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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs