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You might not wanna know what happened to me. You might only be interested to what happened to you aunt or your grandpa that are in haiti and that you can’t reach by phone. I can’t blame you for that, though you can’t blame me for wanting to write all this, since there’s no one else but my blog that can sit and listen to it. 

I was at school in PE class when all this happened going to get water with a friend. We felt the ground shaking, but we didn’t pay attention, because none of us had experienced that before, so we continued walking. but then it started shaking a lot more and we could hear the PE teacher screaming for us to lay on the ground. Then everyone got up and ran to go get their phones and try to call their parents… I tried to call my dad; the only thing i could hear was the « beep beep » it does when it’s busy. and disconnected.. i got extremely worried about him. worried. Then i heard someone scream that phones weren’t working… and a few seconds after that first shaking, i saw my school three stories building become a 2 meters high pile of debris. I was to chocked to start crying like the other girls in my class, i ran outside probably thinking my dad was already there… which was impossible because i live very far away from my school. i went back inside, and the only thing i could do was take pictures, still not able to believe what had just happened. It shook a second time, so i got scared and went to a friend’s house that lives next to my school. There, i started crying. I wanted to call my dad, but the beep beep wouldn’t stop… I could see the town from the top of the hill and lots of big houses were down… felt like a movie. a bad dream. People were running in the streets, praying, screaming to god that they knew he could destroy them, that he didn’t have to prove it… But the ground would continue shaking from time to time, and their prayers wouldn’t stop. 

The sky was getting darker. And that’s where my mom called; they were at the beach but they got up a hill because the sea was acting weird. My little brother told me « The sea disappeared…i saw fish, corals… then it came back. But disappeared again. But don’t worry… I took your camera and your computer. » … (i love you antoine.). They told me my dad was coming to get me that all i had to do was to wait and to stay away from walls. My dad got there about 10 minutes after and we went to see how downtown was. We saw a lady on a motorcycle that had a little girl leaning on her, with her face covered with a shred. The lady said the didnt know where to take the kid because the hospital was totally destroyed… 

When we got back to the beach, my neighbor’s hotel had huge crack all over it, the sea was still not at it’s place, my house didnt have much damage, there were broken bottles and glasses on the floor, but nothing very important…

Yesterday i received a tweet asking me details on what i saw…

I saw my school fall in front of me.

I saw people running covered in dust, hearing that their houses fell… sometimes with people in them.

I saw a refugee camp, as they are on tv… people praying, people alive but not really…

I saw a baby half dead, covered in bandaids…

I saw almost 150 people in three little tents… and thousands on the ground outside.

I saw a friend at the cemetery burying his little cousin.

I saw the oldest and prettiest houses of jacmel reduced to nothing.

I saw pickup truck filled with corpses…

I saw my teacher walking to the cemetery behind the car where his wife’s dead body was…

I saw kids from my school, people i KNOW, at the refugee camp…

And lots of stuff… i hear about dead people every second, tsunami alerts when i know i leave at the beach, stupid people trynna take profit, no gas, no water no food.

But what I didnt see though… Is the haitian police and the Mayor. shame.



  1. No words to describe the tears this has brought to my eyes. I felt every moment with my 56 years old eyes!

  2. A very sad but excellent report. May God be with you and all in Port au Prince.

  3. That entry was so moving. I don’t have many words that can comfort you, but please know that everyone in Haiti is in my prayers right now.

  4. You are a brave and lucky yound lady… Continue using your blog, write write write. At this point we are all brothers and sisters we are happy to know when someone is alive or rescued even when we don’t know know them…May God bless you and your family in these dark days….
    Blessings- One love

  5. Your blog was incredibly moving. I have family in Jacmel…many of them still unaccounted for. There’s no media on Jacmel right now…it’s so nice to read something about the city though it’s devastating to hear.

  6. oh Yael,
    it hurts me to the core to see so much suffering while I am seating so far away… helpless.

    Reading your account of the earthquake is like beeing there, one can feel the anxiety, the fear.

    I understand your disgust for our so called politicians who only know how to fill their pockets and be ‘chef’. Let’s hope this will be the end of them ( the ‘chefs’) and that something positive will come out of this ordeal, that the haitian people will finally live in peace (but what a very high price to pay)

    Love to you, your Mom and Dad and Antoine

    Margaret (Marge)

  7. You’re an amazing 16-year old. Wise beyond your years… The future of our country.
    God Bless you.

  8. speechless, and overwhelmed… thank you for sharing, and Yes we are interested in what you have to say,and YES WE CARE about each and avery one of you, because WE ARE HAITIANS AND WE ARE HUMANS. Hang in there, we’ll all get through this, and life does get better, HAVE FAITH!

  9. thanks yayou, for putting it in words for those who cannot… having a hard time, bisous happy to know you all are safe, my love to the family, bibi

  10. I’m soprry to read and imagine all that you saw at your age, as a matter any age…
    There are no words to express my feelings right now…
    I hope you and yours will be ok.

    I love you already eventhough I don’t know you.

    Take care,


  11. oh Yael,

    quelle horreur
    je suis soulagee de voir que vous allez bien
    ton temoignage est poignant

    on vous attend au Canada
    embrasse tout le monde pour moi

    Nana, Christian et Dalou

    ps: des nouvelles des Mercier?

  12. Wow…can not begin to tell you how sorry am that this happen to you….to Haiti….please stay the way you have been and know that even though we ( Haitians in the states ) maybe concerned with our family and friends but our heart bleed for all our people and we are try to help in every way we can….be safe and stay strong ma tite soeur

  13. Non so l’inglese…spero che riuscirai a farti tradurre decentemente questo messaggio (io lo faccio tradurre da google)……
    Sono dall’altra parte del mondo ma la mia anima è li con te, con la tua famiglia, con i tuoi concittadini……posso fare poco ma quel poco lo faccio tutto……
    Non vi lasciamo soli……siete tutti nostri fratelli, amici, cugini, nipoti, zii, genitori!!!
    Un grande abbraccio

    I do not know the English … I hope we can get you a decent translate this message (I do translate from google )……
    Are half a world away but my soul is there with you, with your family, your fellow citizens …… I can do little but what little I do it all ……
    Not leave you alone …… you are all our brothers, friends, cousins, nephews, uncles, parents!
    A big hug

  14. ed invece no siamo interessati è come…!
    qui( la pagina di uno dei tanto giornali italiani che parla di te, di Haiti , e di questi tristi giorni.
    all there ! good luck dear yael 😉

  15. Love you bella… be strong!

    I’ll see you soon… on the road to building a Stronger, Better Haiti!

    XXXX to you, Antoine, Mom & Dad.

    Bon Courage.


  16. It is a brilliant entrance.
    We can´t do much from so far (Writing from Spain) but I want you to know that many countries in the world and many organizations are sending help, not just food and water, but also people to try to rescue and help you. It´s a pity this help couldn´t arrive before.
    But we hope that they can rescue some people still under the walls and help the people who survived.
    My best wishes to all the people in Haiti.
    I hope you recover soon from this disaster.
    A big hug,

  17. Ciao, I’m Paola, from Italy…we are so far, but I remember the earthquake that my country had last year. I’m so lucky, ’cause I live far from Abruzzo. But I still remember pain, deads, injured people. We are so far my little girl, but let me hold you and all people in Haiti. Italian aids are arrived, I suppose.
    Ciao, from Italy.

  18. Provo una grande tristezza nel vedere le immaggini della Tua terra devastata, una terra che un tempo era bellisima, ti auguro di dimenticare al più presto la catastrofe e di iniziare una nuova vita.

  19. Sorry, dont speack english. God luke, from the deep my heart. stay strong!

  20. Very,bad situation. I’m sorry. Mario Italia.

  21. Reading your story on website of an italian newspaers reporting your story.

    May God be with you and friends from haiti.

  22. Yael,

    You probably don’t remember me, I was at your place a couple of years ago with Clod, Gilles, Tanya and my Dutch husband Jorg. I’m Regine’s big sister. YOu have an incredibly detailed and moving account of that day. it’s a precious document and you should go on writing. You’re good and it will take you places. I’m happy your family is safe and sound and that your lovely house has survived. Keep it up and I hope we can meet in better days in Jacmel.
    take care,

  23. Respect.
    Be’s all i can say.
    You are a simbol for all the people of Haiti.

  24. You have expressed it all so beautifully and poignantly. You are obviously wiser than your years, as I have read your previous posts, loved whorehouse, and pessimism, and the one about not looking Haitian. All Amazing… Continue to post for us, your voice needs to be heard.

  25. I am with you. It’s a tragedy and all the world cries for what’s happening. My heart is with your People and your Country.

  26. I found you via your Twitter. If you ask me for help in a year from now, I will do what I can from England. There will still be need for help in a year.

    Thank you for writing this.

  27. Dinoushka sent me the link to this. God bless you, we’re working hard here in Miami to send supplies to PauPrince and to Jacmel as well as the rest of Haiti. I’m so sorry you had to see all this and go through this.

  28. geetings from Italy .. we stand on your side … World is one!
    Baci Besos Kisses

  29. Yael, may all our love come to you and your family… and of course your people and your beautiful country.

    We’re with you dear friend

  30. Please keep writing. Write everything down you see. Write down EVERYTHING you remember. Just keep writing. It will become a treasure to you (and the world) later. My heart goes out to you and your country. Stay strong. By how you have written, I am sure you will. David

  31. Keep blogging – it will help to get what you see OUT of you.

    Help is on the way – it’s just tough to get it there; The airport is tiny and badly damaged. The infrastructure needed to deliver the aid was never in great shape and now it’s been destroyed – we’re trying. We’re coming. We WILL help. The US Navy is arriving with medical aid, transport, electricity, fresh water. They’re doing everything they can to get it out to everyone who needs it as fast as they can.

    We’re coming to help.

    (US Soldier)
    (PS: I read your other entries – keep blogging!)

  32. Hang in there.
    As hard as it is to believe right now, this will not last forever.

  33. May God bless you and protect you and your family. Stay strong, people around you are going to need you.

  34. Your words are important. You are a voice for many who cannot speak at present.
    The things you have seen and endured are more than most will ever have to know.
    Let it give you strength , let your strength give comfort and voice to your
    fellow citizens.
    Thank you for helping us to understand what has happened, as if it were our sister
    telling us about it.

  35. I can not express how sorry I am for the things you have had to witness. the horrible and terrible things you have been through. I only pray you and the rest who are merely trying to survive that you hold stead fast.

    I pray for your safety. I glad to hear your family is safe. I hope it begins to get better soon!

  36. now I have someone to think in Haiti

  37. You go on this way.
    You Speak. You Tell. You Make the History.
    You Reconstruct. You Keep on living.
    Ciao Yael

  38. Ma grande,
    on est avec toi.
    On peut faire si peu d’ici. Donner de l’argent, attendre. Espérer que les secours vous aident au mieux. Ici, des millions de gens pensent à vous. Je t’envoie beaucoup de force, beaucoup de courage.

  39. As usual, sympathy from Europe, means of survival from America.

  40. Hi, I’m Filippo
    I’m Italian and just one year younger than you are.
    Even if I’ve got a journalist dad, I’m good in maths and not in writing, so I don’t expect you to fully understand what I want to tell you, but I’ll try anyway.

    The other day my father came home and told me there had been a huge earthquake in Haiti.
    I thought « Oh, thats terrible! Imagine the deads, the wounded, the buried alive underneath the ruins… The ones who survived will have it hard, too… » but then I just forgot about it… I went over.
    Like we all do, don’t we, we nonsense stupid italians? You know how foreign people and media act like about this, don’t you? They just can’t help speaking about it until all of the people from their country who were there have come back, then the news just disappears, and with it all the interest and false sympathy of the people…
    But that’s not fair.

    Yesterday my father came home and told me I had to read something.
    He told me there was a 16y old girl from a town in Haiti who can write extremely well, and in her blog she had described what she had seen on that awful day. I started reading and I felt as ashamed as I had never felt before. I felt guilty and wrong and stupid. My mother was talking to me but I just couldn’t hear her voice.
    I went on reading that (this) blog and understood that there was a girl, of about my age, about 8000km from me, who had my same thoughts, my same doubts, my same enthusiasm, my same ideas, my same feelings… and was living this Nightmare.
    Later on I just couldn’t either do my homework nor sleep at night… I had never thought about it in this way… It had been like living the whole thing…

    I don’t think I can really understand how youre feeling in these moments, but I just wanted to tell you… You have something inside you that not all of the people have. I can believe you have something more than just strenght, will, or determination.
    I don’t know what it is, but I bet you got it… You are 16, I think you can feel what i wanna say.
    I know you can do it, you can go through all of this… I am sure you can’t surrender!

    A great hug to you, Antoine and your parents…
    Keep holding on!

    I will go on following you…

  41. Email me if you need any help/aid.

  42. Reading this from Ghana and praying that the much needed aid gets to the people who need it fast
    and also that Haiti will be able to rise up and become stronger and better.
    thank you for sharing this with the world
    keep writing !

  43. Yaël, ton témoignage m’a bouleversée. Je suis fière de toi, du courage que tu démontres, à vivre les yeux grands ouverts. Je te dirai aussi que je suis pleine d’admiration pour ton sens aigu de l’observation, et ton exceptionnelle maturité. Écris, écris encore. Tu as beaucoup à dire, tu le dis remarquablement bien, et nous t’écoutons (ou plutôt te lisons). Tu es un témoin important, tu donnes une voix à tous ceux qui ne peuvent pas parler maintenant, et tu créeras une chaîne de solidarité extraordinaire autour de Jacmel. Embrasse tes parents, et Antoine avec qui j’ai passé une belle journée cet été chez Élizabeth. Je te serre très fort sur mon coeur,

  44. Your words say it all so much more eloquently than all the journalists in all the world have tried for over a week to say it.

    Bless you and your family, Yael. My prayers are with you and with Haiti.

  45. Courage, courage!!

    Nothing else comes to mind.
    What more can I offer in such a situation?!
    Thank you for your story, for sharing this moment with us, those of us away from our country who felt unbelievably powerless, not able to reach our families, not able to help, not able to breathe when watching the images.
    Your texts are amazing and translate what a lot of people went through on the 12th -as per my family and friends-.
    Hope the situation is getting better for you and your family, for Jacmel, for Haiti.
    Hang in there

    One day, this will be a bad souvenir and you’ll have survived it all.

    Ke’m sere pou payi mwen

  46. We are all praying for you. Keep writing & we will spread your words and thoughts around the world!

  47. Hi,
    I was reading your story at Pambazuka news and it intrigued me to visit your site. Thankfully your family is ok while there has been much destruction due to earthquake in Haiti few weeks back on a Tuesday. You are so right in saying that all the pleasure of life are belittled and appear temporaray when such calamities hit humanity. My heart goes to the people of Haiti who have been suffering since the time Haiti was a french colony. I wish and pray that this time Haiti has hope not just through humaniarian aid but through a true global partnership which benefits, improves and modernizes an underdeveoped nation like Haiti.
    Barkha Dhar

  48. Hi,
    I was reading your story at Pambazuka news and it intrigued me to visit your site. Thankfully your family is ok while there has been much destruction due to earthquake in Haiti few weeks back on a Tuesday. You are so right in saying that all the pleasure of life are belittled and appear temporary when such calamities hit humanity. My heart goes to the people of Haiti who have been suffering since the time Haiti was a french colony. I wish and pray that this time Haiti has hope not just through humanitarian aid but through a true global partnership which benefits, improves and modernizes an underdeveloped nation like Haiti.
    Barkha Dhar

  49. Someone mentioned in the comments that your blog would be priceless to the world … it already is! I am a college instructor in the U.S. and we have been reading your blog and are learning from you. Thanks for sharing and please keep doing so!

  50. This is an uncredibale description of the earthquake from the perspective of a 16 year-old. Please, continue to write do not let anything stop you. You writing style is direct amd moving.

  51. Hello,
    I work for a publisher who would like to publish this blog. Please email me so we can discuss.

    Thank you,


11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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