I lived in Haiti for two years in 1993 and 1994. Professionally they were the best years of my life. Personally, I grew and learnt so much living under what were extremely difficult conditions.
More than anywhere else outside Scotland, Haiti has a special place in my heart.
That makes today’s news more than heartbreaking for me and just seeing the pictures takes me back and wrenches terribly.
I was a regular visitor to the Presidential Palace that is today in ruins and I went to several services at the Port-au-Prince cathedral that is now without a roof. I covered trials in the Supreme Court building that is now all but gone and I did interviews in the state hospital that fell down (and I will never ever forget the putrid smell of death that lingered in its bare corridors and wards). One woman on twitter was searching for her son, who lived on the same street I did.
To make matters even worse, Brazilian Zilda Arns was among the dead. I went to Curitiba to interview her last year. Now I am writing her obituary.