By Jen Herring
Only 45 minutes from Miami, part of the Island of Hispaniola, Haiti remains in dismay due to the recent earthquake.
The tragedy is felt not only in Haiti, but at Palm Beach Atlantic University as well.
Edwens Prophete, a student working towards his masters in business, considers himself lucky to have heard from some of his family only a few hours after the earthquake.
Prophete, born in New York as one of seven siblings, lived in Port-au-Prince for six years and still has a lot of extended family in Haiti.
“One of my brothers and I have a trucking company together over in Haiti and I didn’t hear from him for about two days,” Prophete said.
The phone calls, although bittersweet, came with much devastation as his family described the chaos and the smells inhabiting Haiti.
“People were trying to hop on any vehicle they could find,” Prophete said. “People were crying out to God and kids were terrified because of all the screams.”
The trucking company was destroyed, and his aunt’s rice distribution center, which was one of the major importers, was also affected.
“I was real down emotionally and went several nights without sleeping, but I look at this as a renewal,” Prophete said.
He said this experience has completely changed his outlook on life and said he takes it “more seriously.” He said the cause is so great and he’s happy to see the whole world making an effort.
“I would never have imagined Haiti would get a blessing like this,” Prophete said.
He helps his family run a missions program called the Haitian Christian Mission. They help raise money and translate the Bible.
He mentioned that even though Haiti is strong in its Christian faith, there are still many superstitious people.
“’Till this day, people are still confused,” Prophete said. “A lot of people think it’s a plague and there are more plagues to come.”
But superstitions can’t keep him away from his family and from helping the victims during this tragedy.
Prophete flew through Santo Domingo Friday, Jan. 29, along with 15 doctors and nurses to aid with relief efforts.
“The hearts of the Haitians are strong because this isn’t the first devastation that we’ve had,” Prophete said. “ If you visit Haiti, you will see a smile on their faces and you would never know something like this happened.”