We began this morning in Hood River, watching some baby sheep that had been born the day before. Spouse had met the owners in a bar, and they invited him over. It was amazing. Less then 24 hours old, the baby sheep were just running around with the herd, keeping up. What would humans be like if they did that?
The man who owns them had just returned from a two-week volunteer gig in Haiti. He is a former EMT, former trauma nurse, now an anesthesiologist. He reminded me a lot of the ER docs I used to know. They are decisive, smart, high-energy folks who don't look back. All the ER docs I knew did things like kiteboard, ski, surf, or fly planes in their off hours. When the s**t hits the fan, you want them with you. He talked about how it was a mistake to let it get to you, how it would ruin your effectiveness.
Even he was still feeling the effects of being in Haiti. They were working in the DR, right on the border with Haiti. The space was filled with people on mattresses, uncomplaining, many with open fractures. On a trip to Port au Prince to get surgical screws, he saw two men murdered in front of him. He kept saying to us, "There was nothing I could do." At the hospital, they worked 16 hour days. Unfortunately, they had to amputate a lot of crushed hands, legs, feet, arms - many of them belonging to children. He showed us photos of how, because they had no charts, they would write on people's foreheads or on their casts in case they ended up someplace else for follow up care.
Another person on the trip kept a blog. You have to watch the video of the people singing. They had abandoned the makeshift hospital in a panic after a 5.8 aftershock. They ran with pins in their legs, they tore out IV bags of blood and saline, and one man jumped from the upper floor and was paralyzed.
Yet a short while later they began to sing.