Monday, November 8, 2010
Steve and a few trainees pushing our truck to give it a running start to take us all back home at the end of the day
I just finished the second day of this first three day training and feel like I am running a marathon in a minefield. Many of the participants are talented and willing, but many have been so traumatized since the earthquake that I am having to negotiate how to work with them appropriately for their own self care, and teach them how to be trainers themselves of other care providers. Several men claim Jan. 12 as a day in their life that they feel good about themselves because they had the courage and fortitude to help people get out of their houses and help the injured. Those that barely made it out themselves and lost family members and couldn't help anyone because they were so debilitated themselves, feel tremendous shame, guilt and loss. That said, these men and women are all heroes to me the way most of them can laugh and sing and dance and connect with each other . And they are so wonderful to me- so appreciative, warm, supportive, inquisitive, real and willing to be vulnerable. Practice sessions have been good today but way behind because there is so much personal work that needs to be done for the nurses to move forward. It is happening, but slow, so I have to figure out how to spin something tomorrow that gets us there so that they have all done one and practice teaching one. This is hard work trying to figure out at night how to make each day work after the challenges of the previous one. We lost an hour and a half today because of transportation issues ( a day in the life of Haiti). That doesn't rattle me at all, given that keeping the trains running on time has never been my strong suit. Luckily they have a logistics person that is taking care of all that, but cars invariably break down and get stuck in crazy traffic. Everyone has to be transported from all over the Port au Prince and Carrefour areas, so it is a total crap shoot when everyone will actually be there. And then there is the matter of the cell phones which have to stay on because all of them are in leadership positions in the camps and there is a cholera epidemic going on. Every person with diarrhea has to be evaluated immediately, re-hydrated and referred fast if they have cholera. The cell phones are having to be responded to all the time, so it feels like I am teaching in a 3 ring circus. I am the only one that is not mainlining with my blackberry. But I have to look at the other side that these people and their bosses feel like this is important enough to field everything else to be able to do this. That is pretty awesome. I hope maybe we can make a dent.