Hello to all old friends and new!
It has been so long since a blog post appeared here, that I want to say first that We Are Alive! Donnel and I, the originators of this blog, are still actively working toward the success of the Faculté des Sciences de Réhabilitation de Léogâne (FSRL). Right now we’re together in Montana, for the month of August, at our new home in Montana. The time together has let us do some nesting in our own little house and garden; take long walks in the beautiful outdoors; go to Medical Appointments (we are at that age where maintenance becomes a normal part of life); and, of course, talk about many things. One thing to consider is whether a blog about the First Year of the new program in Léogâne should be carried on into the third year!! And if it’s to be carried on, what kind of things should be aired and reflected on in it?
WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE A GOOD IDEA NOW TO CONTINUE THIS BLOG
Well, one reason is that the name is now misleading. “The beginning of something wonderful” is still OK, but the sub-title about the “first year” of the new program is passé.
Another reason is that the real fun of a cross-cultural blog is when we can all encounter a new and strange situation together. But, probably happily, after all this time the strangeness of living in Haiti is less strange, and so the blogging will have a different sound to it.
[Here’s a digression just for amusement purposes. Sometimes when I am on the FSRL campus in my dorm room and I learn that an American group of nurses is on the way from the airport to the FSIL Guest House, I feel a curiosity as if they are from a strange culture. They feel, at least in the abstract before I meet them, like “the other”. And that put me in mind of a funny poem by Don Marquis, the American poet popular in the nineteen-twenties and thirties. It’s called, The Robin and the Worm. My librarian friend, Kristin Leikmuhler Strohmeyer, helped me find it (within about sixty seconds) after my Google search failed me. Here is the link.
The poem begins with a worm expressing dismay about being eaten by a robin, but very soon the same worm is changing his lament to a happy boast about how strong we are now – that is, as he is incorporated into the robin, he finds himself on the other side of the story! That’s a great account of cultural shift! And it is how I sometimes feel as a faculty member at FSRL.]
WHY IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO CONTINUE THIS BLOG
Well, in fact, I really do realize that Donnel and I are guests and outsiders who have been given hospitality at a deep level. If we sometimes feel like insiders, that is because of the generosity of our hosts!
And, even though the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation has a website (www.haitirehab.com) ,
and a facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HaitiOTPTdegrees),
this is the only place to hear from the inside what this remarkable experience is like! I think that our team, broadly defined to include everyone who takes an interest in the work of FSRL and the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation, deserves to have a real inside look. So, Donnel and I will be continuing on with the blog, and I will do my best to be more active in posting. May we ALL make that slow transition to becoming insiders, happily “eaten” up (I mean that in the best way) by a cultural shift!
SO WHAT IS COMING NEXT?
What can top a solar eclipse? Even a partial one? We had a high tech viewing device- the famous Grape Nuts camera obscura…..
Well, visits from offspring can top that!
We’ve had a visit here in Kalispell from our very adult son Aidan and his significant other, Lexi, with all the fun of going to Glacier Park, sailing on Flathead Lake, and swimming at a nearby swimmin’ hole.
We’ll have another visit starting tomorrow from our very adult child Chase, who has had experience teaching English in Haiti, but who is now living as a lay steward at a Buddhist monastery in Santa Rosa. We hope that Chase will be up for at least one grand adventure – maybe looking for dinosaur bones down by Choteau!
Then, on Aug. 31st, I’ll start the trip back to work. I’ll arrive on Sept. 1st in Léogâne, in time for a meeting with the Dean of Nursing and a lot of preparation for our first classes. Anatomy II and Pathophysiology I will start on Sept. 11. The first faculty members will be Dr. Jack Thomas, PT, from the Medical U. of So. Carolina (a return visit – thank you Jack!!) and Dr. Gregory Chown, OT, from Alvernia University in Pennsylvania. I have missed seeing the students and Lafleur, our administrative assistant. It will be good to start classes again.
God’s peace, the kind that passes understanding, to you!