Today I am leaving the ship, and leaving Tenerife for home. My family is waiting for me, and I am looking forward to see them. Yesterday Sarah and Fluer returned with the camera crew and a story about the hard climb. I had worried about them along with Redmond as if they were sisters, or something even more. We were very happy to have them safely back. On Stad Amsterdam there was much that I learned about family, and how easily we can become one, even when the hurricane that Redmond thought might catch us is really far away.
I learned not only about the power of observation, and the importance of collecting scientific data, but also the power and the beauty of the smallest things like plankton and the importance of art, performance and telling stories, and the invisible, love.
When asked what I hoped we would find on our journey, I wondered if Darwin, so much an abolitionist, was looking for scientific evidence that would support his stand against slavery? If we are all influenced by our beliefs, then perhaps I am looking for that scientific evidence that supports we are the environment, and that love, respect and cooperation are what is the basis for sustainability, and what is necessary for our survival on the planet.
As I write these last words, I am home, far away from Stad Amsterdam, perhaps preparing to leave Cape Verde. From this place the journey, the mission, and the people appear even more remarkable. While we may not be able to foresee the future, we can be sure that this voyage can serve as a metaphor for those who leave a safe harbor and risk much for the opportunity of discovery to benefit all.
Myn Hollands Laat een Beetje te wensen over. To say, “My Dutch leaves a little bit to be desired,” is something I’ve said over and over to my new Dutch friends. Thank you for welcoming me into your family, and “Hartelyk dank voor uw aanwezigheid.” Ik hu van ju…