As the weeklong Fathom impact cruise to the Dominican Republic wrapped up, I grabbed my phone and sat down with some of the passengers to get their reactions to the experience.
Everyone was thrilled to have participated and most agreed that they had been changed by the experience.
Ten-year-old Sofia Kaufman joyfully explains with remarkable accuracy the process for recycling paper. Watching her would make almost anyone want to try it.
Peggy Cooley said the “Concrete floor [project], that was awesome.”
Michaelyn Pouncey vividly described her experience slogging through the muck and mud of the marsh to plant mangrove trees as the highlight of her trip.
Romaine Purdy tearfully described how the experience of tutoring students in English completely changed her thinking. Having come to on the cruise to see what she’d be selling as a travel agent, she found herself moved by the “looks in their eyes” and “knowing you were making a difference in their lives.”
Christopher Donaldson explained how helping the women of rePapel to produce more paper in a few hours than they customarily make alone in a week gave him a sense of the impact of the program on their lives.
Ray Ann Havasy noted that the Dominicans were surprised that “we were so willing to help.”
Ten-year-old Lola Hurst said, “I just feel like I make a huge impact on their work and really helped someone.”
The travelers also recognized that the trip had impacted them. Peggy and Ray Ann both reacted to the Dominicans being happy with relatively modest resources.
Michael Matti noted that the experience caused him to think more deeply about serving others.