Monday, July 5, 2010

Buyer's Remorse

Have you ever thought,

"If I just lie down on this incinerator full of medical waste, I bet I can pick up that goat by it's head?"

Until tonight, I hadn't either.

On our way back to the tent tonight, Kate heard a faint bleating. "Awe, poor lost goat," she said, making her way toward our destination after an exhausting day in the clinic.

"Uh, we should probably go visit," I said, grinning. I am more nighttime than Kate and at the equator it gets dark early.

After a bit of looking, we localized the sound to an underground concrete cistern used to incinerate the clinic's medical waste. It was half full of absorbent (absorbed) blue pads, used needles and one lost baby goat.

Only in Haiti.

Glimpses of Star Wars characters trapped in the trash compactor spring to mind.

We open the 4 foot diameter cover, and I say to myself,

"If I just lie down on this incinerator full of medical waste, I bet I can pick up that goat by it's head."

Kate went for some fresh blue absorbent pads to lie down on while I waited with the bleating goat.

She had brought the flashlight with her, and in the dark I realized just how clean the medical waste incinerator really looked. I went for it.


Toes gripping the edge of the cement rim and bare chest scraping against the concrete, I feel as though I may have acted hastily.

Still, I was in it now, literally, and that goat was mine. I just needed to earn his trust...

After some coaxing, patting and a little bleating of my own, I palm the little can-eater's head like a basket ball and pull him to safety (Safety is a relative term in Haiti, but I'd at least call it an improvement.).

Kate returned with the flashlight soon there after, and I used it to examine my belly. I was covered with a thick layer of black - we'll call it soot -and a thousand tiny scratches.

My skin still burns from the alcohol bath I took to disinfect my body from EVERYTHING. While I was still soaking in what I like to think of as a micro-abrasion locator, though, I thought, "How appropriate."

Writing this, I can't think of how exactly it was appropriate, but I'm sure it will come to me.

And now I sleep.

Bon swa.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

90 Second Counterstrain

Kate an I are in Haiti and already disastering with the best of em!

Today, I got to teach a young Haitian translator (named Showty - a self-made moniker named after "shorty," the prominently featured rap name for lil' ladies in the songs through which he learned English. I don't have the heart to tell him what his new name means...) to fix the PVC pipe he shattered, spilling our precious shower water on the barren land.

We made a jump-kit for travel to the "village" (6,000 person tent city - up from 3,000 when we were here in march), and introduced the medical records and treatment protocols Kate worked so hard on - both were met with much rejoicing.

We also published our first podcasts on!!!

90 Second Counterstrain is "a record of our lives recoiled" in minute-n-a-half segments by Kate, me and a few other players to be named later we find along the way. Showty already has his eye on an episode.

We'll be in Haiti for a month and the world for the next 11 months. Our year off officially began 2 days ago, and thus far it has been a dream.

We'll keep you posted.