I was home alone that night, and stayed up 'til morning praying, watching CNN, and texting Jamalyn's mom as we tried to piece together what had happened in Haiti. I sent some texts to Jamalyn, too, hoping that she would somehow text me back. The images on the news reported the devastation in Port au Prince, but we learned that the epicenter was actually located to the west, near Fondwa.
It would be several long days before we heard from our team in Haiti. The group was safe, but 'our' little community had been rocked. Literally. The school and the guest house were destroyed. The orphanage was damaged beyond repair. Many homes were reduced to piles of rubble in a matter of seconds. There were lives lost.
Today, five years later, I'm remembering the day by sharing some photos of the recovery that has occurred since the earth shook on that January day. I returned to Haiti in the fall of 2012, and again this past November. It has taken five long years, and progress has been made.
We stayed in a new guesthouse, pictured below. This building stood next to the old guest house on my first trip, in 2007, but wasn't finished or used. The children liked to play soccer on the roof at that time. Now, the building has been renovated, with glass and screens in the windows, a nice entry porch, 2 inside bathrooms with (cold) showers and flush toilets, 5 sleeping rooms, and a kitchen space.
Last November, on our trip to the beach with the kids from the orphanage, Cine got up on his prosthetic leg and danced. He was joined by Jamalyn, and we were all tapping our feet to the music of the band, the joy of dancing, and our hope for Haiti. Bondye beni ou. Amen.