The public tunes into the news, goes online, or reads an article about the earthquake everyday. But how many actually think about who the victims are and what they mean to their families?
More than a month after the Haiti earthquake, Dave Pierre-Louis has yet to learn the fate of eight family members.
“From the last conversation I really did have with my mom she said that her sister, which is my aunt, her husband, about 4 or 5 cousins, about 7 to 8 people [total],” said Pierre-Louis, 27, a second-year graduate student at the School of Allied Health Sciences.
Both Pierre-Louis’s parents are from Haiti, he has many extended family members in the midst of the disaster.
“I guess to paint a picture, it was just a beautiful family with a crack down the middle,” said Pierre-Louis.
Several members of his family are having difficulty coping in the wake of the disaster.
“My mom is trying to hold strong, but you know it’s like, hearing her cry and hearing about things that are still going on also is more so hurtful and just scary.”
Pierre received a number of text messages and calls. Many of those phone calls were from his cousin, whose parent had just made a trip to Haiti as well.
When Pierre-Louis finally spoke with his cousin he said, “He actually told me to go to CNN.
From that point on I was scared. I’m pretty close to my father so I went to CNN.com and saw that an earthquake hit Haiti. From that point on it was just nothing but devastation.”
Post earthquake, Pierre-Louis is still faced with hard days. He said,
“I’ve missed class. Normally I go to class on time; I’m getting there late. I’m a bit sluggish now-a-days.”
“[With] trying to keep [my mother] in good health and trying to keep myself upright so she sees that I’m doing alright, it kind of wears down on me.”
“I’m still in the mindset of my father being safe or not. I wake up in the morning primarily with that
Currently, Pierre-Louis’s father is also in Haiti. He left to visit the country about a month before the earthquake, and has still not been able to get back to the United States. This leaves his mother alone. Pierre-Louis is still looking optimistically towards the future.