On Tuesday, January 12th 2010, the architecture of Port-au-Prince crumbled to the ground, crushing many thousands under its weight. In New Orleans, buildings had stood defiantly even as people had been swept away. Here, there is an apocalyptic landscape. My heart sank when I saw the image of the Presidential Palace because it symbolized the complete and utter helplessness of a people. Architecture is no longer synonymous with shelter, security, order, beauty.
The caretaker of an orphanage explains in a CNN report why all the children are being kept outdoors permanently: "[The house is] buckling and we can hear it, it makes noises like it's falling, rocks just fall off of the side of it, kind of constantly, so we're certainly never gonna go back in it."
I can't even begin to describe how I feel about the whole situation. Sometimes I am numb with horror, even callous. But I had a nightmare in which I was carrying a small baby out of the wreckage. It was my little sister.
Photos from the United Nations Development Program,
used under the Creative Commons License.