On a sweaty January afternoon, a group of five Project HOPE Art volunteers stepped into a swirling jigsaw puzzle of human sounds, smells and sights. People were milling around on foot and taking up space in a collection of chairs that ranged from the three-legged plastic lawn chair propped on a wall to planks of wood carefully balanced on broken cinder blocks and rocks.
In the midst of the people hurricane was a dark-haired woman in a beige sunhat holding a clipboard. She put us to work painting, singing and embracing the members of the people hurricane.
Over the years since that day (four+ years ago), the storm of people vibe has faded and turned into a sweet wealth of friendly faces who have become like family. They know we bring with us music, watercolors and sometimes when Liz Ancker is visiting: green eggs and ham sandwiches.
Visiting the Ti Kay Clinic one day in 2013, I was astonished. The place seemed empty. When I asked Dr. Coffee about it she laughed and said, “Didn’t you listen to National Radio this morning? There is a big hurricane coming.”
I had no idea there was a hurricane in the vicinity.
Since I was there already, I turned on music and set about painting a mini-mural with all the kids at the clinic and quite a few adults.
And that is exactly how Dr. Coffee runs her clinic. She is around when there is no one else. She digs up resources, nurses and meals by rubbing two pennies together and blowing her magic on it.
Today we wish a Happy Birthday to one of our favorite project partners.
Bon Fet Dokte Koffe!
At her clinic, Ti Kay (little house in Haitian Kreyol), Dr. Megan Coffee or Dokte Coffee provides free, high-quality medical care to Tuberculosis and HIV patients in Haiti. Ti Kay, Inc. is a medical non-profit organization that aims to treat, and hence prevent, tuberculosis in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Based at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, HUEH (L’Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti), Ti Kay focuses on treating inpatients and outpatients. After the earthquake when the state sanatorium was not functional, the head nurse of the TB program and Megan Coffee, a US doctor, established an inpatient program for the care. The outpatient treatment was expanded after the earthquake.
Project HOPE Art has had the privilege of creating art with Ti Kay patients. Simple coloring projects and face painting added a light to an otherwise bed-bound day. Patients young and old gathered around every available surface with any marker available to join in on our murals. We hope to create some more creative chaos at Ti Kay soon!
If you’d like to donate directly, Ti Kay Haiti has ongoing needs for the following:
14 gauge venocaths
60 cc luer lock syringes
Please contact Dr Megan Coffee to arrange shipping at firstname.lastname@example.org