January 4, 2010 ROTTERDAM CRUISE Mission Newsletter

 The recent January 2010 Cruise Supply Mission to deliver supplies to Fanning Island was successfully completed thanks to the help of the many volunteers and the Holland America cruise ship MS Rotterdam.


   Over 45 boxes of supplies consisting of medical surplus and Crock shoes and various sandals, donated from local residents and businesses of Kona Hawaii, were given to the newly opened Fanning Health Center and to the local residents who were gathered at the market area when the cruise ship passengers arrived.   

   The day was cloudy and had off and on rain showers that added to the wet and flooded conditions due to about 2 weeks of rain before our arrival. It made for difficult walking and truck tours available by one of the local touring type trucks. Each passenger could pay about $10 and travel with approximately 12 other people on the island’s only main road for a couple miles thru some of the nearby villages. The people definitely get an idea of how primitive and beautiful the island was. I am sure it was not the easiest, nor the smoothest ride, but well worth the adventure with cameras in hand and sharing the trip with others. The intermittent showers and cloud covering was actually a comfort from the usual hot and sun-baked conditions the island has.

  Once all the supplies were delivered to the government building, we were then allowed to take over 500 pairs of crocks and slippers to the flagpole area, and with the help of a local police officer and a couple of coordinators the foot-ware was freely given to those lucky locals that were there.  

   In the matter of minutes, all the foot-ware was freely given away, and even the large empty boxes became gifts to the people. I am sure they probably needed them to store things in, for firewood and a couple of them actually ended up at the dancing area where they were used as drums during the singing and dancing shows.

  Many of the guests from the ship, who attended our few Q & A sessions, enjoyed taking a walking tour to see the new Fanning Island Health Center. It was a great opportunity to see the clinic enclosed and being used to treat the local people.

  There were also a couple of serious health needs that got examined by the two visiting ship doctors who volunteered their time to help the local people.

    After our visit to the island, those guests that did tour the island had such a positive attitude and desire to help the people of Fanning Island. Much of the around the dinner table conversations for the next couple of days were filled with Compassion to help the island and Hope that someone would follow-up with meeting the peoples needs on the island. As with many similar voyages that called on Fanning Island, the concerns and desires to help seem to be a very short term feeling. Thankfully, there are some who have attended our Question and Answer periods, and are compassionately helping in some small or large way.

 A commentary from Rich:

 If the Holland America ship would allow public guest lecture presentations while on the way to Hawaii, and then also before arriving the island, so much help could be given to the locals and their health clinics. Many of the complaints from the passengers are “I wish the ship would have told us about Fanning Island before getting there because I would have bought or brought some things to donate or help the people with.” They also have said: “Why doesn’t the ship give presentations or let you tell us about Fanning Island. It would have been so helpful to us?”  All I could usually reply to them is “I am sorry but the ship has a strict policy on Guest lectures and can not allow a Guest lecture unless approved for the Seattle office.

I hope those of you who are reading this now will understand the praises and disappointments of this last mission. All in all, it was a very positive and life saving opportunity to help the people of Fanning Island. Presently I am looking to do the November 22nd Rotterdam sailing with more supplies. I do need your assistance with getting more supplies, covering the expenses of shipping and delivering and helping the new Health Center get finalized.  Please view our Needs page on this website to see what supplies are desired and requested by the nurses. There is also many needed materials to complete the new Health Center.  Please also note that school supplies are another continual need. For more infos click on the visit FANNING tab.
 Thank you for taking the time to read this information and help in some Compassionate way.
 May God bless you and meet your needs.

NOTE: If you are a future visitor to the island with supplies to donate, please contact me directly to find out the best method of giving the supplies to a trustworthy representative of the council, clinics or schools.
Pacific CARE Missions director

2 Responses

  1. I am coming on the nov 22 cruise to fanning island. I have a question about school. Do they use black boards and chaulk? I have a 2 by 3 foot blackboard and some chaulk I can bring if they can use it. Also, do they wear flip flops? I have several kinds of shoes but I wasnt sure if they liked flip flops. I was on a cruise on ncl a few years ago and knew nothing about Fanning Island . I agree the ships should inform people. Looking forward to seeing the Island again

    • Aloha,
      Great to hear from you and that you have a compassion to help the people of Fanning.
      I too will be going on the November 22 sailing.
      The people, and especially the schools there, could use any thing we take to them. They can find uses for anything. The flip flops are so needed to prevent the hookworm resulting from sores and cuts in feet. How many flip flops do you have? I will be bringing about 400 pairs of Crocks donated from a couple of stores in Kona Hawaii. I had fun last January letting them be given away to the people there to greet us. This upcoming sailing, I hope to personally give them to the singers, dancers and the market venders who are there to greet and help us. I suggest you do the same and make personal gifts to give to the people who help you. Are you a part of the Cruise Critics group? there is a good # of them going on this cruise and willing to give things too.
      I am trying hard to ask Holland America to allow me to give an info presentation to the guests on way to Fanning from Hawaii. It would be strictly information about the Island the people and the culture along with info about what we as passengers will be able to do on the island as tourists. I will not be allowed to stear the guests towards donations as one of the rules as a presenter. My other hope is that there will be many other guests with similar interests as you and I, that will be talking and networking on way to Hawaii. That will allow the guests to gather more materials while in Hawaii.
      I too heard nothing about Fanning on my first sailing with NCL back in ’03, and when I went the following 18 times (until NCL pulled the two ships out of Hawaii) I was able to give guest presentations to the guests. Many of those times, the theater, showroom or meeting room were filled to standing room only because the passengers wanted to know about Fanning. If HAL will allow me to give a presentation the passengers will then be well prepared and informed for visiting the island, making it a once in lifetime visit, and being one of the few who will ever visit there. I think you know what I mean because you have been there before.

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