By Tara Kedia
Last week, I arrived in Les Cayes, Haiti, where I will be working for the next month at Hôpital Immaculée Conception (HIC), the public hospital for Les Cayes and surrounding regions. Les Cayes is the capital of the South department of Haiti, with a population of over 125,000 in 2009. The official languages of Haiti are French (spoken in more formal settings) and Haitian Creole (the lingua franca). I do speak French, which has been a big help, but I’m still struggling to understand Haitian Creole so I can communicate with everyone here.
I first learned about Dartmouth’s affiliation with HIC while seeking an opportunity to assist in global health work during the summer between my first and second years of medical school. I was connected with Dr. Peter Wright and Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, who are serving as advisors to my work at HIC. I’ve also spoken a great deal with Kristen Jogerst (Geisel ’16), currently a third-year medical student who worked at HIC last summer and who introduced me to the wonderful family who is hosting me during my month in Cayes.