Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lighting Up the Place

The job-du-jour for David and I was to finish what we had started yesterday in the pediatric ward and possibly move to maternity if we had time.  We had already installed the lights yesterday, now there just needed to be a couple plugs mounted on the walls so they could actually plug something in.  A whole large hospital room and no place to power any equipment.  At least now you could see something.

While David was finishing up the pediatric ward, I moved into maternity.  The waiting room had some women milling about or sleeping on the beds, none of them looking at all pregnant and I soon figured out that at least one or two of them were there using the only working outlet (which was located in the birthing room) to charge their cell phones.

There were a couple women that came in and out a couple times that were looking quite far along, so we thought we would work on the birthing room while it was empty.  One of those women could decide to give birth at any time, and we wanted the room to be ready.  I just hope she doesn't decide to start in the wee hours of the morning.  The Labor Symphony of two nights ago was enough for a while.

The birthing room was quite dark mostly because its one window faced into a copse of trees (and towards our apartment).  The lighting was terrible, and the sockets hung down from the ceiling on their wires.  No wonder the poor girl the other night screamed so loudly.  I would, too.  We removed old sockets and mounted three bright fluorescent fixtures and added a second outlet to the other side of the room.

We actually got this all done by noon.  Now that my key to the depot works and we have some supplies on hand, we can actually get some work done. The only trouble is, the depot is located a couple hundred yards from the hospital, and the entire walk is steeply uphill (both ways!).  After making that walk several times for the part I forgot the last time, my legs were starting to feel it.

After our trek out to the village of Griffen (described in another post), there wasn't a whole lot of time left before the generator was due to be turned off, so we turned our attention to the ambulance.  A few of the flashing lights were out and we took a look at those.  We asked if we could take it for a test drive with all the lights and the siren on, but were told that the Haitians would probably not move aside for the ambulance any more than they move aside for honking vehicles. We would just end up in a Haitian traffic jam.

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