So it’s been 2 years since the earthquake.
Or so that’s what my calendar tells me.
It’s still so vivid in my mind…one would guess it was a few months prior.
I can still feel the same fear and emotion I felt that day if I let myself mentally go back.
I can still see the bodies lining the streets.
I can still smell that wretched aroma of death that permeated the city streets.
I can hear the woman screaming, chasing after the vehicle I was in- literally throwing her baby at me telling me to take her.
The chaos was so overwhelming.
I remember being told “you’re an American, you’ll find relief” and didn’t know to be relieved or disgusted by that statement.
I remember driving in a 16 passenger van, that was holding nearly 40 individuals- half medical students traveling into Portauprince to see if their loved ones were alive.
The young girl wallowing loudly as she received the news that the building her fiancé was in had collapsed on top of him.
I had my headphones on to try and block all this out.
They did nothing.
No words could console her.
I silently prayed for her and passed her the tissues in my backpack.
I remember everyone screaming as we passed over bridges, hoping and praying they wouldn’t collapse underneath us.
The sites of all the convenient stores and local marts completely ransacked.
The nursing school completely demolished with all its students still inside.
The UN telling me they could do nothing for me, and to find my own way.
And all the while- the worse of my fears had yet to be played out.
Was Gayepaye okay? Was he missing any limbs? Was he crushed? Is he crying? Is he scared? Where is he?
Driving into PAP the night of
January 12th, 2010 is an image my mind will never let go.
One man swinging the arms, and another man swinging the legs of individuals who had died during the quake- and throwing them into a dump truck- later, into a mass grave.
The only way to make it back to the orphanage was to run over these bodies, as if they were speed bumps.
We could only make it so far until we had to walk a ways.
I stepped on several people.
It was pitch dark.
I had no light.
I only knew what the outside gate of the orphanage looked like.
Once entering the gate, I panicked to find someone who knew where HE might be- anyone.
I was lead to a tent, and in it my little man was sleeping soundly, as if the earthquake was just another day in his life.
Children are so resilient.
And to this day, we’ve never brought the quake up.
It’s one of those topics that weighs so heavily on your mind and consumes so much emotion that it can’t just be “brought up.”
And so today, I am reminded of how truly blessed I am.
I am alive.
Gayepaye is alive.
I’m an RN working to make the lives of others better.
I have friends/family/ and an amazing boyfriend who love me.
I think of those college students out of Massachusettes who weren’t so lucky on that twelfth of January, 2010.
Whose families had to travel to
themselves to discover their own children’s body’s. Haiti
I remember my mother’s face when I arrived home after being evacuated on a military jet nearly a week after the earthquake happened.
I’d never seen her look so scared, so uneasy.
She was one of the few people I could actually break down and talk to about what took place.
She would stay up and watch the 24 hour CNN coverage with me and just let me cry.
Everyone told me to stop watching.
But she understood.
I needed to know what was going on.
And she held my hand as we watched coverage at all hours of the night.
I leave to go back to
on Saturday. Haiti
I’ll be working at an HIV/TB clinic in a tent in the parking lot of
: one of the few, if not the only hospital that serves the public sector in Portauprince General Hospital . Haiti
But wait, the entire staff is currently on strike.
is closed. Portauprince Hospital
That is why I’ll be working out of a tent in the parking lot, next to the morgue.
Pray for us.