Our Fifth Trip

Jinpa and Michelle co-treating

We were moved once again by just how many of you answered to our call for a donation. Each year, we wonder if the word "Haiti" will still touch people, and luckily it does! Thank you all for placing your trust in us to carry out the precious work in this country, one of the poorest of the earth. We tried to list everyone who contributed to this grassroots effort at the bottom, knowing there are always so many more whose names we do not know. Just look at how long the list is! Thanks to all of us joining hands, we were able to once again offer free naturopathic treatment to 3,000 people, bringing the number total so far seen at the clinic to a staggering 15,000! We are in awe of what can happen if you just try.

Here is how this trip went:

Antony, who came to assist the clinic for the first time, was shocked when he arrived in Haiti: "I could not believe that so much poverty and misery could exist just three hours by plane from New York City! It was unbelievable."

The rest of the crew returning thought that many things had improved over the former trips: there are now street lights back on the main streets, which cut down the crime rates. More houses have been rebuilt, more people have access to clean water, and some of the tent-camp inhabitants have been relocated to housing, so a few parks that became tent cities have become parks again.

The president and government remain corrupt, with a continued slow process of signs that the president might turn into a dictator some time soon. The prices have continued to skyrocket, cutting many people off from necessities such as sufficient food and health care. We never saw as many people pour to the clinic, with the exception of the trip right after the devastating earthquake.

No matter how many days, and how long hours we worked, we never managed to finish the endless line of waiting people.

Wendy needled the people waiting in line.

This is the first time we had a lot of middle- and even upper-class people come for treatment, as they can no longer afford health care: "Pre-natal care used to be a flat fee. Now the doctors charge for every single visit, and they charge a lot. Whenever you go, they give you a lot of shots for which they charge a lot. We don't think we need those shots, we feel they just give them so they can make more money, but we don't know what to do. So we can't afford health care for pregnancy any more," a middle-class woman complains.

You would expect the building activities in Haiti to increase employment and help the general population; however the houses are being rebuilt by the rich businesspeople who give the jobs to foreign companies, such as contractors from the Dominican Republic who come in with their own building crews, or US building contractors. We found every one of our local crewmembers much changed, having lost a lot of weight from lack of food, and two of them had battled life-threatening illness while we were away. A local priest who presented his research at Harvard University observed: "Between the post-traumatic stress disorder from the earthquake and the chaotic, life threatening living situations, Haiti is one of the most stressful places to live in on earth."

The makeshift clinic in the heat with the mosquitoes took a lot out of the crew.

Woodline (handing out tea for insomnia) almost died recently, and looks much changed from recent years.

Antony described his experiences assisting at the clinic: "After I got over the initial shock of the poverty, I tried to help out as much as possible. Being with the clinic gave me a feeling I never had in my life—like euphoria—a sense of fulfillment. Despite of the short time, I felt so rewarded emotionally. The reward was the amount of people who came, got taken care of, and left. I got a lot of smiles. I was not even one of the doctors, I just passed them what they needed so they could treat people faster. It was like bar tending. The clinic is so special and unique by way of having Haitians on the crew. It reaches the needs and culture of the locals in a way that international help cannot. The locals open up in a short time and they really feel taken care of. The cooperation between the foreign and local healers was seamless. When I was sick, our Haitian healer worked on me, which really helped. It was powerful the way his bodywork went into my organs, it was impressive. I will never forget how some people go out of their way to give so much to others they do not even know."

Another Life Saved

A young man walked into the clinic in the early morning, holding a sick baby. "Excuse me," he said, "I was on my way to the hospital with my daughter when I saw the crowd here. I hear you can help. My baby has had a high fever for days, diarrhea, skin infection, and she can't eat." The little one was hanging in his arm limp and lifeless, not showing any reaction. Jinpa put some FES Benediction oil on her heart to reawaken her soul. She started to stir. He then sprayed her with Five Flower flower essences. She opened her eyes. Jinpa proceeded to give her homeopathic Camomile 30 C (Hahnemann Labs), and sent them home, the infant now awake and holding her head and body up by herself.

Half an hour passed, and the man came back. "The baby is fine, she is eating. Sorry, but could you give me something for my toothache?" We gave him clove essential oil (donated by VCIH). He came back one hour after. "Excuse me, but who are you and where did you come from? The pain in my tooth is gone, and here is my wife, she has a vaginal infection..." We gave her the usual essential oil mix, and they left.

Claudia and Oliama giving a treatment.

Oliama also almost died this winter, and we were glad to have him with us for this bonesetting skills again.

Half an hour later, the man came back with a 70-year-old lady. "Doctor, I don't know, this is my mother-in-law." The old lady said "I am poor, I have no money, I have nowhere to go, everything is hurting, I can't sleep... Please help me at least to get rid of my belly pain and headache!" We gave her our successful essential oil blend for gassiness, and needled her feet for her headache. Much relieved, she also received some Benediction oil on her heart for post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia.

By 5 pm, when we were ready to pack up and leave, the same man from the morning returned, crying. Jinpa was shocked and ready to hear the worst. But this time the man was crying with joy: "Thank you, thank you, ko te ou soti (Are you from this realm or from heaven)?"

"I took a deep breath to answer" says Jinpa "Yes, thanks to Vivien, Michael, Andrea, Julia's vision, Lili, Kate, thanks to Hahnemann Labs and Whole Foods, Sandra, Neill, ... , ..., we are here..."

"All of those people?!?" he replied incredulously.

"Then I also started to cry," Jinpa confessed, "and did not have the heart to continue listing everyone's names." It was time to drive back home. This is what happened every day, every hour, every minute at the clinic, non-stop.

Michelle at work.

Antony put his skills to work as the assistant.

Thanks for Gabrielle, Marguy, Everett and Sandra, crew members of the previous clinics for your help, as well as special thanks to Jolene, Megan and Diderik for preparing the trip.

With infinite thanks to all the donors, big and small, and those that gave through secret channels whose names we do not know or forgot in the scramble:

Michael Friedmann of Restorative Medicine
April Eya of Hahnemann Labs
Boiron Homeopathics
Vivien Williamson of Sun Essences
Kate Gildae of Woodland Essence
Larken Bunce of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
Christine Dashper of Pure Element Aromatherpay
Swanie Simon of Drei Hunde Nacht
Donna Peaker Ritzo
Lata Kennedy of Flower Power and the Flower Power customers
Robin Rose Bennett and her students
Zack Wood Herbs
Sandra Kong and Neil Jacobs
Catherine Wing
Anthony of Acupuncture without Borders
Michel, Anne and Colette Marliagneas of Pharmacie de Linards

Ven. Andreas Ansmann, Lili Chopra, Irene Turner, Luv Snap, Debra Milne, Abby Ludowise, Laressa Dickey, Julia Hengst, Woodland Essence, Margaret Hee, Laura Brodsky, Nicole Moss, Lun Shan Hsu, Ya Chi Huang, (2 names in Chinese characters we can't read...), Alexander Brebner, Chiu Shih Wei, Rolf Grooten, the Guerrier family, the Gordon family, Katinka Locascio, Lena DeGloma, Rhiannon Harris, Raymonde Godin, Leigh Warre, Glen, Adrienne Mockler, Brigitte Helbig, Lee Mason, Everett Ramos, the Nettle Patch and the New York meditators and many many more.

And last but not least, thanks to Andrea Lemon for being our tireless website hostess!!!