For the past few weeks, Port-au-Prince and Haiti’s other big cities have been the scene of kidnapping, murder, and protests. During the day you walk around looking over your shoulder, particularly if you’re going to or coming from a bank. At night you sleep with one eye open and the ears attuned to the least unfamiliar noise. You don’t feel safe; you can’t feel safe. So few policemen and patrols on the streets, too many gunmen roaming freely throughout the cities on motorcycles or official-matriculated vehicles. At such a time, you come to think about living in the countryside, where most noise comes from birds chirping in the sky or the wind whooshing through the leaves.
Last September, when I went to Labiche for a couple of days, I got a taste of life in the countryside. With its small population, thatched-roof dwellings, no running water and electricity, Labiche is close to wilderness, just the place to be when the cities are too hot, both weather-wise and politic-wise.
In the coming months, we plan to bring a mobile clinic at Labiche. It won’t be any clinic; it will be like having Pernier’s or Carrefour Feuilles’ Repheka clinic at Labiche, but for a day, and on a monthly basis. Besides a nurse and two physicians, we’ll have essential medications and rapid lab tests, such as Malaria, pregnancy test, Widal, blood glucose, etc.
The current turmoil in Port-au-Prince gives us one more reason to expand our services to the countryside. Not only we’ll bring quality care to people living in isolated areas of the country, we’ll also take a break from the craziness of the big cities.