News / USA

Haitian Earthquake Victim's Sketches Show Disaster, Relief

A black-and-white pencil drawing by Haitian earthquake victim Hugues Larose aboard the US Navy hospital ship Comfort
A black-and-white pencil drawing by Haitian earthquake victim Hugues Larose aboard the US Navy hospital ship Comfort

Multimedia

Audio

A patient's view of the devastation in Haiti and his appreciation for the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort are attracting the attention of those on board.

The black-and-white pencil drawing, with its hard lines and delicate shading, is signed in the lower right corner in neat penmanship: Hugues Larose.  But Thionta Buckner, who helps nurses in the surgical medical ward of the Comfort, says they know Larose by another name.

"[He is]the patient we like to call 'The Artist,'" she said.
 
Larose came to the hospital ship about one week after a concrete wall fell and crushed him during the earthquake, injuring his right leg and fracturing his left clavicle.
 
"Most of the patients we get in, when they first get here, they are still crying about what happened and they are in pain and distress. Him, when he first got here, he was very quiet," added Buckner.

But, after a few days, Larose expressed himself in a different way. A Lieutenant Commander on the ward says Larose asked him for paper and a pencil, which the Lieutenant Commander had to sharpen with a pocket knife.

The Lieutenant Commander says he was moved by the drawing he saw a few hours later, and he photocopied it for a colleague.
 
Before long, copies were taped to doorways and left on tables for others to view. The beauty of the shading, the horrors of the scene and Larose's representation of the U.S. Military were subjects of conversation from the dining hall to the berths.
 
In the image's foreground, a partially dressed woman is trapped beneath a fallen utility pole and another person has half-escaped from a collapsed house. Web-like cracks splinter the concrete, juxtaposed with the straight and uniform lines of the cinder blocks.
 
One person sits in the center of the street, while a dozen others appear to scramble, some with arms in the air, toward the sea, where the Navy hospital ship Comfort and other U.S. ships with helicopters on deck are waiting to help.  Larose says the Comfort means a lot to him because without it, more of his Haitian brothers would have died.
 
Reclining on a lower bunk in the ward, with a dark green sling across his shoulder, Larose shows his sketches. His easel appears to be a metal board that could be used for patients' charts.
 
Before the earthquake, Larose made his living painting scenes from folklore and seascapes. These brightly colored scenes show people dancing, cleaning, cooking, and playing instruments on the porches of pink and yellow homes, with sailboats pulling up to the shore in the background. 

Now Larose uses pencil on white paper to illustrate the disaster.  Larose says sketching helps him cope. Haiti will be re-constructed, he says, but there will always be his drawings as a reminder of the earthquake's devastation.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid