"They found them! They're alive!" McDonald shouted into the phone. By "they" she meant Santos and Chand. Santos' brother had called McDonald, and she had learned about Chand through other channels.
But Bright did not yet know the fate of Varghese, who moved to Baltimore last year to work for IMA after earning a master's degree in international health policy and management at Brandeis University.
Around 2 a.m., McDonald called Bright again. They were all safe, she said.
"Ann, too?" Bright said. Ann, too. After a burst of elation, Bright closed his eyes and enjoyed his first decent sleep in days.
Instead of preparing for the worst, Bright is looking forward to his colleagues' return. He said they had been taken to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince as a first step toward beginning the journey home.
Santos, who lives in Silver Spring with his wife and two young sons, joined IMA in October from International Relief and Development in Arlington, Va., where he was director of communications and advocacy. Before that, he worked at Church World Service Inc. as coordinator of strategic planning and evaluation. He has also served in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Former IRD colleague Liz Creel called Santos "a true believer in the possibility that people could really make a difference, particularly in a very difficult environment."
A former president of IMA, Paul Derstine, said Chand has spent most of her professional career with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
"She is the consummate professional, setting high standards for herself and her colleagues," he said in an e-mail from Africa. "But she has a heart for the under-trodden and at a time in her life where she could be 'backing off,' she has taken on major global program interests for IMA."
Varghese grew up in Kansas and attended the University of Kansas, said Dan Flanagan, a graduate school friend. In her 20s she lived in Cameroon as a Peace Corps volunteer, he said. She also worked on global hunger issues for the advocacy group Bread for the World, according to the America India Foundation.
Her position with IMA was a "dream job," Flanagan said, because it allowed her to travel and help those in need.
Flanagan grew deeply worried about Varghese. But he also knew she was strong. Before her rescue, he and a friend joked that if anyone could make it out, she could. In that fantasy, she emerged from the rubble with "a cigarette in one hand and her martini in the other."
"In the back of your mind you had the hope," he said. "Then it actually happens."