Saturday, 28 May 2016

Moving On

There goes May. Hello June!

I am not going to say I am worrying about school but I will say that I am starting to develop some... thoughts about making new friends, managing work load, and being able to find a job at the end of this whole process. First of all, friends. It became very clear to me recently that although I may know many people on the ship I have a friendship with very few of them. That is true of my life in general. I am going to a place where I now have to make new friends and that causes unreasonable amounts of stress for me. Yes, I will be studying a great deal but I don't want to spend the next 4 years alone with my books. So deep breathes on that subject.

The ship is getting quieter. There are some benefits to this situation: the ship is literally quieter, the laundry slot availability has increased, and there are less people in the lunch line. There are also some disadvantages: lots of emotions... that is all I can think of. Yes, my heart is a stone. Honestly, I feel like I have been blessed with this lack of emotions right now because I could just as easily be a wreck. I have seen so many tears around me as people wave goodbye, and people feeling undervalued because their cabins are getting used for someone else the moment after they leave but that is life on the ship. There were three high school graduates on the ship this year. The whole community was invited to watch their graduation ceremony on Thursday. They all presented a speech to the crowd and were all incredibly well spoken. What an experience. I got a housing request for a family with a teenager the other day and my first reaction was that if that were me I would have been so mad. To have my parents rip me out of my life and take me to a unknown and start all over. Then I got to thinking that although it might be a difficult transition it might be the best thing that ever happened; one of the graduates shared that her experience was like that. The families here are incredible. Although I nearly got knocked over by a child while holding a cake that took me ages to make and decorate, I still think the families are great. I have seen two kids go from babies to walking toddlers and there is an inexplicable feeling of affection toward them. This makes me even more excited to see my own family and my niece that should be running around soon enough. I mean look at this kid:

Those pants are so cute. The frying pan on the stool in the background is a mystery to me. My sister was sick which means that my mom was in charge so anything can happen when grandma is running the show.

I have been carb loading like a champion. For what, you may ask. Nothing. No reason but tortillas, bread, pasta, rice, you name it, are all life staples. Terrible, I know. I keep saying I am going to stay away from it but then I hear it calling me, like a Siren, just waiting for me to crash on the shore. Rude. This is the opposite of half of my family who is doing a carb elimination diet. Maybe I am trying to compensate for them; joke's on me.

Still training for the race. The bike rides are giving me a sore where my tail bone hits. Any advice? I am actually excited for my "long" run tomorrow. I say "long" because it isn't all that long, but it is my longest of the week; 32 minutes.

Laundry is done, cabin is clean, and blog is written. Saturday is a wrap.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

An Ode to the Weekend - a.k.a. baking and eating

My 100th post!

My Saturday can be summarized with just a few words:

Peanut Sauce
Vanilla cake
Chocolate cake
Sore feet
Stomach full of tortillas and peanut sauce
the Mentalist
Clean, warm bed

Sunday too:

Chocolate chip cookies
Cake decorating
Lunch - peanut sauce
Still running
Mild hyperventilation
Still running

The future holds the following:

Sunday, 15 May 2016


This was a struggle.

Always changing. That is what life is and what it is supposed to do. If we all stayed the same then there would be no progress, no learning. Despite the truth in that, it is still a challenge to manage the never ending change. Sometimes is it welcome and worth celebration like babies, graduations, and new opportunities. Conversely there are those moments that are no fun like saying goodbye, trying to make new friends, unending life competition, and the list goes on.
I am thankful that I have not been burdened with worry about the unknown future. I can say God has really helped me with that; more trust in God makes less need to worry about things I cannot control. I am thankful that I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot control everything, nor do I really want to anymore; that would be a job I am not qualified to do. I want to be more understanding and compassionate but sometimes that selfish creatures creeps up inside of me and I become a person I am not proud to be. I hope those moments will become less and less as time wears on. I hope that I will be more full of love than of fear. I hope the spirit of forgiveness will overshadow any jealously and resentment. I hope for change.

I am picture less today. I won't apologize for that as there is nothing wrong with not having a picture to share. I am getting way to emotional about this; time for bed!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Home Depot and Heart Change

Have you ever wondered where Malagasy people buy wood to build houses, fences, and who knows what else? This is Home Depot in Madagascar:
It smelled beautiful amongst all the fish and meat. I can't say why, but it always makes me smile when I pass this area of the market. It is just so simple and clear where it all came from and that so many people worked very hard to collect and prepare it.

Anyway, we had a three day weekend, the last one of the field service. It was quite rainy; perfect for laziness. Today the sun has come out which works in my favour because Sunday is run day in the training schedule. I usually strongly dislike the rain because I don't like to get my feet and clothes, and everything else wet but on Saturday I really wanted to go outside and I need to be alone so I put on my raincoat (this might have been the second time ever since I have been away) and went for a walk. The weather was cool so I wasn't sweating like crazy inside my jacket and so it was a very pleasant outing. I also made made pizza dough (I even sprung for the 00 flour) and while I was in the crew galley another person came in and asked if she could play some music. First of all I am thrilled that she was so courteous and asked, as sometimes people are playing music and singing along and all I can think is that they are being inconsiderate of the other people in the room. I recognize that everyone needs their time and space and that looks different for each person, so I would never tell someone to turn off their music but it does irk me sometimes. Anyway, she is from Durban and she was listening to a band from there called Gangs of Ballet. I think my musical tastes have changed significantly in the past year or so. I can't say that my hip hop days are over but they are fewer, and being replaced by softer melodies with less explicit lyrics. I know it seems strange but for a long time I thought that my musical tastes were a barrier to my relationship with God. As I have moved away from the profanities and lyrics that in no way enhance the positive influence in my life I have seen a change of heart, a space has been created and the barrier broken down. I don't know that I will ever fully give up a good, deep beat but things have changed and I am excited.

In other news, my wonderful parents secured me somewhere to live next year! My mom is so good to me, going all the way to Ottawa to look at places for me. It was a strange emotional sequence: excitement, guilt, sadness, thankfulness. The guilt and sadness is because it is so opulent and I could have insisted that we get something smaller and older and saved money. However, it was so pretty and the windows captivated me. I have to remind myself to be grateful and appreciate that my parents have worked very hard to be able to give my somewhere amazing to live! You can be sure that visitors will be welcomed with open arms. 

The rest of the day involves running, pizza making, talking to my mother and grandmother, and helping to host a large group of guests this afternoon/evening.

Happy Mothers Day!