Sunday, February 20, 2011

@ Sea

Once again we are sailing. This will be my... let's see... my fourth and last time sailing. That is a somewhat depressing thought. In August I am planning on leaving (unless God says differently) for home, making a few detours to Swaziland and Europe along the way. Yes, it's six months from now and I'm already starting to think about it. Humph. That's probably not a good thing

Ok, so sailing. Its been fairly relaxing. Sailing is the period of time that I have more days off reception than on. I also don't feel as obligated, as its my fourth time, to do all those things one does while sailing (going to the bow, looking at the stars from deck eight, sleeping on deck eight), which is also nice. That is not to say that I am not keeping busy in my own way. As those who know me, already know (bad sentence structure there but oh well), I want to be a writer, so I've been studying on that. I've been reading a book called Self editing for fiction writers and taking notes. Its a good book. I've also started a blog up on my life as a newbie writer (as a sort of advertisement:

Yesterday was busy in the fun department. One of my good friends on board just had a big birthday, so I attended her potluck lunch (had really good chocolate cake). Happy Birthday to Kathy!! One of the families on board had an open cabin (there are no houses so its kind of like an open house) and I hung out with them (popcorn). For dinner we had cake once again, as one of the babies on board turned one. Happy Birthday Lily! Yes I know this is getting listy (no, that is not a word). We then had worship on the bow (the bow is the most forward part of the ship and in this case is outside with the waves - think Titanic), which is always amazing. I love having worship in the middle of nature with the sun setting and the water splashing - purely magnificent. The last mass crew event was sock golf. Now, I'm a nerd when it comes to any type of sporty event, which means I'm terrible, even at sock golf (sad, very sad). Ok, so explanation: think Frisbee golf except with socks rolled up and on a tipsy ship. Hah! Oh well it was fun anyways... that is until I got annoyed with myself.
Ah well it all rolled up and got sleepy when my normal group of friends (they call themselves the nerd herd for some strange reason) and I watched Eureka in one of the family on board's cabin. Its something we do almost every day, and is a good way to take a breather before the end of the day - watch a few television episodes than go to bed. After this horrendously long day (started at twelve pm but don't tell anybody), I curled up in my bed, finished my book, read a bit of my Bible, and fell asleep. All in all, it was a good day.

Ok so yesterday was busy in the fun department, but that isn't to say I haven't been working, wasting my father's valuable money (he's supporting me). When I have been working, works been a lot. We have badges to do, packets for the forty some odd arrivals boarding when we get to Sierra Leone to make up, emails to answer, questions to direct, phone calls to answer, notice board stuff, and a host of other piddly but time consuming and much needed stuff to do.

In all, after my bout of not bearing the seas to well (not quite sickness but discomfort for sure) I have had a nice sail. Hope your having a nice week too.

God bless
Heather Out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cape Town

There are some days where I feel extremely blessed. After a three day journey, the Africa Mercy docked in Cape Town for twenty-four hours. Cape Town is a beautiful city, being enfolded by large, oddly shaped mountains, and the crystal sea, but that is not why I felt so blessed. A good friend of mine is from Cape Town, and is at the moment going to school there. She picked me up from the ship, and we went to her house where her family was having a get together. The family immediately incorporated me into the group, and made me feel at home. Even though my friend had to go to band practice at church, they chatted with me, and hung out, though I was a completely new entity in their environment. I went to church with them, talked with them, and later after church, had junk food with them. Its strange how nice junk food can taste after being on a ship where the meals are made from scratch most of the time. I went to bed at their house, comfortable and welcome.
The next day, I was dropped off at the ship at around nine am, and I got to do more the touristy thing. We road a bus where we put on earplugs to hear the automated tour guide, and heard about the history of the city. Cape Town, for being so young, has a lot of history. A lot of it is racial problems, but it does seem that they are repenting from that scar. It is a beautiful city and faintly reminds one of California. The rest of the day, we went up the mountain in a cable car (I'm not a hiker), ate schwarma, and went to a bookstore. So, maybe I didn't get to wander the streets, but still it was memorable. Its always the little blessings that seem to stay the longest.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pool and Other Important Matters

Guess what! We now have a pool. Yes that's right, they filled it up with clorinated water and I have swam in it three times! So my griping about it is over.
In other news, we are hoping, praying, and crossing our fingers, that we will leave tomorrow, and get to Cape Town in a few days time. That is even more exciting than the pool as I have friends down there who I hope to see again.
The plan is to only be in Cape Town for one day then to set sail for Sierra Leonne. The next part of our sea voyage will be the interesting part, as I'm sure you can imagine. We are to cross through the cape of storms. That's what the sailers named it. Hah! Well last time God protected us, and I trust he will do so again. Still, pray for us and our journey. Still, I'm excited. The crew happen to be very good at keeping themselves entertained during a voyage. There are numerous games, movies, and other various entertainment to keep oneself busy, not to mention the marine life that occasionally pops up to say hi as we sail the Atlantic.
Yep, I'm excited.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Sound of Children

Once again, there is the sound of children's laughter. I didn't really know I missed it until I heard it again. Two things are back on the ship: the crew who went to Appelsbosch and air conditioning. The air conditioning I had realized I'd missed. It's hard not to when one wakes up to the puddle of one's own sweat in the morning. The thing about ships is that they are metal, and being so they tend to radiate heat. I tended to go outside just to cool off. But now we have both the crew and the air conditioning and I don't really know which I'm more happy about.
It's nice having my little friends come up to me just to say hi, or be pounced by one of the teenagers on board. The ship has about fifty kids on board, ranging from six months to eighteen. During shipyard faze we did have little Lily, who was too young to trip over wiring, or go where she'd get hurt, so stayed and became our mascot. Still, there were no other children. Yep I'm glad they are back.
Actually things are beginning to regulate once more. The academy is back on board, the ship shop is starting, if not now, than soon, the reception is at full steam ahead, and the hospital is slowly becoming spotless once again. I just ran into a few people hard at work getting black marks off the hospital floor. Home is becoming normal again.
I like that.