A Year After Devastating Earthquake, Haiti Struggles Back

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — In 2010, Daphne Joseph, a slim, shy teenager, took a pounding from life.

She watched with horror as her mother’s mangled body was carted off in a wheelbarrow after the Jan. 12 earthquake. She fell in with a ragtag group of orphans taken under the wing of a well-meaning but ill-equipped community group. She left them unwillingly when a self-proclaimed relative took her away to use her as a servant.

And then last fall, not long before her 15th birthday, Daphne found herself in an actual home, reunited with the other orphans stranded after the disaster they all call “goudou-goudou” for the terrible sound of the ground shaking. She wore a party dress; she blew out candles; she smiled.

“I believe that Daphne was a fragile, sensitive girl even before ‘goudou-goudou,’ ” said Pierre Joseph, a psychologist who counsels her. “After, she was like a glass that got filled to the brim and then overflowed. You could say she is still in shock. But she is finding her equilibrium.”

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