Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Tragedy Close to Home

Seeing the remnants of the earthquake in Haiti is a tragic sight. Imagine having family there and not knowing if they are okay.
That is precisely the case for Vol State student Frantz Massena. Massena lived in Haiti until he was nine years old, and has lived here for eighteen years.

“There is no question whether it has affected my family. I have cousins in Haiti. My mom has been trying to call, but we haven’t gotten word. I go through phases when I worry about it, but worrying about it won’t help anyone. I am just praying,” said Massena.
“I was really glad that people were trying to get in touch with me. It shows that we care about other people. I got to the point where I thought people didn’t pay attention to that stuff since you see so many bad things,” Massena said when contacted for questioning regarding the earthquake.
Massena has tried to call the toll free number for finding loved ones in Haiti that is given on the American Red Cross website. “That number is primarily for citizens of America who have traveled abroad to Haiti. None of my friends have heard anything. My sister tried seven different phone numbers. The second day I looked at different sites on the computer for a couple of hours trying to find information. Since I wasn’t finding any information I thought the best thing to do was to pray about the situation,” Massena said.
Ironically, Massena was planning on visiting Haiti later on this year. “I have not been back to Haiti since I was nine. I had the date planned this June where I was going back. Now I may have to put that on hold depending on how things turn out,” he said.
Joseph Meeker has family in Haiti as well. “My cousin was missing for a day and a half and someone found him. They said he is in shock and can’t even speak. I don’t know where they found him. My mother is from Haiti. She has been in touch with family. Her phone has been ringing off the hook. I’m constantly keeping updates,” said Meeker.

Massena is pictured looking at the CNN website keeping up to date on the status of Haiti, and Meeker is shown calling his mother asking if she has heard anything new.

Phi Theta Kappa is taking donations for the American Red Cross.

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