Updates on our programs, projects and communities.
Postcards from a trip: Day 6
By Trip Blogger -
"It is hard to put into words what I felt. Families living on half -sinking fishing boats, patched together with filthy pieces of cloth and plastic."
When? Day 6
Where? Floating Village
What? Visiting homes to distribute subsistence packages
“Yesterday we went to the market to buy rice, kramas, soap, salt and oil to make up the subsistence packages that selected families in the floating village receive through one of our partner programmes. Back at the Centre we carefully measured out 18 bowls of rice into each bag and packaged it up with one of each of the other items per family.
Today an early start and truck ride sitting atop the bags of rice to the port. Starting to feel a bit more part of the fabric of this place as we are allowed to bypass the tourist queues waiting to board high speed launches and make our way around the port down a steep embankment to a large wooden delivery boat. Form a human chain down the embankment and load bag after bag of rice onto the boat. Then amidst clouds of diesel fumes we are off, gently chugging our way to the floating village.
Our elation turns quickly to incredulity at the state of the floating sea of despair we enter. It is hard to put into words what I felt. Six or seven members of a family living on half -sinking fishing boats, patched together with filthy pieces of cloth and plastic. Youngsters toddling uncertainly on the decks, precariously close to the water. Tourist boats, filled with camera pointing people, looking through the expensive zoom for the perfect shot to take home, blind to the impact of their boat’s wake on the flotsam around them – fellow humans who gain not one cent from their visit.
Giving them rice seemed almost a futile apology, but their enthusiasm to welcome us and communicate through hugs and sign language gave us a very small chance to show them that they were valued and cared about. I wish there was more we could do. Definitely my most confronting day yet”