April 21, 2013 Fortaleza, Brazil

April 21, 2013  Fortaleza, Brazil

Fortaleza Waterfront

Fortaleza Waterfront



Central Market

Central Market



Beach Front Skyline

Beach Front Skyline

Fortaleza, is in northeastern Brazil and the capital of Ceara State; it is a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean, near the mouth of the Ceara River. It is one of Brazil’s chief seaports for chief exports such as coffee, cotton, carnuba wax, beans, rice, sugar, fruits, rubber, hides, skins and rum. Fortaleza was founded in 1611, becoming the capital of Ceara State in 1810. The current population is about 2.2 million inhabitants. Located very near the equator, Fortaleza has twelve hours of daylight year round and the temperatures are very warm ranging between 80 and 95 degrees day and night.

Our tour started with a drive by the Praia do Futuro, a popular four mile long beach where there are many beach facilities including open air eating establishments, beach chairs and umbrellas, showers and restroom facilities. Fresh fish are sold at beach stands, along with souvenirs.

We stopped at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza for a look at the beautiful stained glass windows and vast interior able to accommodate a crowd of 5,000. The church is newer and fairly simple inside and out.  A mass was underway.

Our next stop was the central market, which has over 500 stalls where locals sell clothing, local lace and embroidered products such as table cloths, clothing and locally grown cashew nuts. Hammocks of all sizes, shapes and colors are also popular.

Next was the Jose de Alencar Theater, a memorial to the famous 19th century writer and poet from Fortaleza. The theater is a beautiful Art Nouveau style building from 1910 and is still used for theatrical performances today. The theater is horseshoe shaped with two balconies enclosed with ornate ironwork railings from Scotland. The theater seats are all made of woven cane and wood, and the ceilings and walls are all ornately hand-painted murals, painted by a painter with no hands. Still a beautiful theater 100 years after it was built.

Our last stop was the Praia de Iracema located in the newer part of town near most of the hotels and nightlife. White sand beaches stretch for miles with several piers that reach out into the sea creating a great place to enjoy sunsets. The beach is lined with high-rise towers and looks very modern.  The sand has been eroded and huge rocks protect the remaining shore.

Our overall impressions of Fortaleza are that it is a city of contrasts. We drove through some streets that reminded me of a war zone with half demolished buildings, unfinished roads, graffiti and trash everywhere.  Further down the road we would find newer developed neighborhoods with new high-rise buildings and pleasant looking shops. Construction seemed to be going on in all parts of town, but it was still not a very pretty city.

We attended the sail-a-way, then drinks and dinner.  The Amsterdam singers and dancers performed Abba songs, which we loved.  Dennis and Robert sat with us and Robert helped us critique the performance.  He is quite a musician and had worked for the Disney archives.

April 20, 2013 Sea Day

April 20, 2103  Sea Day

We continue to change our clocks and watches back an hour for the third day in a row as we head towards Brazil. Our morning lecture was by Howard Walker who presented a talk titled: Behind Embassy Walls: Who Works There and What Do They Do? It was a very interesting talk on embassies’ core functions of reporting, representation, negotiation and consular. He discussed all of the types of work that embassies do around the world and how many different departments and purposes they serve.

For lunch they featured a tapas bar poolside where they had items like, empanadas, small quiches, garlic olives, meatballs, scallops in a cream sauce and many more. It was a nice change from the usual offerings.

The afternoon included the Indonesian crew show of traditional music, song and dance from their homeland of Indonesia. Many of the dining room stewards and cabin stewards participated in the colorful and lively show.  They needed a little more practice…but considering how many hours they work, we will give them credit for showing up!

The evening’s entertainment was a second show by the Spanish group called Kings of Pop, Queens of Soul. Not many people liked the first show they performed last week so the audience was sparser than usual. The show was not that bad.

Rusty water—Since we boarded, we have experience frequent discharges of rusty water in the shower and sink in our cabin.  We have reported it and they have tried to solve them problem, but it persists.  Today, Kent wrote a note asking for some money back if they can’t provide safe water for bathing and drinking.  HAL immediately sent plumbers to investigate again and gave us bottled water to use.  They followed up with a phone call to see if all was well.  No mention was made of returning any money to us for the inconvenience.  It is OK for now.  At one time or another, all passengers joke about asking for a free cruise if anything isn’t “just so.”  Guess Kent will try that next.  HA!

April 19, 2013 Sea Day

April 19, 2013  Sea Day

We are headed to toward Brazil crossing the Atlantic Ocean, which is the second largest of the earth’s four oceans and the most heavily traveled. Divided into two sections, the part north of the equator is called the North Atlantic, the part south of the equator, the South Atlantic. The ocean’s name is derived from Atlas, one of the Titans of Greek mythology. An S-shaped body of water, the Atlantic extends from the Artic Ocean in the north to the Antarctic continent in the south and between the eastern coast of the American continents and the western coast of Africa and Europe. It’s surface area is about 31,660,000 square miles and if you include its marginal seas-the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the North, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black seas-the total area is about 41 million square miles. The Atlantic has an average depth of 12, 881 feet and its deepest point is in the Puerto Rico Trench, where the bottom is 28,681 feet below the surface. The Atlantic formed about 150 million years ago, when a rift opened up in the super-continent of Gondwanaland, resulting in the separation of South America and Africa, which continues today at the rate of several centimeters a year. The underwater mountain ridges have a more rugged topography than any mountain range on land, are a frequent site of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and can range as high as 2 miles above the ocean floor.

Travel guide Barbara presented: Things to See and Do in Belem, Brazil. We attended a cooking show with guest chef Chris Smith in the Culinary Arts Center where he presented two recipes on a chicken tortellini soup and a tomato and poblano chili soup.

We had lunch in the dining room with friends Ken and Fred.

The afternoon featured a lecture with Howard Walker where he discussed the spread of nuclear weapons, conflicts over natural resources, borders, national minorities, and terrorism. He also discussed cooperation against drugs and thugs, humanitarian issues, environmental protection and the international financial system. Howard has an incredible amount of information and statistics but it is often too much information to absorb.

The afternoon also featured a matinee concert, by concert pianist Naomi Edermariam who had performed a few nights ago. She presented a wonderful program of music written about animals, birds and other “critters.”

It was a formal dinner this evening, featuring a Carnival theme with the dining room decked out in bright colors. After dinner there was a ball in the Queen’s Lounge with all of the officers available for dancing. The lounge was beautifully decorated in brightly colored Carnival decorations. Many of the guests had festive colorful outfits and masks for the occasion although as the cruise has progressed fewer and fewer people have been coming to the balls.  Kent took some pictures of favorite passengers and crew and actually danced with Kathy (no underpants)…..first time he’s danced in about 20 years.  Mark and Jenn posed for photos and observed it all, as wall flowers.  We had fun and stayed until the bitter end.

April 18, 2013 Sea Day

April 18, 2013  Sea Day

On this day we celebrated the 140th Anniversary of Holland America Line. It started with a dream of connecting Rotterdam to the world; a dream that came true shortly after the company was founded in 1873 in Rotterdam. The small cargo and passenger company was originally known as “Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij” or Netherlands-American Steamship Company. The very first voyage was a 14 day and six hour journey from Rotterdam to Plymouth, New York. Twenty-three years later the line became officially known as Holland America Line and headquarters were opened in Hoboken, N.J. in 1900. From the 1880’s to the 1920’s nearly one million immigrants traveled with Holland America Line as steerage passengers. In 1910, the first vacation cruise on the ms Statendam, which sailed to the Holy Lands, followed thirteen years later with cruises on the Veendam II to the Caribbean. The first Grand World Voyage was in 1958. The fleet today has 15 ships with a 16th on the way.

Travel Guide, Barbara, presented Things to Do and See in Fortaleza, Brazil. Howard Walker lectured on The 21st Century World Order: Rise of China, India and Regional Powers where he focused on China today. He discussed how the one child rule has changed the demographics of population and the effects of that. He discussed the rise in wages and how that affects the rest of the world. China has been growing quickly but they have many growing pains and speed bumps ahead to deal with.

The afternoon featured a Tea Dansant or Tea Dance to celebrate the 140th Anniversary of the Holland America Line. Champagne, tea and an assortment of delicious cookies and pastries were served in the Queen’s Lounge as the orchestra played dance music.  We did not dance! The pastry department had created a large cake out of plywood on the stage and covered it with chocolate. It was a festive occasion.

We had dinner with friends Jan and Jan, and David and Ron in the Canaletto restaurant. The evening’s entertainment was a variety show featuring Anne Rayner and Declan Zapala who had each performed in the last few days.

April 17, 2013 Georgetown, Ascension Island

April 17, 2013  Georgetown, Ascension Island

Ascension Island was first discovered in 1501 by Juan da Nova Castella, but the discovery apparently went unrecorded, and the island was re-discovered on Ascension Day 1503 by Alfonso d’Albuquerque. Ascension became strategically significant with the exile of Napoleon to St. Helena; the British were concerned that it could be used in any attempt to rescue Napoleon. Thus a small British naval garrison was established on the island in October 1815. By Napoleon’s death in 1821, Ascension had become a dispatch station for ships engaged in the intercepting of slave ships from the West African coast. Thus, Ascension played a significant role in ending the kidnapping of African natives and the trafficking of human beings to the Americas. In 1823 the garrison was taken over by the Royal Marines and the island remained a naval possession until 1922 when Ascension became a dependency of Saint Helena. In 1982 the island was used as a British staging post for the ill conceived Battle for the Falklands. Wideawake Airfield is still used today by the United States and Royal Air Forces.

The main export item is Ascension Island postage stamps, first issued in 1922. The first post office on the island was established in the early 19th century. At that time stamps were hand-made. The first self-adhesive stamps were introduced in 1856. Ascension stamps are coveted not only for their rarity, but also for the interesting designs.

Tourism was non-existent until recently because of the inaccessibility of the island. However guest cottages and a nice hotel have recently opened. Sport fishing is a main attraction for many visitors and the island “boasts” what was once officially the worst golf course in the world. The course has 18 holes and the greens are in fact brown due to the sand and oil mix used to make them. The rest of the course is made up of volcanic ash and rock, which can make for some interesting rounds.

Unfortunately we were unable to get ashore to see what the island had to offer. Several tender boats were loaded full of guests and sent toward shore, only to find that the swells were too large and the sea was too rough to safely secure the tenders. The only dock is very small and protrudes out into the ocean with no bay or inlet to protect it from the elements of the ocean. After twenty minutes of drifting in the ocean, we were sent back to the ship, never able to step foot on the island. The captain did circumnavigate the island before sailing for Brazil so that we could at least get a glimpse of the island.

The island has thirty-two beaches where about 3,000 rare green turtles swim annually from the waters near South America to lay their eggs. The terrain of the island appeared quite desolate with the exception of a few buildings in the port area. The island has several high peaks climbing up to about 3,000 feet. There are several satellite communication towers on the island from the BBC to the worldwide GPS System.

The day’s activities were altered to give guests things to do onboard the ship, but it was mostly a quiet relaxing sea day.

The entertainment was a classical and percussive guitar concert by Declan Zapala from England. The percussive guitar refers to the use of the guitar as not only a guitar but also a drum. It was an enjoyable evening and he is a very accomplished musician although I am not that fond of guitar music.

April 16, 2013 Sea Day

April 16, 2013  Sea Day

On this morning, Captain Jonathan Mercer was the guest of the Good Morning, Amsterdam talk show. He is always a personable captain who will take time to stop and chat with the guests, and has a wonderful sense of humor.

Howard Walker lectured on the United States and how its economic strength is supported by its entrepreneurial innovation but hampered by growing debt, government gridlock, and weakening social cohesion. It was mostly things that we were aware of but he had some interesting new ways to think of things as well.

Next, David Smith lectured on Capturing Color and Charm of Local People and Culture with your Camera. David discussed ways to approach people from around the world in a non-threatening way to ask permission to take their photographs. He showed many slides from his own collection of people and discussed things he did prior to taking the photos.

The afternoon was a quiet low-key afternoon with no lectures and just a bit of free time to relax.  Kent walked the deck, then ate his favorite chocolate marble cheesecake; Mark blogged!

Later, Kent met with Alec (who is experiencing some dementia-like symptoms and is very concerned about his memory), Ingrid and Fran.  Ingrid is Alec’s travel companion and Fran is quite an interesting lady from Australia who house sits for a living.  Occasionally, she works in “mental health”…quite a comfort to Kent.  She has arranged a 3-month sitting assignment in Arkansas this summer as a result of her contacts on the ship.  Fran also has won the award for the fastest knitter on board and has made several blankets for the Linus project.

The evening’s entertainer was World Renowned Marionette Artist Phillip Huber. Phillip and his partner used to live in Pasadena, but now reside in Tennessee, where Phillip personally creates all of his puppets. The average puppet takes over 400 hours to create. He has joined us for our 7PM cocktail group and we have enjoyed hearing about his work.  When he travels he has six trunks, weighing 300 pounds, to transport a stage and his eighteen puppets. Tonight’s show featured nine of the puppets. He had puppets ranging from a shaggy white dog to Liza Minelli, all of which he operates with amazing life-like movements. They have eye brows, eyes, ears and joints that all operate independently helping them come to life before your eyes.

Napping on the deck—As we walk around the deck, usually in the afternoons, there are a large number of folks reading, talking, drinking, exercising or napping on the deck.  Some are very interesting to watch.  They do that “open mouth sleep/snore” thing.  Kent would love to take a picture of some of them, then sell it back to them….but that would be mean.  Some are quite old and unless they snore, you might think they are dead.  With the age of the passengers (average age is 76) on this ship, you must always be alert!

April 15, 2013 Jamestown, St. Helena

April 15, 2013  Jamestown, St. Helena

Napolean's Longwood House

Napolean’s Longwood House

View to Sandy Bay

View to Sandy Bay

Jamestown from top of Jacob's Ladder

Jamestown from top of Jacob’s Ladder

View of Jacob's Ladder from below

View of Jacob’s Ladder from below


Sailing Away from St. Helena

Sailing Away from St. Helena

Saint Helena is a British Overseas Territory and one of the last relics of the colonies in the South Atlantic Ocean. Located 1,200 miles west of Africa, St. Helena is of volcanic origin, and its surface is rugged and mountainous, reaching an altitude of 2,700 feet. The entire island is only 47 square miles, with a population of 4,000, about 850 of which live in Jamestown. St. Helena was discovered in 1502 by a Portuguese navigator, Joao de Nova; it was then uninhabited. In 1659 the English East India Company founded the first permanent settlement. The island was used as a place of exile for key prisoners, including some 6,000 Boers, Chief Dinizulu, Bahraini princes and of course, Napoleon, who died on St. Helena.

Rising dramatically from the South Atlantic, the island has sheer barren cliffs that are intersected with deep valleys, which slope steeply from the central ridges. The island has no sandy beaches. There is little flat land, and access to the sea level by vehicle is very limited. On higher ground, bush and semi-tropical vegetation is abundant. This changes to grassland and pastures before the terrain becomes drier and almost barren below 1,500 feet. The only inland waters are small mountain streams, which occasionally dry up in the summer months. There is currently no airport so the only access to the island is by way of the sea. The two nearest islands are Ascension Island (703 miles to the north-west) and Tristan de Cunha (1,200 miles south-west).

On this day, we tendered ashore and found a local tour company that was offering a two and a half hour tour of the island for $25 per person.  This compares with the same HAL tour for $80…we have learned for the next cruise. We were taken around the island with five other of the ship’s guests in a 1950’s Ford SUV of the day. Due to the remoteness of the island, many of the vehicles found on the island are quite old. The roads on the island are very narrow and very steep, although very well maintained.  Most have rock guard rails/walls.

Our first stop was at an observation point at the side of the road where we could get a birds eye view of The Briars Pavilion, Napoleon’s first residence in St. Helena, whilst the renovations to Longwood House were being completed. The Briars Pavilion was originally a summerhouse on the Balcombe Estate, a British Family. After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, he was exiled to Mediterranean Elba Island. After he escaped and was recaptured, his captors decided Elba was too close to home. Sailing aboard the HMS Northumberland, he landed at St. Helena after a journey of ten weeks. It was believed that the island was escape-proof.  From what we saw, we agree!

Our second stop was at the Sane Valley, where the original tomb of Napoleon is. The Emperor chose this beautiful, lushly wooded valley as his burial place in the event that orders were given for his body to be buried on the island. The site is accessed via a ten-minute walk down a grassy path into a scenic, quiet valley. The site where he was buried has a concrete slab with a black wrought iron fence around it and a flag- pole flying the French flag. His body has since been exhumed and moved to Paris along the Seine, which was his wish.

Our next stop was at Longwood House, where Napoleon last resided and where he died on May 5, 1821. The site is now a museum owned by the French Government. The residence is a generous sized single story home on a large parcel of landscaped grounds and views of the ocean. The home has a large living room, dining room, family room, bedroom, bath, study and kitchen. The rooms are generous in size and have been furnished to give you an idea of how it may have looked during Napoleon’s time. Many of the original furnishings have been sent to Paris. The house is filled with photographs, copies of letters and memento’s from the time of Napoleon.

Next we visited Plantation House built in 1792 by the East India Company as the country residence for the Island’s Governors. The residence is a large two story colonial home nestled on a clearing in the forest. It is still used as a residence by today’s Governor so we were not able to go inside. The grounds of the residence are home to the Island’s oldest inhabitant, Jonathan the tortoise, and several of his friends. Jonathan is believed to be about 178 years old.  We didn’t see him  there.

Located in the town of Jamestown is Jacob’s Ladder, built in 1829 as an inclined plane to link Jamestown with the garrison atop Ladder Hill. Soldiers at the fort had to haul ammunition and supplies along the makeshift route.  The ladder is 900 feet long and has 699 steps. The steps are extremely steep, large risers and only about thirty inches wide. Every year they have a competition to see who can climb the steps the quickest. The current record is just over five minutes.  Many from the ship climbed the ladder…some even jogged up in eight minutes!  Kent gave it a miss….he knows his limitations as “an older person.”

The island has a large amount of New Zealand flax plants growing as it was harvested and turned into twine and exported for over 60 years until the industry collapsed in the 1960’s. Donkeys were the main method of transport on the island for many years. Efforts are underway to make more use of the donkeys and to preserve the donkey legacy. They have a “donkey walk” much like in Santorini, Greece.  St. Helena coffee is amongst the rarest and most highly prized coffee in the world. Coffee was introduced in the 1700,s and is an Arabica bean. The island’s isolation means the coffee has remained pure.

After our tour we had lunch with Jenn at the Consulate Hotel in town, used the Internet and had a look around Jamestown. Mark climbed up Jacob’s Ladder before returning to the tender for our short ride back to the ship and the sail-away party.The island was a delight to visit with its narrow winding streets, unique flora and interesting history. Jamestown has a wonderful downtown with shops, restaurants, hotels, a small museum, all nestled in a narrow valley rising from the waterfront. They are in the process of building an airport, which will undoubtedly bring more tourists and unfortunately may change the island forever.The evening’s entertainment was a young woman by the name of Anne Rayner. Anne is a very accomplished musician who played a variety of music on the flute, saxophone and clarinet. …mostly without much passion!

April 14, 2014 Sea Day

April 14, 2013  Sea Day

This morning we attended a lecture by Char, the Future Cruise Consultant, who gave a bit of history on Holland America Line. She showed photos of some of the old ship’ s interiors and exteriors through the last 140 years of service. Also included in her presentation were a number of upcoming voyages for you to book with her.

Howard Walker lectured on The 21st Century World Order where he discussed Europe’s relative decline in global power and the reasons for it. He talked about the lack of military, changes in the global economy, and the strengths and weaknesses of the European Union.

We met with a friend by the name of Susan who had gone on two overland trips in Africa to see her photos. She visited Kruger National Park for three days and then took a three-day trip to Sossusvlei Dunes deep in the heart of the Namib Desert. Kruger National Park has five million acres of wildlife for the ultimate wildlife experience. Susan had wonderful photos of the lodge that they stayed at and tons of photos of the wildlife animals taken on several game drives. Sossusvlei Dunes is a 37,000 hectare wilderness reserve with luxurious accommodations. This was more about the flora and fauna found in the desert and the opportunity to experience stargazing at its best away from civilization.

The afternoon featured a cultural variety show by the Filipino crew. They performed many native dances and songs of the Philippines. The Filipino’s make up much of the front office staff and the beverage staff in all of the lounges and bars around the ship. The quality of the performances is not always the best but they make a tremendous effort to show us a bit of their culture.

We had dinner in the Canaletto Italian Restaurant with our friend, Cathy…whose favorite expression is, “baby, baby.” Following dinner we were entertained by a Spanish group who put on a show titled Kings of Pop, Queens of Soul. The group consists of a brother and sister who come from a father who is a well- known Spanish guitarist and her boyfriend and another young lady. They are quite young and performed musical hits from the past and present.  Kent had befriended them when they arrived on the ship and has been engaging them in conversation…some in Spanish!

April 13, 2013 Sea Day

April 13, 2013  Sea Day

Good Morning Amsterdam this morning featured a new celebrity guest chef by the name of Chris Smith. Chris was diagnosed with Stage 1 Diabetes at the age of 27, which led him to begin thinking about what he was eating. He lectured all over the U.S. on healthier ways to eat and prepare tasty and easy to prepare meals. He has written several cookbooks.

Barbara, our Travel Guide, lectured on things to see and do in our next two ports of call:  St. Helena and Ascension Island.

One of the women onboard whose husband had died recently was granted permission to have his ash burial at sea today. He was fascinated with Namibia and wanted his ashes to be scattered in the ocean off of Namibia.

The afternoon brought back Howard Walker who lectured on West Africa where he discussed the historic influences of ancient West Africa kingdoms, Islam’s centuries old presence, Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the future for West Africa. It was a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time but it was very interesting.

It was a formal night onboard so we dressed up in our tuxedos for drinks, dinner and the show. The entertainment was the Amsterdam singers and dancers who performed a show called Hit List. The music was an upbeat journey through the world of popular, contemporary music from artists such as Prince, Madonna, Elvis, and Sting.  Earlier, we attended the dress rehearsal for the show, which was open to the public.

April 12, 2013 Walvis Bay, Namibia

April 12, 2013  Walvis Bay, Namibia Day 2

School Children

School Children

This second day in Walvis Bay, we took the ship’s shuttle into the town of Walvis Bay where we had a look around the town. The town is laid out on a grid pattern with numerical streets going north and south away from the harbor starting with First Street. Streets perpendicular to the harbor having numerical numbers from south to north, although they are called roads. I’m sure this has caused much confusion over the years. The town was fairly neat and tidy although there were a good number of vacant storefronts and many of the buildings were in need of a fresh coat of paint. We saw churches, markets, clothing stores and the usual shopping, yet nothing architecturally interesting or unique.

In the afternoon, back onboard the ship, we were treated to a concert by the Bernard Nordkamp Center children’s choir of 35 children. They were treated to a tour of the ship and a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and ice cream in the Lido restaurant before the concert. They gave a delightful performance of song and dance for about 45 minutes. After the concert they were presented with about $6,000 in cash to help with the work that the center does for the children here in Namibia.

Father Bernard Nordkamp came to Namibia in 1986 and throughout his fifteen years of dedicated service, he focused on the plight of children – especially those in Windhoek’s northern Katutura settlement. His goal was to provide a safe place for orphans and vulnerable children as well as a soup kitchen, thereby guaranteeing them at least one hot meal a day. Father Bernhard passed away in July of 2009, but the center continues to serve the children. Today they have a school with six Namibian teachers providing after school education for the children in addition to their public education. They also provide sporting and cultural activities like swimming, soccer, singing and dancing.

Naomi Edemariam, a concert pianist, provided the evening’s entertainment. She was an accomplished pianist who performed a wide variety of classic pieces.

One of the mid-ship cleaners on board has been very courteous, kind and dedicated to his work of vacuuming the stairs and cleaning the railings and glass mid-ship.  We have talked with him several times and decided to ask him to have lunch with us.  However, to do this, we had to write to his boss to get permission to have lunch with him.  The boss came to talk with us, only to say the Holland America policy was not to allow crew members to fraternize with the guests.  It is understandable, in that if we favor one crewmember, the others may feel left out and that might hurt morale.

The cleaning crew are like prisoners.  They work long hours, seven days a week for ten months at a time, go to the crew quarters in the lower decks of the ship to eat, sleep, exercise, etc., and stay there.  They are not to visit passenger’s areas when off duty and they should not interact with passengers except to greet them while working.  However, they do have opportunities they wouldn’t have back in their home countries.