It was 4pm on a Tuesday when Haiti experienced a magnitude 7 earthquake. Dany Laferriere happened to be sitting at a hotel restaurant with a friend when everything started shaking. He describes a lot of the aftermath–staying and sleeping outside because a building could fall any minute, a kid wondering if there would be school tomorrow, a woman back to selling mangos on the street the next day, people just sitting around because they had nowhere to go, others completely orphaned after losing their entire family all because they happened to step outside for a second. Laferriere is interested in timing for that reason–no one knew that they were living in the last minute before the event, and the earthquake didn’t even last a minute. And yet, it changed everything.
Best line: “The radio announced that the Presidential Palace has been destroyed. The taxation and pension office, destroyed. The courthouse, destroyed. Stores, crumbled. The communication network, destroyed. Prisoners on the streets. For one night, the revolution had come.”
-Rachel Wagner 2021