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By: Jake Arft-Guatelli, San Diego, CA – February 17, 2018

 

“To reach a port we must set sail”. Since the first sails were raised to the wind, sailing has been a common pastime of mankind and a central setting for telling stories to one another. That is exactly what four Hands of Peace participants did Saturday the 17th with the Veterans for Peace Project.

They set sail from Point Loma, and gathered to hear the story of the Golden Rule, a gaff ketch currently in use for the Veterans for Peace Project, an organization founded by a Quaker naval commander in the wake of Hiroshima with the aim of nuclear disarmament.

During the trip, all four participants took turns at the tiller as they sailed out the channel, past several naval bases, and out into the bay. The participants also learned sailing terminology and got to see up close submarines entering and exiting a naval base.

As the Veterans for Peace crew shared with us their story, the participants also explained the life-changing experience that is the Hands of Peace program. They discussed how dialogue works and why it is so effective. Participants also had the opportunity to engage in very interesting discussion with the crew, whose unique perspective made for fascinating and valuable conversation.
To quote Shayna, an American Hand, “The experience gave me another example of how one person or one collective drive between people can make such an impact. It was inspiring to see how such a small ship could spark such a nationwide union behind a cause.”

 

After two hours at sea, participants returned to shore and celebrated Josie, a American XL’s birthday, on the grass overlooking the bay. Participants then took the opportunity to hold a brief dialogue lasting around three-quarters of an hour, where they debriefed and shared their thoughts.

 

Jake Arft-Guatelli participated in Hands of Peace in San Diego in 2017. Currently, he is part of the San Diego alumni club and his school’s Hands of Peace service learning group where e has worked through community events to spread awareness and Hands of Peace values.