FRIDAY, JUNE 1: It is really unfair for anyone to say that there is nothing for young people to do in Bermuda?
I can tell you with a certainty that there is vast opportunity lurking around every corner for those who would seek it.
And you don’t have to have a whole lot of money to take up on the opportunities — all you have to have is desire, commitment and determination.
The Spirit of Bermuda, sailed last weekend and I, and a few other parents, chased her from Dockyard to Albuoy’s Point to St. Georges — so beautiful was her sight (not to mention my daughter and granddaughters were aboard).
The young people and the young at heart were on that beautiful sloop; the sight was so inspirational and reinforced that not all is bad in Bermuda.
The opportunity afforded these young people to be a part of this historic venture to be ambassadors for Bermuda is awesome.
The opportunity for girls to be a part of the programme just reinforced the progress we have made since the Women’s Liberation Movement. We still have a way to go, but the shoulders we stand on have done one heck of job in making the journey easier.
Imagine one’s resume detailing that you sailed the vast and majestic ocean at such an early age (between 14 and 25) — what a fantastic feather to have in your cap. What tales you have to tell.
It was reported by the captain on an update that the crew had come across a pod of dolphins feeding. Wow, imagine that. How many people can include that in their memoirs? Not to mention them racing ahead of TS Beryl in swells of 4-6 feet!
In nearly four years of operation, beginning in September 2006, Spirit has provided training for over 1,400 young people and sailed over 24,000 miles in overseas voyages to 17 ports in 10 countries.
All those concerned in making this happen for Bermuda’s young people need to be commended and honoured.
The founders were indeed visionaries; the following is an excerpt I obtained from the Spirit’s website: “. . . to provide superior youth development to large numbers of Bermudian youth using a ship as a unique, dynamic ‘24/7’ operating community and classroom.”
As well, all the behind the scenes people and of course, Ms Denise Riviere and Ms LaKai Dill. These are wonderful and dedicated individuals that help to make the vision and the mission a reality; these are the people and endeavours that make me proud to be Bermudian.
Bermuda we must continue to rally behind the Spirit of Bermuda; to continue with donations of our time and money as the vision has been put into action and has and continues prove to benefit our young people.
It broadens their scope and allows them to explore and learn from voyages where teamwork and comradeship are built.
However, as I watched the sloop sail out of Bermuda and into the deep and vast ocean, I began to feel a bit, no, a lot apprehensive.
Why? Do you realize the vastness of the ocean and the fact that the voyage was going to have them on the waters crossing the ocean for at least three to five days and nights.
I imagined how looming the waters must look at night or during the wee small hours of the morning. I began to question my sanity in supporting such a venture. Fear began to set in.
But I quickly jerked myself out of it. I had to replace fear with faith. I knew it was already in Allah’s hands and I just had to pray for their safety and pray that they would see Allah in their travels.
For only Allah can control and sustain the ocean. “Say (O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see how He originated creation, then Allah brings forth the later growth. Lo, Allah is able to do all things.” (Quran 29:20).
Allah invites us to travel the land, the world and in so doing we will see Him and His power in our travels.
Allah (swt) has invited you to travel and see the world that he created.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) obeyed Allah’s command and travelled extensively.
Prophet Muhammad advised that when travelling the land to learn the lessons of life from it.
The travel that was recommended was not so much to have a good time, but on a serious note as well since in travelling you will see and possibly shiver as the universe unfolds some of its mysteries to you; lessons that no classroom can teach.
Travelling will unravel the story of mankind through the ages without limits. The lessons you will be exposed to can make you tremble with fear of Allah, the Almighty, and it can make you cry with the love of Allah for His wonderful mercy and majesty.
I am sure the Spirit of Bermuda’s crew of young ambassadors of Bermuda will be forever changed as is implied in its motto of “Transforming Lives One Voyage at a Time”.
I end with these words to all travellers “May Allah make piety part of your journey, forgive your sins and fulfil the purpose of the journey”. (Tirmidhi). Ameen.