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Hospital volunteer gives eyewitness account in Haiti

Thursday, Jan. 28: DepartingSALT LAKE CITY — It's 6 a.m. I didn't sleep well last night, because I was anxious about leaving. Spent until midnight trying to pack all my luggage. I can only take 25 pounds including water for one day.I got on the plane, and there was a spiritual moment where one of the young ladies sang a solo before we left of "Because I Have Been Given Much." After, we all sang, "As I Have Loved You," which was tender for everybody. Tears were shed. It's amazing to be with a group who are all Mormon headed out for service. This must be a taste of what the celestial kingdom is like, when everyone is united like this for one purpose.Sen. (Orrin) Hatch's assistant read a letter aloud, then we sang more songs and prayed. Groups are made up of construction, security, medical and language skill people. Everyone is committed. People dropped everything they were doing to get on this plane and go to Haiti.They told us stories of places on the island. There's one orphanage with an elderly lady there; she's got 52 children and no food. She's too weak to move the dead bodies. It reminds me of President (Dieter F.) Uchtdorf's talk, "Hold on a little longer."

Curtis C. Newman is a registered nurse, health-care administrator and attorney volunteering in the Utah Hospitals Task Force. A native of

Idaho Falls, Idaho, he currently resides in South Jordan, Utah. He is


father of Mormon Times staff writer Nick Newman.