NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College nursing students are making their second post-fall-finals trip to Haiti for a medical mission trip.
Six seniors, along with Geri Tyrell, assistant professor of nursing, will spend eight days in December, right after final exams, in and around Hinche, in Haiti’s Central Highlands.
The students are committed to paying their own way but, as they did last year, they are raising funds to buy infant formula for Hôpital Ste. Therese in Hinche.
This year, they are offering a full Haitian meal, Dec. 3 at The Leaf Tea Lounge, 605 North Main Street in Newton.
Suggested donation per person is $25, with a choice of two seatings, at 6 and 7 p.m. Reservations are required by contacting Geri Tyrell at 316-284-5340.
The reservation deadline is Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.
The menu consists of an appetizer of Soup Joumou (squash soup); main course of Chicken in Sauce, Corn Fritters, Boulette (Haitian meatballs) and Red Peas and Rice; and dessert of Haitian cake with sweet Haitian coffee.
Pandea Smith, owner of The Leaf Tea Lounge who also does catering, will be the chef, with Tyrell assisting. The students will be the servers.
The last day of final exams for nursing students is Dec. 12. The group will leave for Haiti Dec. 13 and return Dec. 20.
Bethel has a strong link to Hôpital Ste. Therese through Wildy Mulatre, a Bethel graduate and a health-care administrator who works there and at a number of rural clinics.
When Tyrell went to Haiti last year at fall break, she discovered that one pressing need at the hospital and clinics was infant formula and sterile bottles.
Nurses and nurse-midwives strongly support and encourage mothers to breastfeed, but sometimes they or the babies are too ill for that (particularly if infants are born prematurely).
The nurses’ service group took the money they had raised and bought the formula and bottles in Haiti, which they will also do this year.
The senior class has already been working to raise money. They held a contest at Bethel’s Fall Festival, with student-carved pumpkins on display and passersby invited to “vote” for their favorites by donating money. They also took orders for 75 dozen hand-made enchiladas, made by a church group in Wichita with which student Ashley Morris is connected.
In addition to Morris, the students going on the trip are Naura Harlow, Valley Center, Erin Hilger, Colwich, Scott Musgrave, McPherson, Alex Renteria, Wichita, and Lacy Smith, Wichita.