Tuesday, 17 January 2012
In 2008 we were living in London. In May we got a really good deal to go on a Mediterranean cruise. For 2 weeks we sailed around the Mediterranean and got to see ports in France, Italy, Spain and Tunisia. It was a dream holiday with small children, because we were able to see so many different places, but only had to unpack once.
Our cabin was cleaned immaculately every day by a sweet, young Filipino woman. All the cleaning staff were wonderful with the children, much better than the cross English women they had upstairs in the children's play centre. After a few days, the lovely Filipino maid showed me a picture of her family - her husband and 2 year old son. She worked on the cruise ship to support her family, and only got to visit her baby son once every 6 months. It seemed a common story, that many of the women working on the ship were mothers working hard to financially support their young children.
It broke my heart to hear that she only got to see her baby twice a year. That her baby son was growing up without knowing his mother, because she loved him so much and was sacrificing her time with him, trying to give him a better future.
She also told me how she lived in fear, she was terrified of sailing, and constantly worried that the ship would sink, and that she would never get to see her little boy again.
There are around 16 people missing on the Costa Concordia, and hope is fading fast. When I hear this, I wonder if any of them are crew; if any of them are mothers. Mothers sacrificing themselves for their children; mothers terrified they will never see their babies again.