After some time bonding with the orphans, It was time to continue my mission here in Haiti. The Haitian staff were picking up the elders sponsored by Healing Haiti and bringing them to Grace Village for check-ups with Dr. Sem. At first, I was a little unhesitant about working with the elders. I am much more of a kid person and tend to bond with them well, but today I learned just how special these elderly are and how well I was able to bond with them too. The elderly that came to visit today ranged in age from 40-100 (some of the oldest people in Haiti considering most people only live to about 60 years old). It amazed me what kind of conditions these people had; one man was missing toes due to leprosy, another had diabetes with glaucoma, another had hypertension, and several more were very handicapped/ frail. It was absolutely humbling to see the elderly smile at me as I checked their nutrition status; such joy they expressed despite the hard lives they have lived and the conditions in which they are living. Many of them smelt like urine, were dressed in ragged clothes, and had very dirty feet and nails. Despite their disheveled appearance, they were so sweet and delightful. It was a kind reminder that even the oldest people need our attention and affection and not just the kids.
My assessments today consisted of obtaining heights and weights for the elderly, as well as checking if they have teeth and if they were able to move their tongues (this helps to determine if they would have trouble eating certain foods). I also looked at their eyes and nails for indications of any other vitamin deficiencies. It was a wonderful day spent observing a different age spectrum.
Following the assessments, the medical team and I met up with the mission team at Yuvon's orphanage were I was greeted by one of the malnourished boys I had seen yesterday. He put his arms up to me and without hesitation I picked him up and hugged him; his smile shone from ear to ear. Carol, one of the care takers at the orphanage was there, and when I saw her I screamed her name and gave her a big hug! I have missed her so much... We caught up a bit before it was time to go.