Local Missionaries Come Home from Haiti
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Family and friends gathered at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport to welcome home loved ones from Haiti. One Genesee County missionary gave us her firsthand account of the devastation.
Sharon Wolff and a dozen others from a missionary group survived the earthquake in Haiti and are now home.
“I’m just glad to be home,” Wolff said.
Wolff was at an orphanage in Le Cayes, about 120 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. She described what it felt like during the earthquake, even though they had no idea what it was at the time.
“It was like being on a slow moving wave," Wolff said. "The building just moved sideways as I’m looking out at the soccer field I can tell that it was going back and forth."
The missionaries were due back Monday, but they decided to leave early.
“We didn’t want the food that would normally go to the children to go to us," Wolff said. "So we decided to leave early and before we did that we decided to pool all out money, because you can’t get money."
Wolff says she saw total devastation on her bus ride from Le Cayes to the Port-au-Prince airport.
“The closer we got to the Port-au-Prince, our driver said, ‘this is where you need to put your face masks on’ because the odor of decaying bodies that they can’t pick up and put anywhere this is where it’s the worst,” Wolff said.
Wolff said a U.S. Air Force cargo plane was there waiting for her and 199 other United States citizens to take them back to the U.S.
“They loaded us into the back that opens up where they load all their stuff and we sat on the floor of the cargo plane strapped with a strap over our laps," Wolff said. "199 of us, sitting in the bottom a cargo plane and we traveled an hour and twenty minutes to our Homestead Air Force Base."
Wolff said there was a mass exodus when the cargo plane landed on U.S. soil in Miami.
“It was just knowing that it was solid soil because in Port-au-Prince there was still tremors happening as we were waiting to load the plane,” Wolff said.
Wolff said she is proud of our country for stepping up the relief efforts, and she is most definitely proud to be an American.
“Seeing our United States troops in control of everything and bringing in all sorts of stuff to help this country and getting us out, as a priority, we can’t thank them enough,” Wolff said.