Remembering Haiti

by Benny Law January. 11, 2020 285 views

Tomorrow marks the ten-year anniversary of the most devastating earthquake that has ever hit Haiti. The powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake destroyed the infrastructure in Port-au-Prince and countless buildings in the capital city, killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving more than one million homeless.

As part of a response team from an international humanitarian agency, I was deployed to Haiti for a couple of weeks five months later. It was an unforgettable experience to say the least. I am not going to talk about that trip in detail in this post, but I just wanted to draw your attention to the anniversary and share a few things from that trip that have been etched on my memory.

This obviously isn't the airport in Port-au-Prince which was damaged by the earthquake but the airport of departure. This was the plane that flew me there. It was a pretty much full flight.

This obviously isn't the airport in Port-au-Prince which was damaged by the earthquake but the airport of departure. This was the plane that flew me there. It was a pretty much full flight.

I remember seeing huge cracks in the terminal building when I looked out of the aircraft's window after landing in Port-au-Prince. That was the first evidence I saw of the earthquake and the damages it caused. Luckily, the runway was still in good condition for commercial jets to land and take off.

Sunset over Port-au-Prince after an evening storm has passed through on the day of my arrival.

Sunset over Port-au-Prince after an evening storm has passed through on the day of my arrival.

I remember it was pouring rain when I arrived at the team house where I was going to stay. As the storm clouds were moving out, I captured this image of the sun rays breaking through the clouds as the sun was getting ready to set. To me, it was a symbol of hope after weathering the darkest storm.

I slept in the bed with a mosquito net and used a cot to lay out my personal items. Despite having a clean sheet, the bed was home to some mysterious bugs that made a sumptuous buffet out of my feet.

I slept in the bed with a mosquito net and used a cot to lay out my personal items. Despite having a clean sheet, the bed was home to some mysterious bugs that made a sumptuous buffet out of my feet.

I remember being taken to my room and shown my bed. It had a clean bed sheet with a mosquito net hanging over it. On the other side of the room was another bed similar to mine which was occupied by my teammate from Africa. The house was mostly intact, but the plumbing was only partially working.

What else do I remember? Lots. I remember ...

  • The kids on the street who surrounded my ride begging for money.
  • Mountains of rubble with people crawling on them salvaging metal and other materials to sell.
  • A mother with a hopeless expression on her face cradling her motionless baby in her arms and sitting on the sidewalk.
  • A few young kids bathing in a black filthy puddle by the roadside.
  • The look of pain, loss, and trauma in the eyes of a local staff member who was taking care of the team house. (I never saw him smile.)

I could go on, but I'll stop here.

If you haven't, I invite you to view my post from last September titled Post-quake Haiti which was the first one I made after joining PhotoBlog. You will find more photos there which capture what I saw when I was in Port-au-Prince.

Lastly, may I also invite you to hold a moment of silence to remember all the victims who perished, received life-changing injuries, or suffered unimaginable losses on that fateful day ten years ago in Haiti.

God bless.

Join the conversation
21
There are 21 comments , add yours!
Marilyn Grimble 1 month, 1 week ago

Clicking like seems somewhat obscene. 😥
Mxx

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Marilyn Grimble 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks for reading my post and showing such sensitivity, Marilyn. I appreciate your support.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Bethany Plonski 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Such a moving post - thank you for sharing this. It's hard to fathom that kind of devastation.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It is indeed hard to fathom, even for me who have been there to see firsthand the aftermath five months later.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Buster Bruce 2 months, 2 weeks ago

They are remembered thank you Benny

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Buster Bruce 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you, Buster. 🙏

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 months, 3 weeks ago

God Bless Benny.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Antonio Gil 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Antonio.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Renee Wallace Wilson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I have been through a couple of big earthquakes, but I can't imagine what it was like in Haiti.  They were hit so badly. I felt sad for the people.   The earth has its own agenda and when it speaks, there's no place to go.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Renee Wallace Wilson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The people of Haiti have surely endured a lot of hardship. Earthquake, diseases, hurricanes, political unrest, etc. It's hard to imagine how tough life is in that country.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Renee Wallace Wilson Replied to Benny Law 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Eiram Marie 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you for reminding us, thank you for this post .

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Eiram Marie 2 months, 3 weeks ago

And thank you for visiting and leaving a comment to show your support.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Liz Happer 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh Benny your post was the first thing I read when I switched on my tablet this morning. It made me realise how lucky I am to live in a country (UK) free from such disasters. Thankyou for reminding us of such a tragedy. Its much more impressing when it's written from a first hand experience. My thoughts go out to people all over the world, particularly Australia at the moment, where disaster hits their lives. Thank you for sharing.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Liz Happer 2 months, 3 weeks ago

We are indeed more fortunate than many others, but we need to be reminded that we are all part of a global community. I am encouraged that there are people like you who are thinking about people in other parts of the world who are affected by natural or man-made disasters. Thank you for caring, Liz.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 months, 3 weeks ago

💔💔💔💔 The hearts are not for you Benny but for victims. Your post is exceptional and I am very appreciative of you sharing it. I went back and looked at your previous post only to refresh my memory. They are excellent captures, albeit very sad. Again thank you for sharing!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Camellia Staab 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much for your feedback, Camellia. Your comment brought tears to my eyes.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Benny Law 2 months, 3 weeks ago

🧡🧡💔💔 These hearts are for YOU smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Camellia Staab 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks again, Camellia! 🙏

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Sherry Hill 2 months, 3 weeks ago

[wow]

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Sherry Hill 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Sherry. Much appreciated.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Up
Copyright @Photoblog.com