(This blog is about my experiences working and living aboard a 220’ treasure hunting ship, the M/V Sea Hunter)
Not being used to living aboard a ship for an extended period of time, I was enjoying every second of finally being on solid ground and not on the M/V Sea Hunter. Being able to walk about without holding onto something was certainly a plus. Greg had given the crew a week off after we returned from Haiti. He knew we were exhausted and needed to unwind and enjoy our families. Since it was “off season” for what we do, it wouldn’t be a problem.
It’s funny how your mind works when you are so far away from those you love. You wonder if they thinking or worrying about you? Do they miss talking with you? How are they doing? Do they need a hug? Whenever I had some time to myself, those kinds of thoughts ran through my mind. Now, I had the entire week to see those I loved and catch up on the past month.
Julia dropped me off, and as I walked into my apartment that very first time after the Haiti trip, it was wonderful! Everything looked new (though it wasn’t), almost like seeing it for the first time. I laid my bags on my bed and slowly walked through each room looking at every picture or knick knack. It was as if I was seeing things for the first time. I love my plants and they looked well taken care of. But, the thing I noticed most was how peaceful it felt. I have a place in my home where I like to sit and read or meditate, where the sun shines for hours. I sat there in that very spot closed my eyes and took it all in, one deep breath at a time. Like the old saying goes, “There’s no place like home.”
It wasn’t long before my phone started ringing. Word had gotten around that we had returned from Haiti. Friends wanted to meet and get the inside scoop and of course wanted to see any pictures. Bill Nemitz, (columnist from the Portland Press Herald) had accompanied us on the trip and had written an almost daily article of our struggles delivering the aid. However, it wasn’t the same as hearing it first hand from a friend who was there. I was more than happy to share my experiences and of course hoping some would be willing to donate to Hope Village. My goal was to get the word out about the orphanage and help in any way I could.
My first night though, was spent with my daughter and granddaughter over dinner. Lots of catching up to do on both sides and of course, lots of hugs and kisses. My daughter had been stationed in Port au Prince (years prior) while she was a firefighter in the Army. We compared some of the things we had seen. She too had a soft spot for the children of Haiti, as she spent much of her free time volunteering to feed the homeless children. I shared the gifts I had purchased from the orphanage and they were well received. As we looked over my many pictures, we tried explaining to my five year old granddaughter, in terms that she might understand the reasons why the children of Haiti didn’t have shoes or toys to play with. She at first seemed sad, but then smiled and came up with what she thought was the perfect solution….Why don’t they just go to the store and buy some? Oh sweetie, if only it were that simple!