Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wheeling and Walking

Mark's going in for some training tomorrow.  And this time, he's the trainee.  He'll be learning from coaches from Switzerland about wheelchair basketball. Later this month, a team will be visiting from Calvary UMC and together, we'll be hosting a Hoops for Haiti basketball clinic and tournament.  Some of the tournament games will be wheelchair basketball games!  

Last week, we went to the hospital and rehabilitation center to meet with the people we'll be working with, check out the gear, and take a tour.  We started with the basketball gear and court first, of course...

This storage room was full of all kinds of recreation gear, including 
enough sport wheelchairs to outfit two teams.

Danielle and Elli hopped right into two chairs and headed out to the court. 
 I was impressed with how easily they figured out how to push and steer!

Naomy's arms weren't long enough or strong enough to 
make the chair go, but she hitched a few rides...

...and gave some pushes.  

The girls quickly realized that while making the chair go isn't difficult, 
you have to be very coordinated to do so WHILE dribbling and/or shooting a basketball.

Next, was our tour, and it started off with lots of cheering and singing.  

A patient who had suffered a stroke about 6 months ago and had been confined to bed or a chair ever since... was WALKING again for the first time.  She was followed by an entourage of ladies chanting, "Mesi, Bondye!" (Thank you, God!)

Oh, and yes, she was walking while TALKING on a phone!  I overheard her talking through her tears: "Wi, mache! Wi, mache!" (Yes, I'm walking!)

In addition to the basketball clinic and tournament, we (we count ourselves as part of the team that will be visiting!) will tackle cleaning and maintenance projects at the complex, visit with patients, and possibly even have a training session with the resident therapists.

Here's a photo of the rehab building.

Next on the tour: the hospital, starting with the NIC unit.  The girls got to see some very, very tiny babies.  They had never seen such little ones, and at first, I think they were a little frightened by all the machines and tubes. Since then, they've been praying for those babies every night before bed, so I know it made a big impact on them.  

Finally, we visited the health clinic and it just so happened that there wasn't a wait to get in!  Elli had been complaining of an earache and Naomy had been battling pinkeye, so we had a reason to see the doctor.  The nurse took their temperatures, just like usual...and she weighed them, just like usual...and the doctor used the same tools as usual to examine their eyes and ears.  

What was UNusual was the fact that there were three other patients in the examining room with us--and one of them was intermittently moaning from a cot!  The girls didn't seem fazed...but this mama was a little weirded out.  We were prescribed some antibiotics and went through the process of obtaining them (in the attached pharmacy) and paying for them, which was interesting for me.  I had to pay super careful attention to dosing instructions, as they were delivered to me in Creole and measured in metric units.

Here's Elli being weighed.  She weighs some number of kilograms that I can't remember.  Tell me again--why are we Americans pretty much the only ones in the WORLD not on the metric system?

What a visit!  We came away with medicine that got us on the mend and huge excitement over the work cut out for us later this month.  Stay posted for details about tomorrow's training...

Would you please start praying for God to move in miraculous ways to prepare the Calvary team and the people they'll meet here in Haiti?

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

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