Ship for World Youth:
After 16 years
In a dreamlike moment I look at the ship reaching closer. It is
reaching the Colombo Port close enough. Some years back, as an ex
participant youth onboard, I never imagined this will happen. Yes, I
never thought I would ever get to see this same Fuji Maru in my own home
But it happened - after 16 years.
Thoughts came one by one, but pity I cannot remember them all now. I
should have written them down. But you cannot afford to do such things.
It would only have spoiled the moment.
And at Colombo Port we were all fixing our gaze on the ship, a home
to us in different times. Apart from us Sri Lankans, there were
Japanese, Oman and Turkish ex participant youths too. Masazumi Sato, who
shared the cabin with me on the ship, was on his second visit to Sri
“Why don’t you write some notes?”
“On what?” Masa asked me.
“On what you felt being here and seeing the programme...”
“Yes, I will try. But I need time. Perhaps I will message you on
And here is what he has sent:
There were a lot of smiles during the Port of Call in Sri Lanka. When
I was in Sri Lanka, I was happy and felt like I was home all the time.
The feeling was as same as I was on the ship spending with Sri Lankan
delegation in 2010. Then I’d like to tell you what I thought during the
Port of Call in Sri Lanka in 2012.
On February 15, we arrived at Colombo. My friend, Ilahi, came to pick
us up at the airport. Then we went to stay at the apartment we called
SWY house because all of us were ex-PYs. The following day, we got up
early and we went to the Port in Colombo. As soon as we arrived there,
we met a lot of ex-PYs from SWY 22.
I was really excited to meet them, because this was my first time to
meet them after the SWY programme. I was very pleased to welcome the
Fuji Maru with them. A few hours later, we saw Fuji Maru coming to the
Port. Then we started to call out “S W Y Sri Lanka” over again and
again. The moment we saw the ship coming into the port - it was one of
the most memorable sights for me.
On February 17, I took part in a visit to the TV station in Colombo
with Information and Media course discussion group. On the way to get
there, we saw that there were thirteen national flags around the center
of the city. I have never seen the flags in the city like that, so I
felt very welcomed there.
After that, we got to the TV station. The member of National Youth
Services Council gave me an explanation of the facility kindly. I looked
around it with my friend who was from Sri Lanka and who was my roommate
when I was on the ship. When I was a studio, there was a lot of
electronic equipment. Then he said to me happily, “Masa, look, here is a
Japanese logo.” Then I had a look and there was a sticker of Japan’s
official development assistance. I was happy too.