In a small brick house under the shadow of the church of Louis Marie de Montfort church in Port-au-Prince live three nuns.
The house is by the airport and the constant thumping of helicopters overhead provides a disconcerting soundtrack to the searing heat.
The three nuns have lived here for a long time and devote their time to the poor people of the neighbourhood.
“People are very poor here,” says Sr Helen Ryder, a sister of the La Sainte Union order from Co. Offaly in Ireland. “There are poorer, but then in Haiti there is always someone poorer.”
Her colleague, Sr Maria Hawkes from Cork, spoke of the moment the earthquake struck: “I was in my room at about 4.45 in the evening. Just sitting by my bed reading a book. Suddenly I became aware of the wall shaking. I got up quickly. My bed was moving across the room. The cabinet above my sink popped open.”
They knew immediately that this was a major disaster.
“It was very sad to see, like a pack of cards, all the houses flattened. We went over to an open space and we didn’t return until the next morning. We lay on the ground that night. When there was tremors you could feel them in your spine.”