The secrets of the sea

I wake up before my alarm goes off at 5 am and sleepily go through my morning routine- bathroom, dress up and have breakfast.  We're in the car by 6 am ready to patrol the coastline of South Yemen to provide assistance to Somali and Ethiopian arrivals from Somalia.  I whisper a short prayer to ask for strength for the tough day ahead.  It takes about 4 hours to patrol the areas that MSF identified to be the probable places of refugee arrivals.  It's an endless sight of sand with bushes sometimes breaking the monotony; the incredible blue sky, a breathtaking background to the equally beautiful sparkling sea.  But if the sea could only speak, it would speak not of beauty but of the horrors of refugees in their terrible journey from Somalia to Yemen.  If the sea could only speak, it would speak of how people in Somalia and Ethiopia had grown weary of the violence and hunger; how they are desperate enough to spend hard earned money and risk their lives for a chance to have peace and security on the other side of the sea. If the sea could only speak, it would testify to hundreds of 8 meter fishing vessels crossing the waters every year crammed with 90-120 people crouched for three days; the hunger and thirst of the passengers with no water and food; the lack of room for any kind of provisions because the boat was already crammed with squirming bodies aching to find space.  If the sea could only speak, it would tell the tale of people in the hull grasping for breath crouched in the darkness of the fish compartment; the stench of urine and feces of those who cannot relieve themselves properly. If the sea could only speak, it would divulge how people were forced to jump into the water despite not knowing how to swim; the father, mother, brother, sister, friend lost in its depths. The sea cannot speak but I can.  It is difficult to speak of something so terrible and sometimes I find myself as speechless as the sea.  But now I have revealed the secrets of the sea. Rosalie Ann R. Reyes
Location
2008
Issue
2008
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