Day 10 for the Nursing Team: Shannon’s Reflections on “working in the Batey”

Victor and Shannon.

Today was very interesting. First we had no idea where we were going or who we would be seeing. We were told the community was a group of people who had newly arrived from Haiti. The science group and the nursing group were packed into the van and taken to our destinations. We pull up to this gorgeous gated school and we were told that this was the nursing group’s destination. Everyone was very confused. Why would the nurses be at a school? Finally the confusion was over and we were told this was the science group’s destination. The van started further down a road that looked like it was going nowhere. It took us a good ten minutes to get from the school to our destination. We got out of the van and there were six little shacks made of tree posts and tin. I have never seen such a devastated area. It looks like an area where these people just took the land and built a house. The land is not usable for crops because under the soil there is rock. The people did not settle here to start their own farms or be able to feed themselves, it was free land to live on. It has to be a shock to see a group of American’s almost coming out of nowhere. We were originally there to assess the school children so they were our priority. As we started to assess the children the community members started to surround us. We decided that we would quickly assess the school children and then assess the community members if we had time. This community had the most problems that we had seen out of all of our groups. We assessed heart murmurs and parasites, but worst of all were the mothers that asked for antibiotics for their sick children. These people had nothing. We had several children that did not have shoes, one that did not have pants and most of the clothes did not fit the children. I think what was incredible that all of us nursing girls did not even think about what was going on while we were doing our assessments. It was like we had our blinders on so that we could get through our day. Later we were sitting on the beach and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It had taken me hours to be able to comprehend what I had seen that day. I wanted to try because it was so heart breaking to me. The sweetest little kids who had absolutely nothing.    -Shannon

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