During the earthquake I was downtown on Rue Macajou [a central marketplace there are a lot of street vendors] where I had gone to buy something, when I heard a loud noise that came from underground. The ground began to shake very strongly and everyone cried “Jesus, Jesus, save me!” In spite of this, I managed to keep my cool, I controlled myself because buildings and electrical poles were falling on people, cars, and vendors’ stands. Cars were crashing into each other and hitting people who were running for their lives. People couldn’t help each other during the event because it was so overwhelming, you could only try to save yourself (literally, “each firefly only had enough light for its own eyes”).
After the event was over, we couldn’t make contact with each other; all the phone lines were down (literally: mute). People were trying to make contact with their families and friends, but they couldn’t. Everyone took to the streets on foot to see their family and friends. But this wasn’t easy at all because of the conditions and the distance. Myself, I left Rue Macajou on foot and went running breathlessly to Shada (approx. 5 kilometres) because I had to see my family [wife and four children]. The next morning, I took to the streets on foot again to see the rest of my family and friends, I borrowed a camera so that I could take some photos, and I helped people who were still trapped under the rubble. I went to Cité Soleil and I saw Béatrice [my sister], Charles, Manoushka and everyone else. I decided to take photos to make a record of this event, for my children and my friends in Haiti and outside Haiti who did not have a chance to go to the streets and see it themselves. My witnessing is important because I am one of the people who lived through the event and experienced how it was in one of the worst-hit areas of the city. It was the [Haitian] people themselves who began to take people out from under the rubble, take the injured to the hospital, and take the dead to the morgue, piling them on top of each other in a truck. And a Chinese blue helmet (UN peacekeeper) told us the morgue couldn’t take the dead because there was no electricity and it was already full of dead bodies. There was no hospital; people were suffering, parents were crying, and people were without care for the worst first two days. So people got the infections that caused so many legs and arms to be amputated in this country.
Pandan tranbleman tè a mwen te lavil nan Ri Macajou m ta achte yon bagay, lè sa mwen tande yon gwo bri kat fè anba tè a, e tè a komanse souke tre fò tout moun ap rele Jezi, Jezi sove m. E mwen malgre sa te avèk tout san fwa m, mwen tap kontrole anlè paske kay ak poto limyè tap tonbe sou moun, sou machin e sou machandiz moun yo. Machin tap fwape ak lòt e fwape moun ki tap chache sove vi yo. Moun pat ka ede moun pandan evenman paske se te yon kesyon de chak koukouj klere pou je pa l.
Aprè evenman fin pase pat gen kontak tout telefòn te bèbè, lè sa tout moun ap bat oubyen eseye fe kontak ak fanmi oubyen zanmi yo, yo pat kapab. Yo tout te oblige pran wout a pye pou yo te ka wè fanmi ak zanmi yo. Men ki pat fasil ditou pa rap ò ak distans yo. Mwen menm m sòti Ri Macajou a pye pou m al Shada ap kouri san souf paske’m te vle we fanmi mwen (madanm ak kat pitit). Demen maten yon jou aprè mwen te kontinye pran lari a pye toujou pou te we res fanmi ak zanmi m se lè sa mwen tou prete kamera pou m te ka kèk foto e mwen te ede moun ki te anba dekonb. Mwen tal nan Site a poum te wè Esther, Herold Manoushka e latriye. Mwen te deside pran foto jis pou achiv, pou timoun mwen yo ak zanmi mwen an Ayiti ou a letranje ki pat gen chans pran lari. Temwanyaj mwen enpòtan paske m se youn nan moun ki tap viv, asiste evenman jan l te ye a eki te nan you zon ki te pi touche. Se pèp la ki te komanse retire moun anba dekonb pran moun mennen lopital moun ki moun ki mouri mennen nan mòg, anpile yo youn sou lot mete yo nan machin. E mòg pat ka resevwa yo paske pat gen elektrisite e yo te ranpli deja ak moun mouri. Se te yon kaskèt chinwa. Pat gen lopital moun yo ap soufri paran yo ap kriye moun yo te san sekou pandan 2 premye jou yo se pi fò moun fe enfeksyon ki koz tout pye ak ponyèt kase sa yo nan peyi a.