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Unbreakable Bond

I remember the day I almost lost my ten year old little sister Shakira. The day I risked my life and walked among the dead to save the family’s little princess. I come from a family of seven. I have two brothers and two little sisters. Throughout of the whole family, Shakira and I have shared the strongest bonds. Ever since her birth I have always had a paternal affection for her. I love her as if she was my daughter and I would do anything to keep her safe and out of danger.

It took me a long time to realize that I am a very altruistic person; I always step up to help others. It was only after a terrible event that I noticed this character trait. On January 12 2010, after the terrible earthquake that devastated Haiti, I exhibited a lot of selflessness. It was 5:16 in the afternoon, exactly thirty minutes after the underground eruption and my parents, brothers and I, were stuck in traffic unaware of the status of the last member of our family, the key member, our little duchess Shakira. We were anxious, extremely stressed since we didn’t know if she was all right or if she was alive and the last updates provided to us had been horrible. The reports had confirmed the unfortunate collapse of the house where my little sister received tutoring lessons and on the brink of her last breath. She might have already been dead or crushed for all we knew yet here we were, stuck in traffic. During the endless wait in circulation, I was the most optimistic in the car even though inside I was terrified, scared, and worried. My mom was in tears, my other two brothers speechless and traffic didn’t seem like it would budge. I kept trying to comfort my mother, to get my brother talking and to think about something less stressful but every time I succeeded, they would receive a call and would learn that someone they knew had passed away and this would further their depression. It took me all the courage I had inside to get down from the car, stare at my mom, and say, ”Mom, I’m going after Shakira”. I didn’t know what I was going to face out there, but the only thought that roamed my head was my sister’s protection and well-being. I left my mom and started to walk the road on foot and trust me it wasn’t an experience I would like doing twice; the streets were full of blood, almost everything around me was in rubbles, dead bodies were everywhere, and all I could hear multiple please of “Anmwey” or “Manman Oh, Jezi ede nou” where the screams of people in need of help. It seemed to me that as I walked further and further, things worsened to a point that I wanted to hurl. I saw people walk around with missing limbs and bloodied faces but that was nothing compared to the pyramid formed by a pile of dead bodies. My only push and purpose was to find my sister and if it hadn’t been for this motivation I would have probably broken down early on. It was already too much for me, a 15 year old, to witness all this horror.

One hour and a half had passed when I reached the house my sister was in. I was happy, delighted to finally get there. However, as I pulled open the gate, my heart sunk. The only thing left of the house was rubble, it had completely crashed to the floor. It then occurred to me that my sister was nowhere in sight and as I looked around tears welled up in my eyes as the worst possible thought flashed through my mind. What if my sister… I quickly chased away the thought and started shouting her name and looking for her. Ten minutes passed when at last I saw a little girl in the corner crying; it was her, she was alive. I ran towards her, picked her up and hugged her. I was overwhelmed to see her safe even though she was crying. Feeling the warmth of her body on mine made me smile. I was caught in the moment until; I felt the earth shake again. After the aftershock I lifted my sister on my back and started running back towards my mom’s car. As I ran I tried to keep my sister from hearing and seeing the gore that surrounds us so I convinced her to keep her eyes short and if she opened them monsters would attack. However at first Shakira did not believe me and still tried to open them but as she heard the screaming and desperate cries for help, she held me tight and kept her eyes shut. Finally, I saw my mom’s car and walked towards it. I was hugged and thanked. My mom was so happy to see us both back and safe. We then took the car and headed back home. Traffic was still a drag but it didn’t matter because we were all together. And thus ended the day I risked my life and walked a bloody desperate mile, from Delmas 22 to Peggy-ville; all for my little sister.

In movies you always see people saving others, risking their lives to save others and they make it seem so easy. It’s not as simple as it seems, in fact it was the most difficult thing I ever did. This event had a major impact on me. I was shocked to see that I even had the courage to take that big of a risk. However I realized that saving a life; risking yours for another, can be one of the most terrifying, yet rewarding experiences. Seeing my mom’s blazing smile when I came back changed my perspective on the event. Of course I had an awful experience, but it doesn’t matter because this experience taught me how to be confident; it inspired me to keep an eye out for others. Since then, I’ve always put myself out for people. What can I say? Surprisingly January 12, 2010 made me become a better man.

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