Today was an interesting day because we had the chance to visit a Haitian market. To me, this specific market was a mixture between a shopping mall and a farmer’s market because you could seriously find ANYTHING you wanted to buy and simply had to roam around to find the best deals. Walking around this market was an excellent way to “people watch” because there were so many loud sounds, odd smells, and payment exchanges taking place. Michael, our translator and Haitian team leader, informed us that while many Haitian people barter for their bargains, if they see an American wanting to buy something, they will often charge more or not even budge on their prices. This caught my eye because thinking about it a little more, most Americans will give in and pay whatever price when they are shopping abroad. The goal for today’s purchases was to use the money that Prescott—Dr. Bosworth’s oldest son—raised to buy goats and pigs for the school that we visited yesterday morning. We tried to buy either pregnant animals or animals with babies because this would allow the schools to have meat or be able to have more baby goats and pigs to provide for each of the student’s families. It is hard to describe how extremely beneficial one pregnant goat will be to one Haitian school, and yet it is also so inspiring that Prescott, a 6th grader, has such a passion for helping others at a young age because it motivates us college girls to do everything we can to make an impact while we are here. I hope that Prescott continues to have this huge heart for making a difference in others’ lives because that is a quality that you do not necessarily find instilled in a lot of kids at that young age.
In addition to the trip to the market, we were on a wild goose chase in trying to find more worming medications at local pharmacies because the last few days of our stay will be the biggest clinic settings with larger numbers of people to treat. Like I have mentioned before, finding the right medicine and the amount you want is not as accessible in Haiti as it is for us in the United States; we cannot just run to Walmart, grab a few boxes of medication, and be on our way in a couple of minutes. I think we stopped at four or five pharmacies before we found enough to enable us to reach out to at least 700 more kids. In the past couple days, I think we have treated somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-300 people—which is amazing because we may only be at a school or small community for an hour but people just keep pouring in to come see us. Word by mouth of our mission is such a powerful tool for the Haitians because I am sure that many want to be helped—they just need their health concerns to be recognized by others.
The last portion of our day consisted of us stopping by a few “metal shops.” Now, when I say “metal shop,” I do not mean a blacksmith or anything. These people would literally flatten out oil barrels and pound them into beautiful works of art. This art ranged from picture frames and mirrors to candle holders and huge wall art. Many of the metal creations were engraved by the person who made them and “shined up” to make the metal glimmer even more. It was fascinating to watch the process because we could tell that each piece was unique in itself and took a lot of time and patience.
In short, today was a great day to experience more of the culture of Haiti and prepare ourselves for the days to come in our medical outreach.