15 May 2014

Clinics at Furcy

On Monday morning I travelled up to Furcy, a small rural part of Haiti situated up in the mountains, to visit the local clinic and surrounding school and church. It was a great opportunity to see a part of Haiti different to the regular hustle and bustle of Port-au-Prince, and so I left the house relatively early in the morning to take the relatively long drive up the winding roads with Dr. Benjamin, a doctor living and working in Port-au-Prince, who would offer up her skills for some of the locals. Driving directly to the clinic and school area is impossible, as the roads quickly turn to tricky footpaths and then, simply, rocky terrain. The quarter-mile walk from the car (pictured above) to our destination was most definitely an interesting one. I have never been the biggest fan of strenuous exercise, but the view compensated massively for the challenging journey. As a child looks to its parent when attempting to walk for the first time or when crossing the road, I had to hold my driver's hand on more than one occasion so as not to slip down some of the declines! The rain which had fallen the night before also contributed to the journey's difficulty, but I felt incredibly privileged nonetheless to see and experience something new.

Dr. Denjamin (left) and her driver on our way to the clinic

The air is much cooler in Furcy which was a welcome change to the (often) stifling heat of the city, and I was strongly advised to take a camera with me. I was soon to find out why. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. The community was a much smaller and, quite evidently, somewhat poorer than any I am yet to come across. Still, the people were incredibly welcoming and seemed incredibly resourceful with what the did have. As usual, I received a warm greeting from the children at the Methodist school there, although communication proved slightly more difficult as fewer of them were able to speak French.

My first stop was at the clinic, where I would leave Dr. Benjamin to hold her clinic for the morning. There were a variety of medications available, and a few small rooms for prospective patients.

 With a new tour guide in tow (one of the construction workers on premises and one of the few French-speaking members of staff), I then made my way over to the local school. As was the case at La Saline school there were noticeably fewer resources than there were at my beloved Frères (the playground, for example, consisted of a particularly rocky area of the mountains around which the children would happily bob and weave, giggle amongst themselves and take turns in skipping rope games), but the teachers were all patient with me and willing to explain to me what their classes were all about in as much French as they could.

Children playing in the open space at Furcy 

After some more hiking around the area with my guide as we waited for Dr. Benjamin to see to her last sets of patients, we finally returned to the city. Looking out of the truck window and seeing unaccompanied schoolchildren walking on the edges of roads with harsh vertical drops on each side and playing in the hills nonchalantly, I was reminded of the ongoing debate in England as to whether we have the tendency to "molly coddle" our own children. Would English children dare to do the same? Would their parents allow it? Of course not. I feared for these children, often walking hand-in-hand with younger siblings but was somewhat soothed by the thought that their knowledge of the terrain was no doubt more acute than my own. I have come to learn that children, even English ones, are incredibly switched on. It is just us adults that are often too afraid to let them fly in fear that they might fall.


  1. The view is EVERYTHING!!!!

    1. I KNOWWW right? Tbh the camera didn't do it justice. This is really something that needs to be seen in real life, too...

  2. I know that's right! I'm already making plans for a life changing trip like this! Has to happen!