Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Goat poop, blood, concrete, and my pants

Goat Poop, Pee, Blood, Concrete, and My Pants

First, I have to explain that none of the bodily fluids were my own. And that the pee was on a different pair of pants. The pee belonged to one of the orphans I held at the airport. The goat poop, blood, and concrete all happened on the same day, within an hour of each other, to the same pair of pants however. If you love me, someone, you will send me a clean pair of scrubs on the next supply plane to Haiti. (Jules, this means you.)

I was serving at the EMT for the construction crew out at Croix de Bouquets Orphanage. As mentioned in other posts (probably on the task force site) I wasn't getting a lot of construction time myself. Every time I lifted a hammer or shovel, 5 Haitians would appear to take it away from me and do the work. (I can only imagine what the Haitian women we hired to cook and clean for our merry little band of misfits thought of me. One woman and all those men, and I wasn't there to cook and clean for them?? I must have been a huge failure as a woman to them!) But for better or worse, I did have a few injuries to attend to. A smashed finger, a small accident involving a Haitian, a finger tip, and a saw (and strangely no blood), flea bites (on more than one person- which is why most of us moved to the roof to sleep!), a few Bandaids, and the big boo-boo I will call “Chad Hits the Floor.”

First, Chad is not his name. He's just forbidden me from telling anyone his name because he doesn't want his wife to find out he passed out. It was blazing hot out there, and he had been so busy all day he never ate or drank anything. It was about 5 pm when he realized this. Sadly, he also realized this a few minutes after cutting his knuckle badly on a piece of corrugated metal. Hmm... things an EMT doesn't have on her- a spare tetanus shot. In fact, all I had was a pretty weak first aid kit. He brought me his bloody hand, and I went to work cleaning him up. As we are talking I realize I'm going to have to pour water all over his hand to clean the blood up. We were standing in the construction yard. I wasn't thinking about the angle, the wind, and my funny stance balancing between a big rock and another big rock, and the water and blood poured off his hand, and all down my pants. Fan-freaking-tastic.

A minute later he mentions he's feeling light headed. I sit him on the stairs of the bus. I look closer at him and realize he's going pale on me. I sit him on the ground. I keep bandaging him and reach for a power bar and more water. I look back, his eyes have rolled to the back of his head and he's unresponsive. CRAP, how did I not see this coming?? I grab him before he falls face first into gravel and stone. He's twice my size, and I'm struggling to get him safely to the ground. I have no choice but to go butt first into a pile of wet, fresh, goat poop. Again, CRAP, how did I not see that coming? (Pun intended.) I yell, “A little help please!” And we get “Chad” to come to. A little help from our teammates, and we have Chad up and feeling better in no time. I now have blood and goat poop on my pants. That's a first.

We go back to working on finishing up the kitchen. I am mixing the last batch of concrete. A Haitian insists on helping me. We struggle over the shovel. And plop! Out flies some wet concrete onto my pants.

Goat poop, blood and concrete on one pair of pants. Did I mention I only brought 2 pairs with me to Haiti? And the other pair still has pee all over them?

Just another day in Haiti.

(pictures of all sorts of things, but not of the goat poop on my butt, coming soon)


  1. Sounds like things are going well.

  2. Can't wait to hear from you again.

    And I have a little award for you at my blog. It's nothing really - just saying how much I like you.


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