Point of View: Visible relief

A Monitor photographer is in awe of the resiliency of the Haitian people.

  • Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor
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The numbers are staggering: an estimated 200,000 dead, 1 million orphaned, 1 million homeless. I had never seen anything like this, never had to document such suffering and destruction.

Photographing on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was a challenge. My eyes burned from the dust and pollution. The smell was dizzying. Some people turned away from the camera, while others pulled me aside to photograph injured family and friends. They wanted the world to know what had happened here.

After a week on the ground, I was in awe of the resiliency of the Haitian people.

Moments of joy were few, but on the day I arrived in the capital I saw the Côute family, living in a public park near the airport. As I lifted the camera to my eye, they let out giggles and a few smiles. And in that fleeting moment, their spirits lifted. They had what was most needed: each other.

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