The crew of our sister ship ms Statendam had previously organized charity donations to be sent to schools in Corinto, Nicaragua. The donations included boxes with new school supplies, computers and used clothing. It was a pleasure being approached by them to help assist in delivering these donations knowing in what poor circumstances people live there. The ms Rotterdam collected these donations in our home port of San Diego. As we learned that it was not possible to visit the schools due to school holidays, the Rotterdam invited the children, teachers and a representative of the Ministry of Education to come for a tour and have lunch on our ship. As many of the children had never left Corinto, this was a major happening for them. The children visited the Bridge, the restaurants, movie theater and casino. They played with other children from HAL guests on board and enjoyed hamburgers with fries and ice cream from the Lido. A word of thanks received afterward from the schools for making this a memorable day for the children.
Natalie Ansari is Rotterdam’s human resources manager.