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Extreme Fasttracking

October 17, 2011

I met with Dr. Felix this afternoon at the COPSA nursing school.  It proved to be quite a meeting.  The doctor has hired 15 Haitian instructors and appointed me program supervisor.  I will share an office with him and will work directly with him in developing the program for the 200 students who have enrolled.  I will be responsible for clinical training, working directly with the doctor who will provide translation as required.  One of my other roles is to assist the good doctor to improve his English.  He is already quite fluent, but he tends to misuse closely related words and his grammar is a bit awkward at times.  In turn he will help me polish my Creole.

This is a major commitment.  The nursing program is four years in length.  For the prospective laboratory technicians enrolled it is two years.  Dr. Felix continues to be very enthusiastic.  He explained that for the first month or so I will have very little actual teaching responsibility, but will be working with him to equip the school.  This will not be possible before we start next Monday as the student fees must be collected in order to provide funds to purchase what is needed.  I am going to canvas the people I know here and in Canada to see if anyone has anything they are willing to donate.  It would not take much in the way of medical equipment to be worth the fee for bringing back an extra suitcase when I return to Haiti in January.  If anyone reading this can provide anything at all please contact me.

There are a few perks to the job.  The doctor has agreed to take care of my health needs and supply my prescription medications.  He offered chauffeur service to and from the school, but I declined, telling him that I was quite happy to travel by moto taxi.  I will have Internet service available to me at the school, so I will not be drawing on my personal account to access course related material which I know I will be using extensively.

When I asked for a course outline Dr. Felix explained that there is none at this time.  He had only an itemized list of the areas of study that will be undertaken.  There is no specific timeline in place.  I understand that the Haitian instructors are currently preparing the material they will teach.  This weekend I will be introduced to my instructors at a social gathering the doctor is arranging.

My workday is only four hours in length, from 3PM until 7PM Monday through Friday.  However I am well aware that I will need to spend many hours in preparation.  I am so glad I have a month of lead-time to get started.

So now I need to search for some newish nursing scrubs (being dressed appropriately is very important here) to wear on the job.  Otherwise it will be long pants and long sleeves, more than a bit uncomfortable in this climate.  I have a couple of pairs of faded scrubs that I acquired when it looked like I would be working at Saint Nicholas Hospital, but I would like to find something that more befits my position.  At worst I will buy some things when I am back in Canada over Christmas.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be doing something like this.  I am going to need every iota of wisdom that God can provide for me to be up to the task, for this is not of me but of Him.  Although I approach this with some trepidation, I also have an eerie confidence about it.  I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  But for those of you who are inclined to prayer I will need every bit you can muster.



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