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This Miami Life

Calling Home To Haiti

Ruth Morris

Gracia Desille is 57, a grandmother and a dry cleaner.  After Haiti’s earthquake,  she became one of thousands of Haitian-Americans in South Florida desperately searching for news about their families back home.

“I try try… call. I buy (phone) cards. I buy cards. So many cards…” she told me. “Nobody answers.”

After a week of no news, Desille heard about the Haitian Relief Information Center.  Comcast had set up a phone bank and was offering free calls to Haiti.  She arrived with three numbers scrawled on the back of an envelope, and took her place on a plastic chair with others who clutched small address books with dog-eared pages.

We follow Desille’s story until she finally learns the fate of her family, and we visit an unsung hero: a Creole-language DJ who opened his radio booth to anyone with a scrap of news to share.