Here is my brother's story, its an interesting look at what was going on in one little part of P-A-P that is quite different from whats on the news..
David is now safe and back in New Orleans. I have some details of where he was and what he was doing from the time of the quake to the time he left Port-au-Prince on Sunday night. David was still kind of in shock when he told me all this, so there may be some small inconsistencies - he did lose track of time. But this is in general what happened.
David had just been to the school (New American School) that afternoon and was back at the Villa Manrese, where he was staying (see link) in the neighborhood of Haute-Turgeau, not far from Petion Ville.http://helpbringshopeforhaiti....aven-in-port-au.html
At the time of the quake, Dave had just finished tutoring a NAS high school student (18 y.o.) there for his college test. Dave, the student and his twin brother were sitting on a patio three stories up on top of Villa Manrese. Most of the building pancaked as they were running out, David fell and these twins carried him outside. He has some kind of wound or bruise on his chin.
The center part of this sturdy building survived as did most of the Haitian and French Canadian missionaries and humanitarian workers who were lodged there. The rest of the building was in ruins. The rubble blocked the road out front for some days.
The religious order that runs Villa Manrese had stored food there enough for 500 people. Everyone moved out to the gardens and tried to remain calm. They were joined by people from the surrounding village, some of whom brought bedding and blankets from their damaged homes.
The crowd grew to 800 or more. David was the only American there, but there were also some Canadiens. Most everyone else was Haitian.
They ate group meals and there was a medical area as well. David taught English to some children during the day to keep them busy - some had never seen a white person before and stared at him in wonder - pointing and saying "blanc" There were some people dead in the ruin of the building, including, I have heard, the receptionist and several guests.
The twin students were very helpful to Dave, even though they had just met him one day before the quake. I feel they were his personal angels. His medicine, passport and belongings were up in his room which was in the undamaged part of the Villa, but it was too dangerous to go in for it. (They continued to have aftershocks at least through Saturday afternoon). The twins found someone else who had the same blood pressure medicine as Dave and she gave him enough to keep him in good health. The twins finally got access to a working cell phone and got the call out to us on Friday night letting us know he was alive.
The head of security at the Villa, a man of some experience, advised David NOT to go to the embassy to try and arrange a flight without his passport, as he had heard they were shooting people trying to get in to the embassy without passports. This may or may not have been happening, but in that situation there was certainly no way of checking. (They were very cut off, they also believed for the first few days that the quake had also hit Cuba and Santo Domingo).
By Saturday, with aftershocks continuing, he began to despair of ever getting out. Without permission and at grave danger to himself, one of the twins crawled in to the rubble to retrieve Dave's passport and some of his belongings.
A Haitian-American priest affiliated with the Villa then made contact with the American Embassy and he somehow sent David and the twins there in an SUV to ensure their safety. It was then, on that drive, that they all saw the terrible apocalyptic things that we have all been watching on TV. The brothers, who had tried to stay upbeat till then, completely broke down.
On Sunday morning David and the twins made their way to the airport and checked in at 10 AM. (Twins are Haitian citizens with US residency but not US passports, I believe). The first line took four hours. One of the twins was accompanying a younger Haitian child with a US passport, so he was allowed on the plane with Dave. The other was not, and David was devastated to leave his guardian angel behind. He could only give him all of his remaining cash and hope for the best. My brother was still crying when he told that part today.
David flew out on a Vision Airlines (charter?) flight to Miami at 10:30 PM and arrived at Miami Int. at 1:30. He was met by some great volunteers who arranged a shower and a room and made arrangements for him to travel on this morning to New Orleans.
Finally, there were still 800 people camped outside the Villa Manrese when he left yesterday morning, they are surely out of food by now and urgently need water and supplies. David asked that we help get this information out.