Blog 2 – 31 December (English)Ga naar de pagina van Natascha Bakker
Last time I ended the blog with me having a few days off. That was amazing! I’ve been to a few places on the island. I went on an excursion into the mountains. We went to the Parque Nacional del Teide, and at the viewpoint Mirador El Retamar (approximately 2100 m altitude) we watched the sunset, which was very beautiful! Then to the next stop, near Minas de San José for stargazing. It was a beautiful sight! Being able to view so many stars (such as Mars, Jupiter, North Star, the Pleiades). It was cold in the mountains but there were some thermos flasks with some hot drinks 😊 Furthermore, various Christmas celebrations and activities and a lot of food and tasty snacks.
With the bus to El Médano to do some shopping, drove around the island for a few hours with a colleague and saw Los Gigantes (it rained that day and it was stormy), spent an evening in the old town of La Laguna with many christmas lights. Played games, chatted with various people (heard interesting and beautiful stories), read a bit and walked around the ship to find my way and that is starting to work out nicely! The ship has 12 decks and the decks I spend most of my days off at the moment are 6 (that’s where my room is) and 7 (that’s where the dining room is). However, decks 8 and 9 also have some interesting spots (I’ll cover them another time).
Everyone keeps saying that I have arrived at a special time. Several people are on PTO (personal time off / vacation), it’s Christmas, both ships are next to each other and we are preparing the Global Mercy for the Field Trip to Senegal. This means, for example, that supplies are stocked, not only in terms of food, but also for medical items and parts in case something breaks, for office and shop, and fuel! The tanks are to be completely filled. The ship uses a lot of fuel (because the indoor climate must be maintained in terms of air conditioning and heating, lighting, cooking, etc.). In January a lot of (new) people will arrive, and then it will be a lot busier.
I have now also completed my first days of work. I don’t have to work as hard as I do in the office, lol. We also have a lot of breaks! In principle, we work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 10 am we have an half hour break, from 12 to 1 pm we have a break and at 3 pm another half hour break! At different times of the day, we go through the lists of people leaving/arriving and discuss which jobs are done. And what have I done? In addition to stripping and making up of beds, I made chocolate gift packages for when someone is having their birthday, cleaned up areas (such as kitchens), defrosted and cleaned one of the fridges for the crew members and today I started clearing and reorganising the ’boutique’. This is a place where you can donate items you no longer need. Think of games, shoes, clothing, plant pots, things to make your room cozy or magnets, toothpaste and rubber bands.
I also joined one of my team members with an ’embarkment’ today. We received a new volunteer! During the embarkment we show a large part of the ship and try to take a first step in making them feel at home and do some administration and set them up with wifi and Teams. Got to experience it myself last week! On embarkment we go into formal dress so I got my epaulettes and looked very professional 😉 At other times we wear a blue shirt and comfortable trousers.
The new year is upon us
On Thursday morning there is always a joint ‘devotion’ on deck 8 for a few teams (including hospitality). We started with some songs and then we received the devotion. I want to share a summary with you, because I think it is relevant for anyone who works and/or lives with others. It’s about how you treat each other and what’s good for yourself. A ship consisting of people from all kinds of cultures, sometimes with 60 different nationalities, brings the necessary challenges. The reflection was also linked to how do you personally enter the new year? The central theme was a Bible verse from Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Don’t judge anyone, then you won’t be judged either. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
We were challenged to think about when we pass judgment on someone. Is that respectful? Sometimes we have an opinion ready so quickly. It also happens that you condemn someone before you have heard both sides of the story. So always give the other person the chance to tell his/her story as well. And to get space in your mind / your heart it is important to be able to forgive someone. That way you start the new year with a clean slate! In any case, it provided me with food for thought, because to what extent do I hold on to a certain thought or feeling or perhaps a person? It appealed to me to ‘clean up’.
The ship has 2 ship holidays again, but I am on duty this Saturday. We work during the week, but take turns in the weekend.
Have a nice and pleasant new year eve’s celebration and see you in 2023!