Saturday, 26 September 2015

New Dawn, New Day

There was ship holiday on Friday. That means I had the day off! I had a list of the things I wanted to get done, because that is just how it works for me. I find it to be a little unnerving that on my list I wrote "get outside". When I get busy it gets so easy not to go outside... ever. Crazy, I know, but I can go to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, go to work, and go to sleep without going near an exit.

Today I had a great day; I am always happy when I get my laundry done early in the day because then even if I don't do ANYTHING else then I feel like I accomplished something. In addition to doing laundry I got to cook! Sure, cooking doesn't seem all that exciting, but when I get to learn something new I always get excited. I got to learn how to cook a delicious meal from a Malagasy. Not many people can say that. A chicken was killed in the making of this lunch. However, I did not eat said chicken, nor did I participate in its killing. Fresh peas! I got to eat fresh peas. I think that is part of the reason why I don't cook very much here: because I don't know how/where to get the good ingredients. Even if I did know where to go I would probably pay too much or not be able to communicate at all. So I am thankful that my teacher was able to gather all the ingredients himself. Something that I was reminded of today was that people can seriously surprise you. I mean look at this presentation...

Who knew that a plumber could be so creative and artistic? Maybe plumbing fosters a sense of appreciation for the beautiful things in life since there is lots of gross stuff to encounter in that profession. Who knows? I'm just making stuff up. 

There are some seriously beautiful sunsets around here. We have such a great view from the top of the gangway:

When I was making pasta today, (a big bowl of pesto covered fusilli makes me a happy lady) I was reading the back of the pasta bag. Take a gander:

Does anything stand out to you? How does Barilla get off claiming that it is "the pasta brand Italians prefer". How can they possibly know that? I thought that they could claim they are the best selling pasta brand (based on sales numbers) and that would be okay. That is not what they are claiming. Then I thought about how they could have polled a random sample of Italians. But what do you define as an Italian? Someone who was born in Italy? First generation Italians? Second? People with one Italian parent? Someone who holds an Italian passport? This is what happens. I find something and then I give it far too much thought. That is my life. Don't do what I do; you'll go crazy.

Have a great Sunday!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Plate of Plantains

When there is a plate full of golden, delicious, fried plantains, given to me by two different sources I know it is going to be good day.

Saturday was also a great start to the weekend with a beautiful, sunny, walk back to the ship after purchasing the second part of my flights to go home for Christmas! I get to go home and see my family, celebrate the marriage of one my dear friends, and drive! I don't like to devalue the present by filling my thoughts with the future but sometimes it is nice to have something to look forward to, especially when your current situation still doesn't feel "normal". Since the ship is full of coming and going you will often hear people talking about where they came from and where they are going next. It is often hard to hear people talk about what comes next for them and be thrilled about getting back to "normal" and get out of the craziness of the ship. It is especially hard when you are being left behind. I believe that is true of any situation; it is always hard to be the one being left than the one leaving. Anyway, I digress.Yesterday, the day ended with a birthday party full of dancing and laughter; a great way to set up a wonderful Sunday.

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and I wish you a wonderful week.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

It is Just A Game

This weekend I participated in a young adult retreat hosted by some of the crew on board the ship. The topic revolved around a series by Andy Stanley called "Guardrails". There were six topics where we watched a video and then broke into smaller group to discuss content and thoughts. Along with the spiritual aspect there were lots of fun activities to get people involved. It was also really nice to meet some of the new crew and put faces to their names that I seen on paper for months.

Group games. I'm not a huge fan of these types of activities but I see the value in them. Yesterday we had three, one at the beginning of each "session". The first one I really liked, the second one I didn't mind, and the third one was a complete disaster for me. This was the premise. Everyone had a partner and was standing in a big circle. One person of each pair was blindfold and had to retrieve one of their partner's shoes (which were in a big pile in the middle of the circle). It doesn't seem so bad, right? Just a little chaos to have some fun. Well, this game devastated me. Yes, devastated. It was because my inadequacy was put on display for everyone to see. I know you are thinking that I am overreacting and that thought is a little excessive. Vulnerability is one of the most difficult things for me to deal with. I like to be in control, I don't trust people, and I am happy that I can take care of myself. Yes, I see that all of those things are areas I need to deal with, and are certainly a cause for discussion, but let's save that for another time. Putting on a blindfold and being put at the mercy of another person is a nightmare for me. Once I realized I was one of the last people in that circle, and there were 80 sets of eyes around me, I lost it. Why wasn't anyone trying to help? Why did everyone continue to make noise and make it more challenging to try an accomplish the task at hand? Why did people just push me away when I ran into them when they could see. I don't know why this hurt me so much, but every time I think about it I start to cry. I cry, and I can't stop because I continue to think how much we see each other struggle and we don't do anything to help. Conversely, we may try to help but our instructions send the person in the wrong direction again. Does that mean we shouldn't try to help for fear of misguiding or misleading someone? I don't know. I don't know how to answer that. Life hurts a whole lot, so I would ask you to take hold of someone who is going the wrong direction and help them in their decision as to which direction to take next. Please don't just push them away with a quick word and hope for the future; show them how to get where they need to go. You can be there to equip them, if you so choose. I understand that this is not always an option and it is hard to think about helping someone else when you don't have yourself together, but you never know the great impact you can make unless to reach out. Who knows? They might even help you in the process.

On a prettier note (because my messy crying face isn't all that attractive), here is a pretty sunset from yesterday. The bow lines are stretching across the water, keeping us from floating away.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Ta Da!

As I was sitting at a lovely table located on deck 7 (which is kind of like sitting on a covered porch) I thought about how the tables got there. They just appeared after the sail. I didn't see anyone doing it but someone tirelessly pulled them out of their sailing storage space and set them out so many people could use them to enjoy a meal, sit, chat, read a book and many other things. So, what else just "appears around the ship".

1. A fully made bed. When a new crew member first gets here their bed is made and there are towels and a treat waiting for them.
2. Food. Everyday food just appears in the dining room, ready to be eaten. We aren't allowed to go in the galley so we know there are people up there cooking but we can't see it.
3. Mail and packages from the container. Last week I got some mail and was told I could just go by the post office and pick it up. How did it get there? How many hands contributed to delivering it, unpacking it and processing it?
4. Toilet paper in the public washrooms. Thank goodness that appears regularly because you can't yell down the hallway at anyone to bring you some.
5. Cold air from the ceiling. I gained a serious appreciation for this during the warmth of ship yard when we didn't have any A/C.
6. Fast internet. I don't know how it gets hooked up, or who presses what buttons but all of a sudden we can use Youtube and Skype without any issues.
7. Birthday parties. I am very lucky to have many people on the ship who care about me enough to want to help me celebrate my birthday with a big family dinner.

Thank you to all of the people that contribute to making things appear on the ship, you are appreciated.