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    Big Country, One Doctor

    Short blog tonight, as I sit in Port au Prince with having a beer with novelist Geert van der Kolk. He raises his eyebrow to the answer to his question: how many doctors are in Gran Bois, and how many people live there?

    The answer: about 65,000 people. One doctor, and two residents.

    Now the Dutch novelist and Dave, the Republican electrician, are debating the merits of publicly subsidized health care. That’s a big issue. But here on the ground, there’s no difference of opinion. We’re all doing the best we can for the person in front of us. That doesn’t mean scattering our few (or relatively many) dollars among everyone we meet. It means thinking, hard, about the long-term consequences of whatever you do for anyone. Give a local boy a dollar, and have you helped his family – or made him a beggar? What about the blind man with his hand out? What about the deserving but poor student who asks for nothing?

    Lots of choices. Very few answers. I feel very, very humble.


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