For the past two days, dropped calls have been Eugenia Charles’s reality.
Since the massive earthquake struck her home nation of Haiti, Charles has been frantically trying to reach out to relatives and see if they’re still alive.
“I’m being strong but inside I’m certainly crumbling because, of course, first and foremost, is my family, where are they?” said Charles. “The longer we go by, the less of a chance I have of hearing.”
Charles said her father, brother sister, and many more relatives are still unaccounted for.
She’s holding out hope and believes they are still alive. But with each passing day and still no word, Charles is beginning to fear the worst.
“My biggest worry is that they may die from dehydration, too much dust,” said Charles. “Because if they are underneath the crashed buildings and they are not getting enough air."
At Howard University, Haitian students are going through a similar situation. Calls to home are being dropped and they can’t get in touch with relatives. Many students are turning to a very strong young woman.
Roberte Exantus is the president of the Haitian Student Association on campus. She’s been receiving e-mails and phone calls from other students asking for help or just a shoulder to lean on. Exantus can feel their pain because she too has many relatives in Haiti that are still missing.
“I’m really focused on trying to keep everybody that is here together,” said Exantus. “I haven’t slept in a long time.”
Last night she called an emergency meeting so the community could be together.
“We prayed, yeah, we prayed,” said Exantus. “And they left the meeting with more hope than when they came in.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross has a Web site to help link people with family. To register to locate loved ones, click here.
For complete coverage of the earthquake and aftermath, click here.