school that is now being used at least partially as shelter for refugees that have come up from Port-au-Prince, which is some 100 km to the south. Next to the school American doctors and military have set up a field hospital to treat the refugees, including operations. The ladder available for use on the school ground was too damaged even for our low standards, so Andy went over to the hospital and asked to borrow one. They were very pleased to help. It gave us a great sense of pride to see Americans set up this clinic here in northern Haiti, to where many have fled. We also felt heartache at the distress of many of the patients, though it is clear they are being well cared for. Both the refugee camp and the hospital were very orderly. One had the sense that the presence of the field hospital was very much appreciated and that the doctors were very pleased to be able to help.

Although at this location we saw only Americans helping, we’ve seen many other countries’ presence here as well. In Gonaive there are Argentine UN soldiers helping with “habilitation” as one put it. We met Brazilian doctors at our hotel, and we’ve noticed other international visitors too. The need is great here and it appears there is truly an international effort to provide help to the Haitian population.

American field hospital as seen from the roof of the school in the town of Milot, where we installed a GPS site. The school is also serving as a refugee center.

Ground view of the field hospital.

Ground view of field hospital.

View of the inside of one of the field hospital tents.

Sarah and Andy