Eastern Michigan University runner copes with Haiti earthquake aftermath

by Ward Mullens, Published February 22, 2010

YPSILANTI — Moise Frisch, 20, lived in a Haitian orphanage for most of his young life. He struggled to find food and lived from day to day. He never really thought things could get worse.

“I cannot fit this all into my head,” said Frisch, a freshman track/cross country runner at EMU. “I cannot believe this is happening.”

In January, an earthquake devastated the island nation, killing thousands and leaving more Haitian people with less than they had before.

 “I go to bed thinking about my people and that they don’t even have a bed,” said Frisch.

It took Frisch the better part of a week to make contact with his family in Haiti. Frisch’s mother, step dad, two brothers and five sisters still live in the city of Cayes, where Frisch was born. Cayes is south of the Haitian capital city of Port Au Prince.

“I was so glad to hear her voice,” said Frisch, who was estranged from his mother, but reestablished contact with her before the earthquake.  “I quickly asked about everyone. They are all fine.”

Frisch said his mother narrowly escaped a falling utility pole. There was also damage to the orphanage where Frisch lived, but it is intact.

The growing problem for Frisch’s family is the increasing number of people who are fleeing from more devastated areas to his area.

“The city is filling up and the competition for food has become greater,” said Frisch. “People are coming to the orphanage for food. My mom said that it was crazy there and that we should pray for them,” Frisch said.

Frisch said that he knows that he is blessed to be in the United States and that he is thankful for all of the support he has seen for his home country.

The Eastern Michigan University community has had several events to help with relief efforts.

While he cannot be there to help his family and his people, Frisch said he is connected to them.

“If I cry with them, I feel connected to them,” he said. “I just want them to know that I feel the pain. God has a way of working and he has a plan. We will move forward from this.”

Ward Mullens

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