rooms, the house had an indoor kitchen, complete with a range and refrigerator, essential for preserving vaccines and food.
When I arrived in Thomonde two months later, the concrete frame was already up. Delva was beaming with pride as we toured the grounds.
“Welcome to Kay Medishare, Dr. Fournier!” He had brought up “masters” for masonry, electricity, roofing, and plumbing from Port-au-Prince. The workers were all Thomondois. They cheered as Delva introduced me in Creole. Ever the politician, Delva made sure they knew that he and I made their jobs possible.
Delva didn’t quite make his self-imposed deadline of six months. The windows were not in, the walls needed to be painted, and the floor tiles needed to be set. Still, the showers and the bathrooms worked. The roof didn’t leak, and the foliage had grown enough to cool and shade the entire property. We used the tournelle for a health fair with patients lined up on benches, slipping behind sheets hung from ropes for privacy on the stage platform, and then passing by the windows on the front of the house to pick up their medicines. We had over 30 medical students on that trip, plus several Peace Corps volunteers who helped the students with translations, registrations, and organizing the crowds. The students slept in sleeping bags under the tournelle, while the faculty got the bedrooms. Michel, who accompanied me on that trip, shook his head in amazement.
“I’ve got to hand it to you, Art. I was quite skeptical, but you’ve really pulled it off!”
“Give Delva the credit, Michel. It was his idea. More importantly, he turned his dream into reality and I have a suspicion he’s not done yet. Any nostalgia for the latrine?”