Starkey Hearing molds in Cap Haitien
This is a post I wrote Thursday evening but did not have internet to post:
I feel complete, whole, blessed (as always), and useful tonight. I am sitting under a bug net in a guest room at the Sister Augusta School for the Deaf (SASD) in Cap Haitien, Haiti.
Today I was finally able to take part in the first step in the process of getting someone a hearing aid. Starkey Hearing Foundation has partnered with World Wide Village in Haiti to distribute hearing aids to deaf Haitians; they have been teamed up for about a year and have covered most of Port au Prince. Part of my job with WWV is to help facilitate the distribution of hearing aids with Starkey.
For my first time I traveled to the north of Haiti, a six hour car ride through the mountains-its starts off on a very deceiving paved road that quickly turns to what would be considered a trail or river bed in the US. SO after a 22 minute plane ride-that I was complete freaked out about, but I have to admit I was very impressed with the pilots of Tortug Air-we landed in Cap Haitien. It was like a scene out of a movie, an old seemingly condemned flight station surrounded by grass half way up the walls made me feel like I had entered the Twilight Zone-I’m just glad there was not a thing on the wing!!!
We had a very warm welcome at SASD; the students wrote us a sweet note on the black board and were all excited we were here! I was so excited to be here as well, for once all the things going wrong didn’t bother me…the flight was 30 minutes late, they didn’t put our bags on our flight, they will be on the next one….no only one made it on that flight the second bag is on the 11:30 flight. I should have known better than to think we could come up and back in one day-to think things would go smoothly!!!
Starting with the older classes we registered the students and some members of the community, by the time our bags and supplies got to the school we only had an hour before our group of five became a group of two. 250 people seemed like a lot when there were five of us, soon it would be two. Still I didn’t mind, I was so happy to be learning and feel very blessed to be a part of this project.
2:15 came fast and soon it was only Jamil and I left with what seemed like an overwhelming number of people. Somehow a calm set in, we got into a grove and finished out the day at 5:30 and 159 sets of ear molds completed!!!
The kids were so cute and the older students were excited we were there and very appreciative. Most everyone was a good sport about the process, although I know it hurt some of them. The cutest part were when we took the molds out of some of the younger children’s ears, they began clapping near their ears to see if they could hear!!! I tried not to laugh and quickly explained the green stuff in their ears did not make them hear, they had to wait a month until when we come back with hearing aids then they can hear the clapping!
It was an amazing experience and I am excited to return in a month with their hearing aids! I feel like I start or end every blog with this, but I truly feel very blessed with the opportunities I have been given in Haiti and the path that is in front of me. Although when I first realized I was moving to Haiti I had a very different vision of what I thought life would look like, I would not change anything. All the twist, turns and experiences are shaping and growing me. I am overwhelmingly blessed.