Friday, January 22
In Haiti, the children go to school in the afternoon. So at 5:53 PM on January 12, at the time the earthquake struck, all the schools in Haiti were packed with children and teachers.
Amid streams of aid workers and troops, some Haitian civilians boarded charter flights out of the country. There is still no commercial air service.
Among those leaving was a group of Haitian employees of the Inter-American Development Bank, including a young woman who would give her only first name, Francoise. She was going to the Dominican Republic with her 15-month-old daughter.
Her house was damaged, but survived. But she was leaving, even though she and her husband have good jobs and own rental property. Each aftershock terrifies her, she said, and she worries about her daughter breathing the stench of decomposing bodies. On Thursday, someone tried to shoot her husband in a brazen mugging.
"I just can't take it anymore," Francoise said. Her husband is staying, she said, and she'll return someday. But she can't see much hope right now.
"What they need to do is really break everything and rebuild it, she said. "Evacuate the city, because it's beginning to stink." Then she carried her daughter to the makeshift passport-control desk and out onto the tarmac.