Femke Rutgers (Aruba) is currently Logos Hope’s sole crewmember hailing from the Dutch ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) in the Caribbean Sea. As the ship sailed into Oranjestad’s harbour, volunteers waved from the outer decks as Femke’s family stood on the quayside cheering with a handmade ‘Welcome Logos Hope’ sign.
Very few crewmembers have the experience of sailing into their own country. During the ceremony to officially open the ship’s visit to the island, Femke admitted to fellow volunteers and the honoured guests that the unique homecoming made her both nervous and excited.
“I am because we are,” said acting governor Yvonne Lacle-Dirksz as she was touring the bookfair after the ribbon-cutting. Ms Lacle-Dirksz explained that the African phrase refers to the way sharing and working together connects people and benefits the whole community.
“There is a story of an anthropologist who placed a basket of fruit under a tree and told a group of children that whoever ran to the basket first would win the fruit,” said Ms Lacle-Dirksz. “The kids reached down, grabbed each other’s hands, and ran to the tree. Then they sat down and shared the fruit together.” The acting governor went on to say that the children’s actions surprised the anthropologist, who asked why they responded the way they did. A young girl replied, ‘How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?’
Ms Lacle-Dirksz explained that the African saying and story remind her of the work the ship’s volunteers are doing: working together to share knowledge, help, and hope with people around the world.
Captain Chris Hughes (UK) commented on the honour it is for Logos Hope to be visiting such a beautiful island and thanked the acting governor and other government officials for allowing the ship to come to Aruba to welcome people on board. “I’m hoping that everyone who comes during our time in Aruba will have a fantastic experience.”