Allonce, who attends Liberty High
School in Bethlehem, Penn., said she was home on January 12 “trying to come up
with an idea as to what I should paint for an English project” when her mother
"Turn on the
TV. Now!" her mother said.
turned to CNN, she learned the devastation her country suffered. Most of her
family members live in Port-au-Prince, the capital.
was a few hours after the earthquake and there weren't really any pictures and
such yet, but they talked of the probable devastation and all I could think
about was how I had a lot of family members living in Port-au-Prince,” Allonce
“One of my aunts has two
small children of two and four and lives in a two-story house made of stone,”
she said. “At the time that the earthquake had occurred, she wouldn't have even
been home yet. The children would have been with a servant, whose first
instincts would have been to save herself, not the kids.”
She said she had a great
aunt who “lives in a three-story house built into the mountain side.”
“I was filled with
disbelief that something like this could happen to my country, my family. I just
couldn't believe it. The fear and other various emotions set in after it sunk in
that this really was happening,” Allonce said.
spent the next two days trying to reach their relatives.
"Right now we
have confirmation that two of my aunts are ok. My aunt's children are okay,"
“My great-aunt's house had
completely collapsed with her and her son inside but they managed to get out
through a window on the third floor, although she is heavily wounded,” Allonce
members are unaccounted for.
"The rest we
haven't heard from,” Allonce said. “It took days to get just the information we
have right now."
her family is grateful that so many relatives survived when "there was little
She said he is worried about those who
haven’t yet been heard from and concerned about “the thousands who are hurt and
need help won't be able to get help until it's too late.”
“In general, I'm worried about how
Haiti will get past this great catastrophe,” Allonce said.
she is grateful for the international response to the catastrophe and how
quickly the other foreign nations have united to provide assistance to Haiti in
its time of need.
“Without that crucial help the
situation of the people of Port-au-Prince would have been a lot worse,” she
“Haiti just doesn't have the
materials, I feel, to have been able to deal with this adequately on their own.
But in unity there is strength,” Allonce said.