Haiti Trip: Prelude

My name is Michael Aleman, and I am a rising sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in global health. I am interested in studying how healthcare can be made sustainable and quality improved in resource-limited settings. As a result, I am spending part of the summer conducting independent research in Milot, Haiti with the CRUDEM Foundation at Hopital Sacre Coeur. My primary research involves quantifying current supply, equipment, and infrastructure levels at the facility as well as determining the most common type of procedures at the hospital. This information, in turn, will be used to create a profile of the facility which can then be used by charitable organizations involved in medical supply/equipment donations to improve the support they give to Hopital Sacre Coeur. I will be blogging about my experiences abroad – so keep checking back on further updates throughout the summer.

I left Chicago on Tuesday afternoon bound for Miami with a stop in Charleston.  The first leg was spent relishing a book I didn’t have to read for class while the second leg was spent on a Mexican cinema classic Amores Perros. Arriving in Miami my plan to sleep in the terminal fell apart when I realized the airport was air conditioned to about 60* Fahrenheit and I didn’t have a single piece of warm clothing with me. I wound up jumping into a random hotel shuttle bus and wandered around until finally settling on a Days Inn. For food I wandered some more and picked up milk and picos, a locally produced sweet bread. Miami is surreal in that everyone spoke Spanish, albeit mostly Cuban Spanish (characterized by their habit of eating consonants). Tomorrow I and my dual hiking packs will be surrounded by Creole. And a completely new world.

Am I worried? Yes – I need to sleep but the excitement has given me insomnia.

Am I ready? Yes – For more picos and milk.

Am I afraid? No – Not at all.

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