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I listened to her wailing. It wasn’t a quiet sob or even a loud scream, but it was an urgent, pleading, desperate cry for the little boy that would never return.
Just after we returned to our hotel in Port-au-Prince last night, the crying began. At first, our team thought someone was in trouble, but as the loud agony persisted, we realized it was something much more troubling than that. We could hear wailing and clapping, talking and praying, moans of deep sorrow over the senseless loss of a little child.
One of our teammates asked a hotel employee what was happening. She found out that they were remembering a little boy who’s body had been recovered from the rubble of the devastating earthquake last week in Haiti, one of the country’s worst natural disasters. Recent estimates now put the death toll at more than 200,000, an almost unimaginable statistic. Imagine the entire town of Arlington, Virginia, completely wiped out in 45 seconds?
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We couldn’t see the group of mourners; they were hidden behind the concrete block wall that so typically surrounds buildings like our hotel in Haiti. But we could hear them.
As we went to bed, the tears continued. Early the next morning, our team sat outside the hotel again, working and talking, as we got ready for another day of relief work throughout the city. As I sat down, I hear her haunting cries again. I think they had continued their memorial all through the late hours of the night and into the early hours of this morning. What kind of grief must she be experiencing to cry so hard and so long?
Editor's Note: Laura Blank is media relations manager at World Vision, a Christian humanitarian charity organization. World Vision works with children, families, and their communities worldwide to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.
Filed under: Haiti Earthquake
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