Thursday, February 24, 2011

back in the states

I won’t even both apologizing for the lapse since my last post, because I’m sure by now you’re tired of reading my excuses.  That said, I’m going to dive right into the subject of this post and will keep my fingers crossed that you haven’t given up on me yet.

I mentioned before that Jake was in Haiti and I’m happy to report that he has arrived back home safe and sound.  He got back Saturday evening and it’s been a whirlwind since.  I would have been happy just to sit in a room with him and hear him talk about his trip for hours… but that isn’t realistic.  There is so much to do now that he is home and so many people who want to talk to him about his experience.

Last night his trip finally caught up with him and he was exhausted.  I used this as an opportunity to seize my one on one time with him and just hang out, plain and simple.  We walked over to redbox, rented a horror movie (crazy, right?), and relaxed- it was A W E S O M E.  But enough about that, I want to share with you guys about Haiti!

For starters, Jake said it was a great trip.  It took some adjusting in the beginning, but once he had patients, he found a groove.  He talked about how quickly they responded to treatment and how they made certain accomplishments look like nothing.  One of his videos has a woman not only walking with her new leg, but balancing a bucket on her head at the same time!  Nuts.  But that’s how it is there.   Not only do they need to regain function in their legs, but they need to be able to move without any hindrances because their families depend on them to contribute.  It’s really amazing and humbling at the same time.  He made some great relationships with locals at the clinic he worked at and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back next year.

If I had to guess what his biggest struggles have been since coming home, I'd say two things.  First, the excess in our culture; just all the stuff we have and "need" as Americans.  I imagine its really hard to see, let alone rationalize, after being surrounded by poverty and in a country so behind America in so many ways.  Second, I'd say the difference in patients.  He went from having patients travel from who knows how far and then wait hours just to be seen, to being one of hundreds of therapists in VB that a patient could choose from and then decide at any time whether the appointment was worth keeping.  His first two days back were filled with last minute cancellations and I could tell he was struggling to believe being in that clinic was a good use of his time.  I think he is slowly getting settled and adjusting to his old routine.  I find his response to the transition encouraging- I would hope that an experience like that would have a long lasting impact.

Here are some pictures from the trip, the whole album can be seen here.

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