Sunday, 28 February 2016

Back to the Patients

On a day where my head cannot imagine trying to compose coherent sentences on a week that doesn't have anything worth reporting, I think it is time to watch another video!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Garbage Revealed

It has been a month, and today is the day that I show you all how wasteful I truly am. Here's the evidence:

The left hand side is all empty bags of flour and sugar and butter wrappings (evidence of my baking obsession). The middle section is mostly food wrapping and the right side is the section that is the most disappointing.
It is disappointing because if I were at home these items could have been recycled, but here they just become trash. Overall it did not change my habits too much but I did refrain from buying many single serving snacks that are a big garbage producing culprit in my life. This tells me that when I go home I can really reduce my waste by purchasing baking ingredients in bulk and avoiding too many packaged snacks. Can you buy butter in bulk? Maybe straight from a farm? I don't know about that. I guess I could make my own butter by using fresh cream (from a glass bottle). Oh the things that are possible. 

As evidence of my need to bake here is my Sunday morning:

The crew galley was quiet and there isn't much more I can ask for to improve my baking experience.

Yesterday was an amazing day as I got the opportunity to  join a group of women from the ship and go to a local church and minister to some of the women there. A foot washing was organized and there were about 50 women that were there and got their feet washed. It was really interesting to see many of them break down in tears while the process was taking place and see many of them have huge smiles on their faces when it was all over. We got so many hugs and so many thank yous; they were so grateful and I was very grateful to be a part of the whole thing.

As an aside: Mercy Ships founder Don Stephens is on board and I am spending my days taking the long way so as not to disturb him. I have been told he is a very humble man. I look forward to hearing him speak tonight.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Abnormal Weekend

Sorry for being late, but I have a great explanation. This weekend was a long weekend (we had Friday off). The chaplaincy team was holding a couples' retreat and for those couples who have kids child care was provided. That is where I come in. Along with 6 other "grown up" crew members we entertained the kids and fully tired ourselves out. I managed to give myself a reputation for being able to drag kids across the carpeted floor on their sleeping bags. It wasn't so bad the first few times but then I was hurting. Sunday was a no walking day so I could recover. It was really fun to let loose and be a little crazy. The kids were really good but just like home the girls and the boys can tease each other and the little ones got tired and cranky. I forgot to mention that there were 20 kids between 5 and 11 years old. The theme of the retreat was the persecuted church. That is a scary topic but it was presented in a really approachable way. The kids got to colour a map while praying for kids around the world, had to do a hunt for the secret church location, and watched some videos of kids their age in refugee camps. Apart from those activities there was lots of silliness and so much creativity and imagination, movies, pizza making, and friendship. Sometimes I get self-conscious around kids because I am not the most fun and zany and injuries that are my fault always frighten me. Anyway, I am thrilled I got to participate.
I also got some Valentine's treats from two people off the ship. I am kind of obsessed with this straw...
These tic tacs have words on them! Like conversation hearts.
I also got a cookie making kits to make theses beauties:
 And then, because I was bored, I made these:

And then there was church and, poof, the weekend was over! 

For those enjoying Family Day I hope your weekend has been extra wonderful and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Bagel Time

Before I start I wanted to share this picture of the beautiful sky that I was looking at last Sunday from my hammock on deck 7.

Today was one of those days where I felt like there was no point in blogging. I looked at my last post and saw that only 31 people took the time to look at what I wrote. I had to remind myself that the number doesn't matter. Even if one person is interested, I will write for them. I am questioning whether you really want to hear about my bagel making but that was my Saturday excitement and that is what I have to share. I could share about my crazy emotional exhausting Friday full of ups and downs but that might be a little too much information because you never know who might be reading. So bagels it is...

At this point it is unclear to me whether it was worth all the boiling and baking. There are no bagels anywhere in sight in Madagascar so I thought I would give it a go. They were fine but if I make them again I will make them with some sort of flavour,  like cinnamon raisin or garlic and cheese. I found some fennel seeds in the shared space in the crew galley so I toasted those just for a bit of flavour but they were still pretty bland. All in all they weren't that complicated it just took a lot of time because I could only bake 6 at a time. I also need to use parchment paper so they don't stick. Lessons learned. 

I recently had a conversation with a friend about jealousy and she prayed something that was a revelation for me. I should have been obvious but she suggested that I prayed for the person toward whom I direct my jealously. Genius! I couldn't believe after all these months I hadn't thought of that myself. That got me thinking about lent and what I might give up or take up throughout the 40 days. Facebook is a really challenge for me as it an important means of keeping in touch but it often hurts me a lot. So after some deliberation I have decided to really cut my Facebook usage over the Lenten season. I decided that I will only use messenger and log in when I see I have some sort of notification. Gone are the days of scrolling through the news feed and checking whether messages have gone unanswered after viewing. At this point I am unsure what else I will do but I still have a few days to decide what would have a meaningful impact.

Garbage update: This week was a bit better but there is still a lot that doesn't make it in the jar. Mostly it is paper from work but I do try to use scraps when I can. I have really cut my snacking though so that has reduced the snack bags in my office trash.

As a complete departure from the rest of this blog I need to say that the world is a scary place and there are many terrible people but if you or I can bring light into just one of those people's lives a difference has been made. No change is too small. No person is too insignificant to matter.