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February 10, 2010
Posted: 1521 GMT

It was snowing very hard in Paris this morning. At least by Paris standards. The big, fat flakes came down in sheets and, in some places, stuck to the ground.

It didn't last long, and the snow quickly turned to slush. Compact, grey clouds hung over the city as I jumped from one cab to another on my way to radio and TV interviews with French journalists. I was invited to talk about CNN's iList coverage this week.

We chatted about France's image abroad and the stories we'd prepared for our special series. I was also asked about the time I recently spent in Haiti's earthquake zone. Every time I talked about Haiti, and despite the fact that I was in my favorite city anchoring a fascinating series of shows, a part of me wished I was back there.

There is something very odd – almost discombobulated – about being surrounded by standing homes, plentiful food and all around privileged people when the memory of the devastation in Port-au-Prince is still so fresh in my mind.

I left Haiti with a heavy heart, still filled with the desire to tell the story of what happened there. There is almost a measure of guilt associated with leaving – of being able to leave – when so many there are faced with unquantifiable pain. I now know I want to go back as soon as I'm able, to continue to report on the aftermath of the disaster.

This story will continue to unfold for months and years to come.

Before I left the hotel CNN used as a base of operations in Port-au-Prince, I said goodbye to all the employees on my way out, many of whom had lost homes and family members in the earthquake. Outside, I knew that on the way to the airport there would be mountains of rubble and debris and the souls of tens of thousands of missing victims sill buried under the ruins of the city.

A hotel employee at the door got up and shook my hand: "Thanks for coming," he said.

It was the least I could do. And it wasn't enough.

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Filed under: France •Haiti •Today At The I-Desk


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Cara   February 10th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

Your coverage from Haiti was really good. One could tell you really felt a connection with the people there.
Life can be crazy, and sometimes it´s hard to imagine all these places are actually in the same world, but that´s what we have people like you for. To remind us who don´t live in a place like Port-au-Prince how lucky we are and how we shouldn´t forget about these people and their stories and try to help them. But it never is and never will be enough. I really hope you will return to Haiti. Please make sure we don´t forget about the people of Haiti, not only now when it´s still very recent, but also in the months and years to come when people might even get tired of hearing it.

Jerry   February 10th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

very sad ;(

Keira   February 10th, 2010 5:38 pm ET

I think we're all still in Haiti - in a way! We continue to see the reports and the fact that things are getting worse in some areas before they get better. We've never seen (at least not my in lifetime) something so destructive in which a major city has to be fully rebuilt. We do what we can with what we have. If there's one thing we were taught is that life is short and unpredictable. We have to move forward, not forgetting, but doing what we can & living our lives to the fullest. "Forget regret or life is yours to miss."

On a happier note - I loved that you used the word 'discombobulated'! LOL!! It made me giggle!🙂

Marc Bruggen   February 10th, 2010 5:46 pm ET

Hala you think you have not done enough, but you have brought the story of the people of Haiti, how they try to survive in this difficult time.
It is not for you Hala to continue to help the people, but for the UN and the Western community.

You Hala can bring, in the future ,the story of the reconstruction of Haiti .
Hopefully, the distribution of funds happens more rapidly than in the past, so that the money not belongs to some individual leaders, such as so often in the past, but also to the people of Haiti.

CNN brought live broadcasts from Haiti, but the UN could not properly distribute the food among the people.
For me only one conclusion, CNN is better organized than the UN.
But the UN has previously failed in several places, Rwanda, Yugoslavia etc.

Bye bye from Belgium.

Katherine   February 10th, 2010 8:23 pm ET

This posting is proof as to why you are a beloved reporter. Thanks for your transparency in how Haiti affected you. May we all remember those in need in Haiti, and around the globe, in the months and years to come. Peace to you Hala in your efforts to do what you can to help.

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