WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

UVa. Student Remains Stranded in Haiti, Waits to Return

By: Bianca Spinosa Email
By: Bianca Spinosa Email

January 15, 2010

Claudelle Gehy is trapped in Haiti with very little food and water. Her family is forced to live on their front yard. But the worst part for Gehy is the loss she's grappling with.

She recently learned her best friend, Stephanie Jean-Charles, is among the earthquake victims.

Gehy and Jean-Charles did everything together. Both from Haiti, and both University of Virginia students, they were by each other's side when they walked the lawn.

"She was very involved with the black community at UVa and also with UVa itself," Gehy said. "She always remembered your name and face, always had a smile, always ready to say hi. Very smart -- she wanted to be a lawyer, you know."

The earthquake shattered those plans. Jean-Charles died in the earthquake that struck the island Tuesday.

"It's like you're alive but you don't even know if it's a good thing or bad thing," Gehy said. "I don't even have the words to describe it, honestly."

Gehy is a graduate student at the McIntire School of Commerce at UVa She was supposed to fly back to Charlottesville yesterday, but all flights have been canceled. Now, she doesn't know when she can get back to school.

Gehy said she was at home when the earthquake struck.

"I just went inside the house, and I felt the house trembling just a little bit at first because I thought it was just a truck going by the road," she said. "But then, it just got so hard, shaking. I was under the door and I honestly thought the house was going to fall on me because it was going back and forth, back and forth."

Everyone in Gehy's immediate family escaped the house, but she is still unsure about her relatives. Because of the aftershocks, the Gehys are afraid to go back inside. At night, they sleep in the car.

"I'm seeing the people. They're just hungry and thirsty and they have nothing," she said. "A few people came to my house and said, 'We lost everything, we're hungry.'"

Gehy said she has enough food, water and supplies to survive right now, but she doesn't know how long they will last.

Click on the photos tab above to see a slideshow of pictures Gehy has taken from outside her home in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She has internet connection, and was able to send the Newsplex photos of her harrowing experience.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 81777062