Marco and I got off the plane on the morning of April 22, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts – tired after a long flight from Santiago through Miami but excited about what lay ahead of us in the great home city of the Red Sox (great because of Boston’s significant contribution to US history, etc. – not because of its baseball team: I confess to being a Yankee fan as I grew up in New York!).
Marco and I had just been in Chile spending time with our confreres there and moving forward with the disaster response in the wake of the earthquake of February 27, 2010. We were in Boston to meet two Italian physicians who had arrived from Rome, Drs. Raffaele Arigliani and Stefano Vicar – our two primary collaborators in Studio Rainbow.
With them we would be meeting 2 medical colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital – Dr. William Barbaresi, MD [a specialist in pediatric developmental medicine] and Elaine, a clinical psychologist. Our plan was to look together at the progress of Studio Rainbow and to look for ways to collaborate in Italy and elsewhere, e.g. Chile and Haiti.
Marco and I stayed at Our Lady of Victories Parish. We were there at the invitation of Fr. Gerard Demers, a Marist and the superior of the community. We found OLV Parish with the help of Maureen Heil of the Propagation of the Faith in the Archdiocese of Boston. She has been a strong supporter of our disaster relief mission for some time, for which I am grateful.
The first day and then night was an opportunity to rest, pray and then spend time with friends over dinner. We were 7 in all that evening: Drs. Vicari and Arigliani, Marco, Dominic Surrrao – the webmaster of CTF-SOS DRS who lives in Boston, Maureen and Sr. Lisa – a missionary from the US who I have known for some time that works in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In fact, Sr. Lisa and I had just seen each other in Port au Prince at the Chrism mass in front of the destroyed cathedral on Holy Thursday. Now Providence was bringing us together again.
The following day we had our meeting at Boston Children’s Hospital. The fraternal meeting was marked by an exchange of personal and professional information and then a serious examination of the details of the Rainbow Study – our challenges and our successes. We looked at possible areas of collaboration including: conducting an exhaustive review of the literature; an exchange of research personnel; common participation at international congress on PTSD, children and disasters that CTF-SOS DRS is planning for April 2011 in Italy; Dr. Barbaresi’s participation on the Board of the Study.
The meeting was a good opportunity to also discuss the situation of doing an “Abruzzo-like” study and intervention in Haiti and Chile. Doing them in the latter seems quite possible. As to such an undertaking in the former – the devastated country of Haiti – that possibility is yet to be determined. Dr. Raffaele and I will be going to Port au Prince on the 24th to determine just that.
The visit to Boston ended with a nice walk through Boston Common and a meal on the evening of the 23rd – an opportunity to both appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and to thank Him for the progress we are making in implementing Studio Rainbow.