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Volunteers at Haitian Orphanage Say Leaving was Difficult

by Diana Zoga

KMOV.com

Posted on January 18, 2010 at 10:21 PM

 

Five volunteers from the St. Louis area are back home after surviving the earthquake in Haiti. Last week, we reported that the volunteers were safe after they were able to log onto Facebook and inform family and friends.

Late last night, the group was able to board a private plane in Haiti and return to St. Louis.

The volunteers say that decision was a tough one.

Matt Davids has lived in Haiti since May as intern with a St. Ann based charity.

Matt blogs about his experience here:  2yearsinhaiti.blogspot.com/

Four others, including Bethany Austin, flew to Haiti just before the earthquake hit - intending to spend a week volunteering to clear land for the House of Hope Orphanage playground.

When the earthquake hit, three orphans suffered scrapes and cuts. All 25 young girls set up camp, under a tarp, in a nearby field. The volunteers worked with Haitian staff to care for the children and coordinate relief.

Sunday, the group of Americans went to the airport in Port au Prince to look for information on out-bound flights. They didn't expect an offer to board a private plane immediately, but they decided to take it.

 

Bethany Austin said, "When we left, we just kinda had to leave and we didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye. I think part of it was hoping that they understand that we didn't abandon them and that we want to be there, but for their benefit we had to go."

The group feared that an American presence at the orphanage would make the children a target of people desperate for food and supplies.

 

 

Now, the group is looking for information on how to evacuate the orphans from Haiti.

For information about the orphanage, click here: www.ahbz.org/

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