“If you don’t have family to take you, we have to move you outside to the street,” the U.N. interpreter announced to all of the injured seeking shelter under the blue MINUSTAH tent. Fabian Jean, known to most as Barbienne, felt a sense of panic. Just two days before, on January 12th, 2010, she was walking down the road alone when the ground suddenly began to shake. In an instant, the Port-au-Prince neighborhood where she attended “Retho,” one of the last years of high school, began collapsing around her. The wall of a house smashed into her, paralyzing her from the waist down.
The interpreter left and Barbienne found herself sitting on the street outside the U.N. tent. Without the use of her legs, she had no way to find food, shelter, or her family—who she hadn’t heard from since the earthquake. Fortunately, a friend heard about her situation and came to find her.