> Welcome to Oporoza!: 2005


After several hours on the boats, we approached a pier where I could see and hear the faint echoes of people waving their arms and cheering. As we got closer, I was in awe of the display of welcoming before us. There were about 5 boats loaded with people. They were dressed beautifully, adorned in colorful fabrics. They were chanting songs of welcome in their language and some were playing drums. A few were dancing on the end of the boat as they guided the others in song and celebration. We stopped our boat and they moved around us, paddling in sink with one another and blanketing us with their love and appreciation. It truly was one of the highlights of my life! An amazing display of culture, an astounding experience of genuine welcome.