Rose Marthe Odélus


My name is Rose Marthe. I live with my husband, our five children, and my younger sister in Wòch Djèp, a neighborhood on a mountain ridge north of Boukankare. I’ve been a member of CLM since last December, and my family has been making progress. We have five goats and a pig, and a house with a tin roof. We don’t worry about rain any more. We even have a latrine. I’ve been buying turkeys and chicken with all the money I can save, too.

Things were going really well until I came down with cholera. I never thought it would happen to me. My case manager, Martinière, taught me and my family how to protect ourselves. We talked about cholera every Wednesday, when he visited us. We treat all our water, and we always wash our hands. But I guess I was careless about drinking water at others’ homes.

I started to feel sick, and started vomiting early in the day. I had diarrhea, too. Our neighbor, Edres, is a Partners in Health extension agent, so he had some medication on hand. I drank what I could, but things got worse and worse. By the time my husband knew I was sick, I was too far gone to make any decisions. Partners in Health has a free cholera center in Boukankare, a two-three hour walk from our home, but my husband and our neighbors carried me to a private center in Zaboka, instead. It’s no closer, and it’s expensive, but my husband is from Zaboka, and he wanted me to be near family. He would need to stay with our kids, but didn’t want me to be at the clinic by myself.

I’m fine now. It cost us about 1250 gourds, and that’s a lot of money for us. Martinière helped us with a little money, and I had some money, too, because I kept setting a little bit aside from my CLM allowance without telling Martinière about it. Between that and the sale of our latest crop of beans, we’ll be all right. We’re still managing to send our kids to school this year. None have ever gone before.

I’ll be more careful now. I was lucky.