Journalist's personal diary from quake scene

Journalist's personal diary from quake scene

January 21st, 2010 by Allison Kwesell in Blogsfirstperson

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell/Chattanooga Times Free Press A child sleeps at the Loyal Oaks Community Chapel Mission Orphanage in Despinos, Haiti. The orphanage had a lot of damage, and children and staff members have been carrying their mattresses outside to sleep at night.

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell/Chattanooga Times Free Press A...

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 -- My knees are shaky and the ground feels like water.

About 6:15 a.m., I am bent over, digging through my bag in the dark, looking for food to take with me on the day's excursion when the ground starts moving.

I think I'm dizzy, hallucinating. I think it's me, not the earth under my feet.

I look down at my toes, just laced up in boots. I look to my right where a fan sits, staring for seconds -- what feels like minutes -- at the blades of the fan, then my toes, moving fluidly but not in sync with the walls.

Is it my stomach? Sleep deprivation? Typhoid?

Then it dawns on me -- earthquake?

I run out of the house where I'm staying and see Joel Hess, a local missionary. He's clutching his 1-year-old son, Michael, at the bottom of his stairs and yelling: "Out! Out!"

Suddenly I understand the unsteadiness a little bit more, but not like Haitians do by any means. I don't understand the loss, or the pain of deep, infected wounds, but I understand the uneasy stomachache of not knowing what's under my own feet.


Loading...