Melony McKaye Returns From Haiti, Shares Story On Air
January 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM (PT)
MELONY McKAYE, midday host for CENTRAL FLORIDA EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION Christian AC WPOZ (Z88.3)/ORLANDO, arrived home safely early SATURDAY morning (1/16) after being delayed in HAITI after last TUESDAY’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the country. McKAYE was one member of a team serving on a missions trip with ORLANDO-based organization NEW MISSIONS. The team also included high school students from THE FIRST ACADEMY in ORLANDO and local ORLANDO NEWS-13 feature reporter CHRISTINE WEBB.
McKAYE joined WPOZ morning show “ELLIS & TYLER IN THE MORNING” this morning (1/18) to share her story of what she experienced during the earthquake and saw in its aftermath.
McKAYE told the morning show that on TUESDAY (1/12), the group visited a school and delivered shoeboxes of supplies and was back at the NEW MISSIONS headquarters, 25 miles outside of PORT-AU-PRINCE, when the earthquake struck. “We were recounting stories as we waited for dinner when it happened. Initially, we thought it was an explosion. We heard a crack and the trees started shaking. Then it hit. I was standing on a patio and was knocked down. I looked back and saw the sidewalk split. That’s when it dawned on me that this was an earthquake. We couldn’t move or stand up.”
McKAYE recalls the first thing the group did was move to higher ground in case of tsunami. As the group loaded trucks, McKAYE received cell phone service for the first time. “My phone had read ‘no cell service’ the entire trip until that moment. I looked at my phone and saw that I had ‘bars’ so I called my husband DAVID.” McKAYE asked DAVID to pass word along that their group was safe.
McKAYE noted a most memorable moment as the group stayed out in an open field the first night. “We circled the trucks and stayed in this field. The villages around us had emptied as well, and groups of HAITIANS surrounded us. We heard them clapping and singing and saying, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ And with each aftershock, their volume just seemed to increase. Only hours after losing loved ones or missing loved ones, this is what we heard.”
She also recalled the pain of leaving. “We were standing on the beach. There was no way out but the beach and we waited for the helicopters. When they arrived we got in and for the next two hours there was silence. We didn’t want to leave these people. As we flew over PORT-AU-PRINCE, it was our first time to see the devastation. It was heart-breaking."
McKAYE returns to her regular midday shift TOMORROW (1/19).