Sunday, February 21, 2010

THOUGHTS ON TIME

Today as I traveled up to Borel a 60 mile round trip that I make 2-3 times a week I reflected on my last 6 week here in Haiti. It was just 6 weeks ago today Jan. 10th that I returned after a 3 week Christmas Holiday. January and Feb. were scheduled with work teams coming to Haiti weekly but the quake Jan. 12 changed that and we quickly geared up to bring in medical teams instead. This week marks are 6th orthopedic medical team we have had working at our hospital in Pierre Payen.

The last six weeks has gone by quickly it seems like a blur yet it feels like I have been here six months. What is it about time , it is a measurable thing yet at times in our lives it seems so unmeasurable . We all have the exact amount of it 24 hours each day, 7 days each week , 365 days and 12 months each year. God gives each of us a certain amount that we define as our lifetime we are free to spend it as we like. As Christians we are expected at the end of our time to account for how we spent it.

My weeks have been pretty predictable these past six weeks with Saturdays being our team rotation day. Several weeks though we have had a second plane arriving either on Friday or Sundays with nurses. On these airport days I have to make the 120 mile round trip to Port au Prince and on one occassion didn't get back to Pierre Payen till 12:30 pm. On other days I have made the same trip to port to pick up medical equipment or to pick up or deliver my friend Ric Bonnell to the U.S. Embassy. As I said earlier I go to Borel 2-3 times each week to check on construction projects. On other days I go to St. Marc to buy food supplies and building materials.


My days are filled with helping other people who are spending a week in an unfamiliar setting get things done. Everyday brings it's own set of problems to deal with and eventually overcome. Today's was the road construction crew severed (tore out) our water line that runs under the road to supply water to the hospital. Last Thursday it was how to unload a 1 ton x-ray machine from a truck setting out on the road in front of the hospital and get it into the operating room without a forklift or lift gate on the delivery truck. It seems everyday here brings new challenges.

Besides spending lots of time on the road each week, overseeing the needs of the medical teams , keeping the Pierre Payen guesthouse running and solving the problems that each day brings there are other things to squeeze in each day. I have construction projects going on at each compound which are 30 miles apart as well as maintenance, repairs and clean up going on at each place. It often seems that things aren't moving as fast as I like on many of these projects so last week I set deadlines for completion on several of them. Hopefully this will move these projects along for my incoming work teams that will start arriving this week now that commercial airplanes have resumed flying again. Starting in March I will have multiple work and medical teams at our two compounds. Several weeks we will have a medical team and work team at Pierre Payen and also a work team at Borel. My wife will be returning to Haiti in March after 2 months apart and I'm hoping we get to spend some time together at the same compound. As the saying goes "time will tell".

Usually I get up each day at about 6:15 am which is when it is starting to get light outside. Bed time comes at anywhere from 9-10:30 pm and I'm normally asleep within the first 2 minutes of laying down. Thankfully I'm well rested by the next morning and ready to start another day. Yes time is measurable yet also unmeasurable we use many ways to describe it and put all kinds of prefixes along with it as we describe it and measure it. Even as I sit here at Club Indigo writing this (the only place I can get a reception) an old Jim Croce song is playing called "Time in a Bottle" part of the lyric's is "there never seems to be enough of it".

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