Albany man fears for missing family in Haiti - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany man fears for missing family in Haiti

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By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Hundreds of thousands of Haitians live in this country.

With communication to their homeland so difficult right now, many of them have no idea whether their family members back home are okay.

That's the case for an Albany man still wondering about the fate of some his family in Haiti.

Pierre Baptiste is a taxi driver in Albany but almost his entire family still lives in Haiti. He's been trying for days to contact relatives but hasn't had any luck. Now he's beginning to fear the worst.

Baptiste hasn't eaten in days. Instead, he opts to watch the news around the clock, too afraid to peel his eyes from the screen. Because he has no way to contact family in Haiti, he's hoping to spot family members on TV just to know they're okay.

"I recognized one of my brothers last night," Baptiste said with excitement.

But the joy of knowing one of his brothers is safe is overshadowed by the fear and uncertainty for other family members' well-being.

"I sent money to Western Union on Monday. Since then I heard nothing. I called Western Union and the money is still there."

The money he sent was intended for his wife, Rachel Chales, who lives in Haiti.

"I don't know if she lived, I don't know. The only way I maybe know if she lived is when she goes to get the money."

Pierre hasn't visited his native country in nearly a year. He says he's stunned to see images of Haiti after the earthquake. "When it was a French colony, Haiti used to be a paradise."

He wants to go to Haiti to help, but the flights there are scarce and so is his money. So Baptiste must continue a grueling waiting game. "I hope she lived. In peace, I hope she lived."

And with that, he returns his attention to the television, hoping and praying to spot another family member.

Along with the brother he spotted on TV, Baptiste has gotten word that his 100 year old grandfather is safe. Fortunately, that grandfather lives about 20 miles from the capital. Baptiste says there wasn't much damage in that area.

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