By: Jamie Wilson (Chief Development Officer at True Patriot Love)

It’s been exactly two weeks since our ‘last day’ together on Fogo Island.  Although back to my routine, work, toddler, etc… I still reflect, many times a day, on our journey. 

It truly has been difficult, to sum up, my experiences to many of my family and friends, and even when I try it seems hard for them to grasp the immensity of emotion attached to that week.  Of course, the weather was a challenge from the beginning.  It rained every day, even boarding the bus on the first day, travelling to our put out, it was raining.  For anyone who has embarked on multiple day camping trips, rain is not fun!  Because of the weather, the wind being another factor, many of our starts were delayed, and in fact, on the first day we were not even able to get out on the water…although some of us were secretly up for the challenge!  And, the pack ice. Newfoundland has not seen as much pack ice as we witnessed in 42 years.  Although we enjoyed circling the beautiful icebergs, and John and I actually got stuck on one of them (we didn’t tell Paul!), the group ultimately had to turn around as it was too risky to charge through.

What amazed me about this group was the patience, understanding, compassion, sense of community and commitment we had for one another, and with ourselves.  The ‘tribe’, as we lovingly refer to it, took every challenge in stride, pivoted with grace, and mostly laughed and celebrated the unpredictability of mother nature.  We shared many laughs around lunch, dinner, and dishes and engaged in meaningful conversations individually and within our larger tribe.  What I will say is that every single one of my tribe mates I see so much beauty in. I mentioned this in one of our group discussions but feel it is worth sharing here on this page.  I was sitting on the bus that was taking us from our last camp out to the ferry, and I shared a glance, a smile, some form of eye contact with each and every one in my tribe.  What I noticed was I could identify something in each one of them that I would like to “be” more like myself.  What I felt was a tremendous love for each one of them.  What I knew was this new group of amazing and inspiring individuals would be part of my life forever.