I went on a south sea cruise for a writer’s workshop, the first time I’d had taken a holiday. I didn’t really know what to do with myself if it wasn’t helping someone else. I felt surrounded by decadence and when we had a stopover on a small pacific island I noticed the adults were all at stalls and singing and the children were left to amuse themselves. I went back to the ship and got a bag of ice, which they loved, small cakes, which they devoured hastily, and lots of drawing paper, paints and paint brushes, they were overjoyed. I showed the oldest children how to use my video camera and let them go around the island and film whatever they liked. As I was leaving an elder pointed to my camera. The battery had run out but as the school had a computer, I promised I would send it on a CD.
The next place we docked was a large commercial island and I shared a taxi to a waterfall, left my basket in the boot because it was a steep climb and we were returning in the same taxi. At the end of the day I boarded the ship, unpacking my bag I noticed my camera was missing. I immediately ran to the boarding deck and told them and they said it was unlikely I’d see it again.
I saw a police van and told them I last saw my video camera in a taxi, I didn’t say stolen and although I knew it was put it in a zipped pocket, I said thought it might have fallen out of my bag and not been noticed in the boot. I asked them to call the taxi office and tell the driver he could keep the camera for the return of the memory card because it had footage filmed by children on another island and I promised them I would send it to them.
The ship sounded a boarding alarm and I climbed the ramp and went to my cabin, the motors churned and ship pulled out. I was disappointed and didn’t want to break a promise to the children, when I heard my name called over the loudspeaker. The ships boarding officer handed me my camera and said in twenty years it was the only time he had ever seen anyone have a missing item returned, that made us both very happy. I went back to my cabin and charged the video camera battery and saw the children had filmed their old people, asking them about their families and getting them to tell stories, what a gift it was to edit that film and send it to a remote island in the pacific ocean. – Barbara 😀