Meghalaya : 47-day sea journey for Shillong woman to reach India

Melody Siangshai and the cruise ship in the background. Image : Highland Post

Shillong(Meghalaya), Aug 3: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the world, a woman from Shillong travelled for 47 days from the United States of America (USA) to reach India.

Melody Siangshai, a resident of Kharmalki, Shillong, worked in a cruise ship “Carnival Horizon”, in its wellness department.

“The company took all the responsibility to ensure its employees are well looked after in the Covid-19 situation. They took all the effort to drop us home via the sea route,” Siangshai said.

It may be mentioned that during the pandemic, travelling by flights from one country to the other was not allowed.
She said that when the Covid-19 pandemic started, they left Florida on May 3 and it took them 47 days to reach Mumbai.

“We traveled through the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean. We travelled though South Africa and countries like Zimbabwe,” Siangshai said.

During the travel back home, she said her friends from Mauritius were with her but the government there refused to receive them due to the pandemic and they had to go back to Miami, USA.

However, she was thankful to the Government of India which received them warmly and she managed to reach home safely.
When asked how she managed to land up a job in the cruise ship, Siangshai said that earlier she was working in Delhi and when this company advertised for jobs she applied for it.

“Initially I thought this company was a fake one since there have been various instances. I went for the interview I was selected for the job in the cruise ship,” she added.

First time out of the country on her own, Siangshai said it was an experience for her.

“When I first reached Los Angeles I did not have much money with me, I had only 150 dollars with me. The agency people told me that 200 dollars will be enough and on the way to USA. We first stopped at Hong Kong so I had food since I was hungry. I had only 150 dollars left with me for the hotel bill which was 135 dollars,” she said.

“I was grateful to God since he was the one who helped me. I started crying as I had money only for the hotel but not cash to pay the taxi fare to reach the cruise ship. So I contacted the manager of the company to give me some money and I was able to reach the ship,” she added.

Siangshai said that there are various departments in the cruise ship which can accommodate 5000 people. Along with the staff there are 7000 people altogether in the cruise ship.

She worked in the wellness section of the cruise. “When we are in the cruise ship we go to Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba. It is a nine-day cruise,” she said.

Siangshai also informed that during the trip back to India they were kept under isolation.

“We sat in one place like in a jail for our own good only. But the company we work for had taken all the responsibility. They provided us with food accommodation. The doctors will check on us every day for the virus. The ship where we traveled in did not have any carriers of the virus,” Siangshai said.

By special arrangement with Highland Post

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