POSTED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 11:45am
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 12:03pm
SHREVEPORT, LA (KTAL) — Just more than two years since the Haiti earthquake, two Shreveport brothers are recently back from their trip to do as much as they can for as many as they can.
An estimated 316,000 people died in the Haiti earthquake. Another 300,000 were hurt.
Two years later and a developed world away, two Shreveport brothers are recently back from Port Au Prince.
"We saw so many torn down buildings with rubble. People walking around with babies, begging for food, for money."
"Buildings were still collapsed, rubble everywhere. People were fighting for food."
Sean and Neil Nathan were brought to Haiti by their parents. Their parents - both doctors at LSUS Health Science Center - diagnosed and treated illnesses from acid reflux to vaginal infections.
"They also taught us what vitamins to give these kids and what medicines to give them for what different diseases. So, we were actually doing a lot of medical work."
Amid the devastation, they also encountered hope in the form of a group of 19 and 18 year old college kids.
"They're called Global DIRT."
Disaster Immediate Response Team. Originally there for a brief bit of relief work, they now have their own ambulance and supplies... and never came back to the state.
"They just stayed in Haiti, abandoned all life in America just to help these kids."
The Nathan Family eventually moved on to repairing orphanages... buildings which barely fit the definition.
"I at least thought they would have roofs over their heads. But, they just had brick huts without roofs... wooden with tarps."
But again... in the despair, they found more hope.
"His name was Roberto. He was one of my friends that I'd met."
They played soccer... even if the the ball wasn't inflated. And Roberto was an upbeat 8 year old even though he had no reason to be.
"He told us, I wish you had come a little sooner. My daddy died of a headache. And it was just a couple of days ago. That's how recently he was orphaned."
But, through that pain, the brothers again point to the overriding feeling of hope.
"No matter what, they always looked happy, it was just awe-inspiring."
Back home, the brothers have a new understanding of the plight in Haiti, a better appreciation of their own lives... and a desire to go back and do more.
"We want to go for the entire Thanksgiving break next time, to do both medical and rebuilding full time."
To learn more about Global DIRT, go to www.globaldirt.org