Monday, January 17, 2011

National Public Radio: 'Quake Crushes Haitian Violinist's Hand, But Not His Spirit'

[“Romel Joseph, founder of The New Victorian School in Haiti, and his daughter Victoria perform at the Aventura Cultural Center in Miami on Jan. 8. It was Joseph's first performance since last year's earthquake. Neil Oxenburg | Courtesy of Victoria Joseph”]

NPR Staff
Saturday, January 15, 2011
“Last January, Romel Joseph found himself trapped under the rubble of the collapsed school he founded in Port-au-Prince; his pregnant wife was killed. A year later, he has regained enough strength to start playing music again and is making good on a promise to rebuild the school. From his hospital bed, Joseph promised: 'The only thing I do know is as soon as I am able to walk and I am functional that I will go back to Haiti, and I will start the reconstruction of the Victorian School.'

“Sure enough, about a month later, he returned to Haiti and began to rebuild the school. During that time, he also wrote a book and nursed himself back to health, paying special attention to his crushed left hand. That's his fingering hand, the one the Julliard-trained musician uses to press the strings of his violin. A year after the earthquake, Joseph, like much of southern Haiti, is rebuilding. He has returned to Haiti several times to oversee the reconstruction of the New Victorian School. In September, a temporary shelter was set up, where 208 students resumed their studies.

“Even with three broken fingers on his left hand, Joseph has regained enough strength to begin playing the violin again. There are signs of hope everywhere.” “Having to remain resilient in the face of tragedy is not unfamiliar to Joseph. He lost his eyesight as a child, and 10 years before the earthquake struck, a fire destroyed The New Victorian School. Though the loss of his wife and physical recovery has been trying, Joseph remains optimistic. 'Eventually, life has to go on,' Joseph tells Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. 'This is a whole new episode of my life. I have to follow the mission I have for the rest of the time I have around.'"

1 comment:

msladydeborah said...

I read this yesterday on NPR. This is really an inspiratioal story. I hope that things continue to move in a positive direction for Romel Joseph.