Sunday, 26 August 2012

Message in a Bottle story: A Ticket to Freedom

During a 1979 cruise to Hawaii, Dorothy and John Peckham passed the time by writing notes and throwing them overboard inside empty champagne bottles. They asked anyone who found on of their bottles to write back to them, and even went as far as to include a $1 bill to cover the postage.

On 4th March 1983, John's 70th birthday, the couple received a letter from Hoa Van Nguyen. Nguyen a former soldier in the Vietnamese Army, said he and his younger brother had found one of the Peckhams' bottles as the two men were floating 15 kilometres from the shore of Songkhla Province in Thailand. They were braving the waters of the Pacific in a small, shallow riverboat in order to escape the Communist regime in Vietnam. When they saw the bottle, they felt as though a prayer had been answered, giving them the strength to carry on. After reading the letter, the Peckhams looks for Songkhla on a map and were shocked to find that the bottle had travelled 9,000 miles from Hawaii.

The Peckhams corresponded with Hoa for years, sharing in his joy they received a photo from his wedding, then again nice months later when they saw his newborn son. But most of all, they empathized with Hoa's desire to give his family the best life he could. So when Hoa asked if the Peckhams could help his family move to the U.S., they didn't hesitate. After months of working with U.S. Immigration, the two families finally did meet in 1985, when a plane from Thailand landed in Los Angeles - the Nguyen's new home.

I saw this story and it really inspired me. It looks like the bottles I send out for our website views wont be the only messages in bottles I ever send. 

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