Passages like ours have been made before, voluntarily….involuntarily. Using the water as a means of escape. The open ocean as a way to forget the troubles of the world with land and all of its problems so far away. The open ocean as a conduit towards new lands, new opportunities, the unknown, for better or for worse. The open ocean as a way to humble us, remind us that we are but a drop in this vast, bustling, turning world. For us, it is the open waves of the caribbean, hard and fierce jolting our boat up and down as we barrel across the sea from Isla Barru to Playa Blanca off the Colombian coast. We are huddled on the front lines as the boat races over the waves levitating us, flying and bumping over the waves. Each of us with different paths to this same place to this same time, experiencing the same fear. Perhaps the same fear and excitement and terror and hope our parents felt as they emigrated from their homelands to the States. My friend to the left of me gripped me in fear, experiencing flash backs of a near death boat experience in Zanzibar. And at that moment, my perspective changed. Perhaps this was not only the same fear and excitment and terror and hope of our parents, but of the parents of the Mediterranean. Hailing from different paths of life, different arduous journeys through land to this same place on the sea, a single boat holding 100 pairs of eyes, hearts, bodies pumping with adrenaline as their boat challenged the arduous waves of the Mediterranean. Perhaps our shrills matched that of the young children who faced this boat with hopes of a new life only to wash upon the shore days later. And like our captain, the parents remain stoic knowing the waves bring not only adrenaline but danger. They hold their anxious children tight as if that will stop the sea from taking them. Our shrills all contain much more than a decibel can count, let’s just hope they all reach the shore.


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