- Posted By: Bryan Chan
- Posted On: 6:29 p.m. | December 13, 2010
By Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times
High in Haiti’s Saint Nicolas Mountains, six hours north of Port-au-Prince, the sky is a brilliant blue, and residents in the village of Bwaneufe live off the land with food to spare. There is no TV, radio or cellphone service, and a trail that serves as a road is just a rocky riverbed.
Now the pristine remoteness of the village has become a deadly liability.
In the last month, at least 24 people in this high-desert valley have died of cholera, victims of a Haitian epidemic that has taken more than 2,000 lives, with the toll expected to rise. Wisley Jean Charles, 60, died so suddenly that his wife, Osialine Dorcely, was unable to get a call out for help or find transport to the nearest hospital three hours away. to the south. Charles, who worked as a farmer and part-time tailor, died in his wife’s arms.
“Are you leaving me now? Are you leaving me?” Osialine, 50, said, as she mourned with family members.
The couple, married for 34 years, raised six boys and six girls. Most of the children left to find jobs but have returned, up rocky paths, as word spread of their father’s death.
In his final moments, Charles still had work on his mind, instructing his wife to return excess stitching material for orders he would never be able to complete.
Earlier this year Cole returned to Haiti to follow up on several subjects she photographed during the January earthquake for the series Haiti: Living in Limbo: