Funchal is a Beautiful City

I sit here on this rainy morning and remember a day last spring when my family was fortunate enough to visit the city of Funchal on the island of Madeira (Portugal) on our Disney Transatlantic Cruise.

The city is beautiful with chapels and old buildings.  Even the parks feel ‘old world’ and you would love to take the benches for your garden that they have in them.

A few months before we were there, they had torrential rains which caused mudslides all over the island.  We took the gondola up to the top of the peak, and on our way up we could still see the havoc that was wreaked on the island.  The mudslides had caused so much to be torn down.  As we sat on the outdoor and patio furniture at the top it was sad to see the people’s homes, yards and the streets that had been destroyed.

In this picture you can see just a small part of the damage the mudslides caused.  The buildings you see under the foliage debris were homes.

The one thing we noticed though was the love of life the people that live there still had despite their circumstances.  The children were still playing in the parks, the young people were out and about dancing, laughing and having a good time, and even those that had boards on their windows and stacks of debris in their yards with not much more than cheap plastic and polywood Adirondack chairs to call their own  were enjoying the company of their family and friends and a drink together.

It made me aware of how I need to respond when I’m faced with the reality of an enormous challenge that I have no control over – Life is worth living even when the journey is difficult.  Yep, the city and the people of Funchal are beautiful.