Michiana Haitians await news from their homeland - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana Haitians await news from their homeland

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Posted by: Nadia Crow

Images from the Haitian earthquake are devastating, especially for those who call Haiti home. About 80 Haitian students at Andrews University in Berrien Springs are waiting anxiously to hear from their relatives.  Because of the widespread chaos, it may be days or weeks, before those students are able to make contact with anyone they know from Haiti.  And that lack of information has some thinking the worst.

 "Just imagine if all of them gone I will be alone on Earth as my family," said Haitian Student Montes Estinphil.

It's something Andrews University student Montes Estinphil doesn't want to think about.  His entire family lives in Haiti...some at the heart of the earthquake in Port-au Prince.

"I don't know if they are alive if they are dead except I have seen bodies maybe among those bodies my sisters my brothers are among those bodies," said Estinphil. 

Piles of bodies line the streets of Haiti's capital because there's nowhere else to put them.  Estinphil searches the crowds on TV looking for familiar faces... 

"Not only could I have been there, but my brothers are there," said Estinphil. 

...two brothers and five sisters. 

"So far nothing.  I have tried to get a hold of them and I haven't been able to talk to anyone," said Estinphil.

Estinphil joined other Haitian students to comfort one another during the crisis. 

"It's hard these students are like our family," said Andrews University Media Relations Specialist Keri Suarez. 

University Media Relations Specialist Keri Suarez says there are more than 80 Haitian students on campus hoping to hear news from back home. 

"To see in their eyes and to hear their stories about how they miss their home...it just makes it so much more real," said Suarez. 

It's a reality Estinphil shares with Haitians scattered across the globe.

"That comforts me to know that I am not alone," said Estinphil.

And that unity is what Estinphil says will help re-build his country.It's the message written on the Haitian flag.

"L'union fiat la force means... when we are in unison we are strong when we are together we are strong that's the idea," said Estinphil. 

Estinphil and other Haitian students say they'd like to go home and help their fellow country men as soon as possible.  You may be wondering why so many international students attend Andrews University. It's because the school is under the Seventh Day Adventist Church and their missionary work across the globe and principles attract those international students to study at Andrews.

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