2013 and 2014 STATENDAM Cruise Sailings to Fanning Island

Posted Dec 26-2013 and Feb 24-2014, on these days while the Statendam was at Kailua-Kona Hi. before sailing to Fanning Island, Rich Smith the Director of PCM was able to be on the pier to communicate to passengers before they sail to Fanning Island. Over most of each day, a couple dozen passengers visited the area where a table was set up and photo albums were made available to view. Many questions were answered and suggestions made how to help Fanning when they visit there (hopefully). Also, the passengers were told about getting on the island truck tours as the most beneficial and relaxing way to tour the main part of Fanning Island.
At times some of the passengers came to the table to mention they had brought onboard many school supplies and even extra clothing to give to the people of Fanning and would be giving the items to the ship to be delivered or by personally giving to the people while they tour the island.
Many boxes of children’s HIGHLIGHT magazinesboxed-Highlights2opt that were donated by the publishers and the shipping sponsored by a couple friends, were willing accepted to take onboard by a couple traveling on the ship, and helpers George and his wifeHelpers George and wife offered to get them to the island. We have heard that those 2 boxes of magazines were delivered on the Dec 2013 sailing by them and were well received. We also have heard the 4 other boxes on the Feb 2014 sailing seen below arrived too. Here is a reply from the Fanning Island Project Officer on Fanning:

“Thank you so much for your wonderful donation we received during your last port here (Statendam Cruise 28/2/2014) in Fanning Is. My CEO and Mayor have distributed such donations to all schools, clinics and more. Thank you so much again, and hopefully, the Island Council on behalf of its people will receive more donations/aids from your side”.
Kam rabwa ao tekeraoi.
Fanning Island Project Officer

Also, many books that were collected by the various passengers were delivered to the MTSS Secondary school library on the other island across the channel. Here is an email message from one of the school teachers: Haloa,”This morning books from the council arrived to our school, MTSS. The school was proud of it and are now stamped for MTSS library. They would bring joy of reading and most knowledge to students of the Line islands. Gift of donation are God’s gift. Blessed to those who are involving in donation process and mostly those have spent much for HIM for the sake of others.
Thank you for such care. Our prayer will always in words of thankfulness, Thank you”

We are currently ordering about 7-10 more boxes for the April 2014 sailing. About 3 couples on the Feb sailing donated $10 each to sponsor the future boxes and one friend has as well. Many thanks for everyone’s willingness and compassion to help. Below are pictures of the passengers who assisted in getting the magazines and some donated T shirts onto the ship.

If you have an interest to sponsor any of the future copies of HIGHLIGHT magazines that we want to get to the Primary schools on Fanning Island, please contact us here at PCM. Each box of 50 costs only $10 thanks to the publisher donating them and only charging for the shipping. We definitely need anyone’s help to get them in Kona and get them on the April sailing to be delivered to Fanning. Would you be one who can help?

The following is a comment received from one December passenger regarding helping Fanning in other ways. I hope this will inspire and speak to you as you prepare to travel to Fanning Island: “I was on the Statendam, recently met Rich on the pier in Kona. After talking to him, I spent the next two days gathering every usable item that I could to give to these people. I had so much stuff that I had to make two trips ashore. I dedicated my day to going shack to shack donating and teaching them of the items I had. Tide laundry pods, they had no idea how to use, they loved magazines, flashlights, bar soap, one woman asked me for a book, I had one called “Guilty Wives” bought it in the Atlanta Airport! Shampoo, lotion, conditioner, I had to teach them how to use cereal boxes and add milk. Even taught three young kids how to skip on the dusty trails. This was by far the highlight of my cruise. I can go to the beach anytime, can these people get our help anytime???????

Give of yourselves, they are so appreciative. Give any item you don’t need. Go to their homes, ASK if you may come in, I was most welcome. They enjoyed my time, however I had to go seek them out. I found that some just don’t come out to meet the ship. They were really grateful for my visit and my time. Go off the beaten path, it will be the most rewarding experience of your life. Its safe, no worries.

I hope I am fortunate enough to visit again”.

NEWS FLASH: Report from a passenger who visited Fanning on the Sept.2013 Statendam sailing to Fanning Island: For Rich…the islanders supplies were delivered. I think medical supplies and new shoes would be a good idea for the next trip. The children are so happy and carefree. The adults seem content and happy as well. We were proud to meet and visit the island. to see their write up and pictures visit: http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-756248

Updated 3/5/14:
It is official that the Statendam will now be calling on Fanning Island and not Christmas Island during the April and December 2014, and February 2015 cruises. That is great news that more items the passengers can obtain and process will hopefully be delivered to Fanning Island.
The November 2012 sailing couldn’t deliver to Fanning due to high winds and wave action. Unfortunately the February 2013 Statendam sailing could not deliver to Fanning Island as well and they donated the many supplies to a ministry in San Diego.

For those who are wondering about the reason why the supplies from the previous Statendam cruises did not get offloaded to Fanning due to bad weather, unsafe offloading/loading conditions and having to pay extra if they were to…here is the post that Captain Albert wrote that day explaining the situation.
“In the back of my mind there was of course the plan we had for donations for the island. We had items on board from the beginning of the cruise and the guests had been very active in increasing those donations quite a lot. It is not something that influenced my decision; SAFETY COMES FIRST AND NOTHING ELSE, but I wondered if I could do something. I could not. In order to get the donations ashore, the ship needs to be cleared. Those are the rules. When we clear the ship, the local authority is entitled to the port taxes $ 10,500 in this case. When I am not sending guests ashore due to weather etc. all guests are entitled by law to get their port tax back, as it is not a part of their cruise ticket, but a government added cost. (The only exception is if I would substitute one port for another) Thus that would be another $ 10,500 so we would be facing a total bill of $ 21,000 to get these boxes ashore. That of course is something I cannot do and there is no legal way around it”.

For now, please read up about visiting Fanning and how to help on the upcoming sailing. Visiting the Latest News page will be best to see past writeups and pictures of help to the island.

During the April 2012 Volendam sailing we had a unique opportunity to hear from a lady born on Fanning and raised there till she was 18 years old that I think will help you greatly to hear how life was on Fanning in the 40’s. Click here to see this special video interview.

I am also including on this post, a letter from a special passenger who visited Fanning some time ago on a NCL ship. Hopefully this will give you some information, insight and inspiration about the need to get involved before we won’t be able to again. Your sailing can mean so much.
Please contact me if you have an interest to help take a few very important items to the island for us. I would meet you in Kona before you sail to the Island. Hope to hear from you all! RICH / Director of Pacific CARE Missions

Letter from BELLE:
I found you by reading your response to someone wanting to help, on the FANNING ISLAND website itself. I’m so grateful I found you, an answered prayer really.

In 2008 when I had a ruptured brain aneurism, a miracle happened for me. Not only didn’t I die, but I never suffered any blindness, lose of mobility or speech. Nothing at all. Due to my age and diabetic status, I must be really careful. But I believe I was spared to try to spread the word about the conditions on FANNING, and to try to get help in any way I can. I promised the people of the island, that as long as I was alive, I would never forget them, and I will never stop telling the world about their needs.

A long time ago a letter I put on line begged for someone to step up and do what I could not, namely organize relief for these beautiful people. I got replies from all over the world. Then I heard about the doctors and church members taking help to FANNING. It was so wonderful. Someone had read my letter that REALLY was in a position to help. I never cared who got publicity or the thanks , only that this remote, glorious, PARADISE be SAVED in time.

When I visited FANNING, most of the passengers never left the beach. I went with 3 suitcases of school supplies and balls for the children. Bought it all here in Florida, and took it to Hawaii and then on NCL cruise. People who saw me getting off with all that stuff said “how did you know what to take”. Well, right here in the U.S.A. our teachers often buy supplies for their classroom, out of their salary. This island is at sea level, and every time there is a storm, the little they have is destroyed. I also took large sheets of plastic for the school to try to protect the little they did have.
NCL should have been ashamed to put their name on what had to be the worst so-called SCHOOL I had ever seen. My daughter is a DR. of EDUCATION and FOREIGN LANGUAGE. She works at Queens College in NEW YORK. She travels all over our country setting up programs for Language. She said, in all her trips to even the poorest of schools, nothing came close to NCL primary School on FANNING ISLAND. They have no maps, no posters, no globe, nothing to display on the walls. I cried when I thought how we take everything for granted. The teacher at that time is no longer there, but I have a treasure from her. She removed her own necklace from around her neck and put it on my own. I don’t own another piece that I cherish more, than this simple beautiful gift. We knew we would never meet again, and I hugged this proud, humble lady as close as I could.
I sat in the house of a lady who made her husband go up a tree to cut down a fresh piece of fruit for me. There was a pile in the yard, but she had him go up the tree for me. The floor was dirt with a cot and hammock, very little else. But she gave me, a complete stranger, all she had to offer. We did not speak the same language, but we understood each other. When I was young I was a ballet dancer, and later formed my own children’s theatre. I sang to her two children and gave them a ball of their own.
The people from my cruise, who did not leave the beach, missed the most wonderful experience by not going out among the people. The children and their parents were the real gift the island had to give. It is a paradise, beyond beautiful, but the faces of the people and their generous hearts are beyond words. Not a single day goes by, that I don’t think of them. So far away, in the middle of an ocean. They don’t need us to change them, only to help them with basic human needs. Their little children are in need of decent health care, so that when they get a cut it won’t get infected, which so often happens there.
BLESS ALL WHO REMEMBER FANNING and in even the smallest way, take away the hurt”. Love Belle