ness for the hour-long trip down the coast to the village of Zetoit where he lived. We were awakened by the roosters at 4:00 a.m. Aussibien appeared on the horizon at 6:30 and was at our dock at exactly 7:00. His boat had the look of a Chesapeake Bay skipjack, with a gaff-rigged sail and a small outboard motor bolted to the back.
We spent the day making “house calls” on remote islands—Cayémites, Au Basse, and Zetoit, where most people had never seen a doctor in their entire lives. Everywhere, families kept inviting us into their homes to see their loved ones—people with malaria, tuberculosis, and worms diagnosed without x-rays or laboratory tests. AIDS seemed invisible, very far away, something to worry about on a future trip. How providential it seemed that, for no logical reason, we appeared at that time to help so many people we met. But how diabolical that so much time had passed before we arrived and how much more time might pass before our return. And Haiti, although