A GIANT ship loomed at the port, its sight brings smiles to many book lovers in Kuching as the Logos Hope arrived at the Sim Kheng Hong port on Tuesday.
Logos Hope, deemed to be the world’s largest floating bookstore, is no stranger to Kuching as it has been visiting every few years in a bid to spread the importance of knowledge, to help and give hope to the places it visits.
International crew members and volunteers donned their traditional costumes and sailor outfit greet visitors warmly as they step into the ship which they call home. From every corner, volunteers and crew are there to aid and answer queries from visitors. They are also eager to entertain visitors with stories of their life with Logos Hope.
The volunteers on Logos Hope hail from 45 nations, comprising Germany, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan, India, Egypt, Mexico, Malaysia and others. As a united body, they shared the same passion for knowledge.
Invited guests for the opening ceremony of the bookstore swarmed the ship after the ribbon-cutting ceremony by Land Development Minister Tan Sri James Masing.
Visitors cannot resist to pick up an armful of books upon entering the bookstore. With the vast collection of books, CDs and stationeries available on sale, visitors are seen reading quietly with their brows creased in concentration.
Some visitors prefer to chat with the volunteers and crew members on their life with Logos Hope, their experiences, the lessons learnt and their hope for the future.
The first day of Logos Hope’s opening to the public seems promising with the large number of invited guests who showed up. The number is expected to increase during the weekends when parents can bring their children to visit.
Dr Gan Sui Ji from Penang is one of the two Malaysians volunteering onboard Logos Hope. Currently she is the only medical doctor on the ship and her role is to provide medical aid to the crew members.
Although she has not joined the ship for long, she told reporters that she had a wonderful time on board, interacting with people from all around the world, making friends and learning new things everyday.
Another volunteer from Japan named Haruka also spoke fondly of her experience being with the ship. Language barrier could be a problem to her but thanks to onboard English lessons, she has learnt to converse well in English which helps her communicate with others.
“With the broad range of races and wide variety of professional experience, Logos Hope represents a micro community. It shows a clear picture of what a larger community should and can be,” said Masing in his speech on the ship.
“It is my hope and all of us in Sarawak that your micro community and your ways of achieving it can be reflected by us in Sarawak if not, the whole Malaysia.”
Logos Hope will be on the shores of Kuching for 30 days. Its next stop is Cebu in the Philippines.