Balance

The following post was written a few days ago by Scott Nelson who is currently at HAH with son Chad, orthopedic surgeon John Anderson and family, orthopedic resident Mark Mildren and medical student Corey Burke.  This is Part 2 of the March, 2015 Trip Report Series.

My life is not necessarily in balance.  In fact, often the things we strive for most are the areas of our lives that are most lacking. Balancing priorities at home nearly eclipsed my plans for this trip and now that I am here it seems that a good part of my busyness at home is relatively unimportant.  In many ways these trips help to keep me in better balance.  They help me realize what is important in life and what is not.  Due to my own lack of balance it is important for me to get to Haiti at least every three months.  Most people do not require such rigorous travel schedules to stay sane, but I find myself getting restless unless I am able to leave the United States and come to such a place as this on a regular basis.

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Mark Mildren returns patient to recovery room after operation

Our effectiveness as human beings, teachers, and leaders depends upon balance. We should not be satisfied with the status quo, but nor do we want to focus only on areas of needed improvement lest we become negative and critical.  When looking at hospital economics, business plans, and the pace of operating room construction it is easy for me to get frustrated.  These vexations need not be published here but perhaps it should be known that not everyday in the mission field ends in feelings of victory and accomplishment.  In an attempt to not be overwhelmed by challenges, I have chosen to quit asking when the new operating room is going to be ready.  Nor will I be able to answer that question for anyone else.  The projected date is June 1, but realistically at the current pace it will be well beyond that.  The good news is that progress is being made, the quality of workmanship is well beyond anything I have seen here, and the provisional operating room is now so well organized that we can safely perform just about any operation there.

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Chad Nelson paints preop room with supervisor

The improvements and installations in the new operating room continue to impress me.  The new operating accommodations are such high quality that future surgical volunteers will not be challenged as we have been in the past.  Sometimes I wonder if they will even want to still come, as there will be less of a sense of adventure and the perception of local needs will be softened.

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Elaine Lewis welcomes new Haitian life

I continue to try and balance diplomacy with accomplishment, relationship with productivity, tolerance with perfection, optimism with reality, censure with appreciation, and rest with work.  Fortunately after 6 days of work, a day of rest has arrived.

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