I notice two things when I arrive in Lampedusa—beauty and authority. Also, the phone sets itself to Tripoli time. I look around, making sure the signs are still in Italian. They are.
A few hours later, I meet my contact, looking as she always does, beautiful, disheveled, and purposeful, standing on a frigate-turned-fishing boat that appears to be mounted on a sea of glass (the water is the clearest you’ll find).
We push off.
After we dine on squid, sweet onions, tomatoes, capers, and olives, I notice a small boat in the distance. I assume it’s another fishing vessel.
My contact tells me this is what she wanted me to see. The boat is actually a motorized raft filled with a hundred African migrants who look like they’ve been to hell and back. We are there to “greet” them.
Over the next several days, I realize that Lampedusa has long been the conduit to a better life for African migrants. Many perish trying to reach “the door to Europe.” Some succeed.
“Now you know,” she tells me.
Knowledge Tunic (No. 5589). Her choices, in style and life, always impress. Cotton sateen tunic with teardrop keyhole at center front. Soulful striped pattern with solid navy piping at front waist only. Three-quarter length sleeve. For new beginnings. Made in India.