In May Sister Loretta Francis, 82, was one of 14 people who traveled to Haiti with Father Thomas Sievel from St. Vincent DePaul Parish. Their plan—to share their hands and hearts with the folks at the Haitian Health Foundation. (You can see her in the photo at the top/right--she's in the front row and is carrying a white purse.) The group landed in Port-au-Prince and boarded a small plane for the trip to Jèrèmie. The territory was rough; the clinic where the group stayed had only cold water. Entire families made the trek to the clinic. Sister Loretta’s duties included going into the mountains with the dentist, sterilizing instruments, accompanying patients to the nurse, and feeding the children. She also spent time caring for the babies at the Mother Teresa Orphanage and talking with mothers at the Center of Hope Clinic about the benefits of good health. When Sister Loretta’s eight days ended, she was reluctant to leave. One of the many aspects of the experience that touched her heart was the great respect she had for the Haitian women and her love for the Haitian children. In fact, the ties Sister Loretta forged with the Haitian people are so strong that she is already scheduled to return in February, an experience she looks forward to with eager expectation!
Ever the educator, Sister Loretta put together a PowerPoint presentation which she hopes will be used in the diocesan schools to share with the children of Hartford something of what life is like in Haiti. The following photos are just a sampling of the richness of that presentation.
|The children of Jeremie playing|
|A scene from the village of Jeremie|
|Women and children waiting their turn at the Center of Hope.|
|Sister Loretta cuddling one of the babies at the Center of Hope.|
|This little one looks very comfortable snuggling up to Sr. Loretta.|
|Families traveled great distances to the outdoor dental clinic.|
|Patients being treated at the outdoor clinic|
|One of Sr. Loretta's jobs was to sterilize instruments.|
|Sr. Loretta visited the children at the St. Pierre School.|
|Admidst the squalor of Haiti, Sr. Loretta found and loved the beauty of the countryand its people.|
|The team leaving the small plane from Jeremie.|