A day to remember

Group photo on board of the ship with the Commander of UNIFIL's MTF Rear Admiral Joese De Andrade Bandeira Leandro of Brazil.

The students and staff of Naqoura's Public Intermediate School visiting UNIFIL's Maritime Task Force (MTF) Flag Ship in Beirut port.

Students on the bridge of the ship, being briefed about the ship equipment and capabilities.

The students greatly enjoyed the surprise balloon games on board the Maritime Task Force vessel.

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29 Oct 2013

A day to remember

Although visits of school children to UNIFIL positions are regularly conducted by UNIFIL CA, this was the very first time that a trip to an MTF ship was organized for students from within UNIFIL's area of operations. There was a great childlike excitement among all the visitors and the director of the school, was particularly delighted about 'exposing students to new and wonderful experiences'.

Once on board the Brazilian MTF flag ship, the visitors from the South were taken on a tour of the ship where they were shown the ship's helicopter, the command centre on the bridge, the vessel's massive anchor and much more.

The day proved to be not only educational but also entertaining, when a Brazilian musical performance was organized by the MTF staff, which saw children and adults alike, move to the captivating Brazilian tunes and beats.

Some other fun activities like balloon games made the day complete. As eighth grader, Sarah al Masri said, 'it was so much fun and I didn't realize that the day had passed so quickly. This was a trip of a life time and I hope I get more such opportunities in future to explore something new and unique'.

For the children, many of whom had never been to Beirut, it was not just the excitement of the ship, but also the long drive from Naqoura to Beirut, which added to the adventure. Mohamad Moslamani, also a student said, 'I enjoyed the scenes I saw while on the bus to Beirut, almost as much as the big beautiful ship' and thanked UNIFIL's Brazilian MTF for a 'memorable day'.

It was apparent that for the students, the day was more than just a regular school organized extra-curricular activity. As Douaa Mliji, another student said, 'I had a grand tour of a Brazilian ship, heard live Brazilian music and was exposed to Brazilian customs and practices. In all, I felt like I visited Brazil without actually going there'. This rightly summed up the feeling experienced by them all, as they boarded the bus back to Naqoura, tired but extremely satisfied.

The joy was equally shared by the hosts. The Commander of UNIFIL's MTF Rear Admiral Joese De Andrade Bandeira Leandro of Brazil, described the day as one of the happiest days on board of the ship.



Article: Vydia Singh
Video Editor: Mohamad Hamze
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pascual Gorriz Marcos