Blue water cruisers by definition visit many places all around the globe. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place we would attribute with the word paradise. This may be our impression when we spot the most beautiful beaches, rock formations or palm trees. But those palm trees or the roof of the hut behind the beach may cover poverty and anything else than paradise. And as often in such situations, the weakest are the ones which starve the most.
So it would be nothing else but human to meet these people and try to give them some comfort. This is many times easier said than done. Cornell Sailing offered us the opportunity to cover a bit of our responsibility by bringing us together with the kids from the local SOS Children Village. Ahead of that event, the crews from our rally donated money to buy a trumpet, an e-piano and an accordion for the local kids music group.
When Saturday came, drums on the pontoon would announce a crowd of girls and boys from that SOS Children’s village. They were given the possibility to meet us on the boats. We welcomed four of them aboard Yuana. As soon as I indicated that four is a good number to start with, one girl on deck and on one left on the pontoon started to cry and calling each other to come. They seemed to be sisters who were very much afraid from being separated from each other. Who knows that they had to experience earlier in their lives? So we weren’t hesitating to have the sister on board as well.
Inside the boat, our son would invite them to play with the paper roller coaster he developed over the past days. He would give them the balls made of crumpled aluminum foil. Everybody enjoyed playing the game. The daughter would take them into the sleeping room and suddenly now eight kids were sitting on the beds, wondering how soft a bed can be. We gave some finger rings and necklaces as a present. Back they went with a warm souled woman they would call ‘Mama’. Together we went to the big gathering for some culinary refreshments and local music. This was also there the music instruments were handed over.
Cornell Sailing made it a tradition for many years that the sailors of their Rallies can contribute directly to local aid projects. Taking into account the number of rallies throughout the year and contributors year after year, one would expect that this engagement makes a difference for the receivers. We saw many happy children’s eyes.