This hymn is the one you hear under our piece, “Faith in the Aftermath.” The original segment explores how parishioners at Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church here in Miami leaned on their faith and on song after their country’s massive earthquake– to heal and to release their grief.
In this episode, we look at how the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti changed life here in South Florida. We tell stories from a school that absorbed quake survivors, from a church that opened its doors to the grief-stricken, from lawyers’ offices where Haitians applied for an immigration shield, and from a hospital tent where tired doctors were uplifted by a song.
While I was reporting on the earthquake in Haiti, I was often taken aback by people singing. Walking down the street, a nun stretched her palms to the sky and seemed to be singing a question to the heavens. And on my last night in Port-au-Prince, I recorded quake survivors singing at 3 a.m., as they danced around a tent camp– no toilets, no air conditioning, little food– singing.
Hundreds of medical professionals rushed to Haiti after the quake, working in miserable conditions to save lives, practicing what some called “Civil War medicine.” Many still return to lend a hand, among them scores of Haitian-American nurses, doctors, and social workers from South Florida.
In December, we originally aired “The Tale of Lot 180.” Producer Kenny Malone searched for the story behind deceased Udavilla Rutherford’s unclaimed collection of salt shakers, held at the Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Property.
We received this comment from Carolyn Lane about “The Tale of Lot 180:”
Barbara Ann Martin played Sharon, Carmencita’s friend, on the TV show Que Pasa, U.S.A.? More than thirty years later, she is still recognized by fans of the show in Miami and around the country. She finds this a little unsettling, but is happy to still make so many people laugh.
Since Que Pasa, U.S.A.?, Martin has worked mostly in communications, broadcast and film production. She lives in Miami.
Jeremy Glazer is a legislative analyst, a former high school teacher, and that rare breed– a Miami native. He identifies himself as a “future hall-of-famer” on his phone message, but he says he hasn’t decided yet which hall of fame, or what his achievement will be. He recently finished his first novel.
Gracia Desille is 57, a grandmother and a dry cleaner. After Haiti’s earthquake, she became one of thousands of Haitian-Americans in South Florida desperately searching for news about their families back home.
“I try try… call. I buy (phone) cards. I buy cards. So many cards…” she told me. “Nobody answers.”
The day after Haiti’s devastating quake I walked into Notre Dame D’Haiti church in Miami to find people singing hymns, their palms turned to the sky, their rosary beads swinging gently. Some knelt, slouching over the pews in front of them, heads buried– a posture that suggested grief as much as prayer.
Little Haiti seemed to be moving in slow motion as people first grappled with the magnitude of the destruction in their homeland.
WLRN Miami Heraldreporter and Under the Sun associate producer Kenny Malone recently interviewed Angel Pardo, the owner of a 16-year-old cougar named Kimba. She’s one of just a few mountain lions licensed to live in residential areas in South Florida after new restrictions kicked in last August.
Malone’s piece helps us understand what it’s like having one as a pet, and as a neighbor.