sea nostalgia marcelo diaz   I  marcelo diaz I just “gondolled” to say I love you... You go past the Santa Klara island cliffs, in the bay of Donostia, and of the kids in these photos is under the water with goggles on, and he said to me:

“This thing down here's very big!”

So you can understand what we're talking about, I'll explain a bit. I'm a teacher at a stand up paddle school, and my biggest aim is to get you to where surf can't take you by giving you s.u.p. classes. Our school's objective is to offer this to all types of people and, especially, to people who live far from the water or who have problems getting into it. Because of these problems, as part of the 2009 “Oporrak Bakean” (Holidays in Peace), Gondolin Gipuzkoa's main project was to teach Sahara children s.u.p. and play with them in the water. Let's go back to the sentence about the bay. To the moment when we're sharing the goggles. We've only got one pair of goggles and the child and the teacher share them. The monitor who's come from Sahara, “Butalja”, doesn't dare put his head under the water. He's an adult (he's lived 30 years in the desert, in a Sahara refugee camp) and, as he later tells us on the shore, “my brothers and I don't like the sea...”. The occupation of the part of Sahara which meets the Atlantic coast has done more than just steal the country's coast and maritime riches. Although the whole nation resists, in time many people have lost their roots.

That's their difficult situation, it's wrong and it's harsh. For many people, that's the longest distance there can be put between yourself and the water. You can't just go down to “your beach” on any particular day. Somebody's occupied your land and he wants to kick you out for ever. And even if many other countries declare in your favour, to stay alive you have to carry on living in the middle of one of the toughest deserts in the world. And, little by little, even if you try to remember, you forget the smell of the sea; the sound of the waves gets wiped from your memory. While you're reading this, hundreds of families, dozens of associations and a bunch of town halls are getting ready to receive “our children” once again. We too are waiting for them to arrive so we can take them into the sea. We don't want them to say “Europe's beautiful, I want to stay here”, we want them to get their energy back and one day, when they get back their costal lands, we'll be the ones who can visit them. And right there, on their beach, we can have a great party, like the EUSKAL JAIMAK we organize at Getaria.