Roughly 9 months ago, Haiti was hit by an earthquake. A lot of money was raised and promises were made: “You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten.” said Obama, days after the natural disaster.
A journalist friend of mine, Jonathan Montpetit, was part of the passengers leaving on the first plane heading for Haiti to report on the unfolding events. When he returned to Montreal, he had a few stories to tell about the state of things – what he saw. He talked about things in precise and direct words, yet his stories remained somewhat distant and the details hard to imagine. He told of destruction, panic, tears of loss, bodies, and above all the smell of death. Listening to him, I did my best to understand, through my mind’s eye, what it was to live in that time and place as a Haitian or as a journalist witnessing the scene. Despite the blanket coverage Haiti received in the weeks after the quake, I have to admit it was difficult to put myself in his shoes.