Sunday, November 19, 2006

a two

I was in a library today. A big library. It has a coffee shop in it. It was a 15 minute walk from where I'm living to the library, and after that walk and a couple hours of reading magazines and studying Swahili, I was pretty thirsty. I already had lots of coffee today, but I thought maybe I could get something else to drink. So I went over to the coffee shop. There in the little refrigerated part, they had Coke, Diet Coke, and what's this? It wasn't a One, but it looked like, maybe, could it be? Yes, it was a Two! I thought, when I leave Singapore, I could be going to the jungle, then I'll be in the Philippines. I haven't seen Ones or Twos since I left Texas (actually, I have a vague memory that I might have seen some Twos somewhere, but I can't think where, so I'll assume it was a dream). I doubt they have them in the jungle or Philippines. So, even though it was $3.20 (that's Singaporean dollars-$1.50 to $1 US) I bought it. It was beautiful. IBC rootbeer. What could be better? Only IBC cream soda, of course. Just wanted to share my joy...

Monday, November 13, 2006

a strange feeling

On the voyage from Cambodia to Singapore, I sat out on the deck for a while. It was my longest voyage yet, and my first voyage out of the Bay of Thailand. In the Bay, I could usually see other ships and sometimes islands on the horizon. But, in the South China Sea that day, I looked around and there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just a ship with 4 main decks slighly larger than a football field, surrounded by blue. Hardly any waves, smooth water, empty sky. It was weird. A little unnerving. The world could have come to an end, and we wouldn't know. I think it would be like that if you were floating out in space. Except, depending on how far out you were, you might be able to see the world coming to an end.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


There's me on the voyage from Bangkok to Cambodia, with the end of the world in the background. The water was so blue! It was beautiful compared to the muddy river we'd been living in in Bangkok for a month.

Ok, don't get any crazy ideas. I don't remember the last time I was up in time for sunrise. I didn't actually see this, but the picture was so great, I thought I'd post it anyways. Our first glimpse of Cambodia.

This is Doulos in Cambodia. Isn't it tropical and exotic and beautiful? I live here, by the way.

This is me working at the info desk. The Cambodians welcomed us with floral wreaths/crowns for the ladies and scarves for the men. My uniform for work looks much prettier when I wear the scarf that goes with it, but I wasn't wearing it that day.

Monday, October 30, 2006

your mom

This story might not actually be that funny to you, but to my friends and me, it's hilarious!! I mean, when this happened, we laughed for about 7 minutes. I was laughing so hard I started crying. Now, with that build up, I'll tell the story, and it won't be nearly as funny to you, but I'll tell it anyways.
Kris (a girl from Minnesota) and I have started kind of a game. If someone uses an adjective, let's use sweet for example, then Kris says "your face is sweet" and I say "your mom's sweet." It's really catching on.
The other night, we were sailing, and the satellite was down, so there was nothing for me to do at work. Cat (my cabinmate from England, my favorite person on the ship) and Caleb (a crazy guy from Canada. Imagine my cousin DJ 20 years old and from Canada, and you've got Caleb.) were keeping me company, because I had to sit at the info desk even though there was no work. I don't remember the exact conversation, because it's not as important as the ending, which I do remember. I'll do my best to remake the conversation for you, though, using x and y, because I don't remember what they were actually talking about:
Caleb: x is like y
Cat: x and y aren't the same
Caleb: I know, that's why I said they're LIKE each other, not they ARE each other
Cat: You North Americans say like all the time, whether you mean exactly or similar. You say like as much as you breathe
Caleb: Brits don't say like, I bet you don't breathe either
Cat: Your face doesn't breathe
Caleb: Your mom doesn't breathe
I don't know why, but it was one of the funniest things I've ever heard.
One more thing: as I was typing this, Cat called to tell me she lost The Game, which means I've just lost The Game. The object of The Game is to forget about The Game. If you remember you're playing The Game, then you're not forgetting about it, and you lose The Game. When you lose, you have to announce it to whoever's around you (which, for me right now, is my blog). If they're already playing, they also lose. If they aren't playing yet, you have to explain it, so they can be playing. You start playing again as soon as you forget about The Game.
* * * * *

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

moooorin stations

"Attention all deckies, please report to your moooorin stations now."

That announcement means we're fixin to leave Bangkok! (I love sailing-have I mentioned that before?) But you can't say "report to mooring stations" like you normally talk, you have to say it in a Scottish accent, roll the r and drop the g, and I think you also add an extra o or two. The officer who generally makes that announcement is from Scotland. And everyone loves to immitate him saying "moooorin stations".

The sad thing is, once again, I'm working when we leave port. (I was working when we left Sattahip, too.) Here in Bangkok, we're in a river, so I think it would be pretty awesome to see how they get us turned around to leave. I saw some pictures that someone took the other day of a big ship turning around, but I was working when that happened, too, so I didn't see it. Man, this life on a boat would be so sweet if it weren't for working. I guess that's why cruises are so popular...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

hi mom!

I think I've probably been on TV in Thailand. It's not as exciting as I thought it would be to be on TV. Maybe because no one watching will know me. I mean I could say "Hi mom!" to the camera, but Mom won't see. There may be some people I've met on my ministry days (aka E-days) who will recognize me, but I can't shout out to them, because I don't remember their names. There's a camera right in front of me right now. One of the Thai-speaking volunteers is giving a tour to some people from the press, and talking about the Info Desk. Now the press are standing in front of me too...And they're taking a picture, maybe I'll be in the newspaper too. I'm like a celebrity or something. I hope I don't have anything weird on my face. There's not a mirror in here, so I can't check. I should get a mirror for the Info Desk. I wish I knew Thai so I could know what Noi said about me when she was talking to the news camera. Since last week, we've had TONS of news crews come through the ship. I think there's at least one every day. Oh, and, last week, some Thai teen heart-throbs came for a Doulos tour. I saw them. Also kind of anti-climactic, since I don't watch Thai teen soap-operas. I see a piece of candy. Think I'll eat it. I'll write more later.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Life-raft Training

The importance of this skill is, if the life raft inflates and winds up being upside down, you have to flip it over or else the 25 the raft is made to support will die of exposure. So you have to pull yourself on top of the raft, keep in mind you'll be wearing long sleeves and pants (to keep you from getting hypothermia) and a life jacket, which is extremely bulky. Then you flip the raft over and you're everyone's hero, because they can now all get in the raft and not die.
first, i finally got up on the raft, and was trying to help gameeda get up too. two other girls got into the pool to help her as well.
then, they pushed and i pulled, and gameeda got on the raft too! then we both collapsed and tried to convince the instructor that we could survive on the upside down raft well enough, and we didn't need to flip it over.
but he didn't agree with us, so we flipped it.
Hope you like my story. Later!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Some pictures from pre-ship training

This is where we stayed for our 2 weeks of pre-ship training! Jomtien Beach in Pattaya, Thailand. Looking in this direction, it's beautiful, but if you turn around and look back at the city, not so much.
Me with Kaylee (from Oregon) and Karen (from Ohio), two of my favorite US friends here. This was the day we got to Thailand. Trying not to fall asleep too soon...
One of my new favorite fruits, rambutan. Tastes good, looks awesome, could be the world's perfect food.

Our amazing welcome-on-board when we arrived at the Doulos. Look, that's me and Kaylee in the top picture.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


my bunk
me and my big sister Claire on my first voyage.
Me in an elephant's mouth!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

oh yeah

I remembered a Thailand story as soon as I left the internet cafe. I may post a picture about it sometime, if I get a chance. Ok, so here's what happened:

Saturday was our day off. A group of us went to this Thai culture/elephant show/garden place. For 50 baht (like less than $1.50), you can get your picture taken with an elephant! So we all decided to do it. Some people stood next to the elephant, or sat on top of a baby one. But the elephant I chose is trained to pick people up in its trunk and hold them in its mouth! So I have now been in an elephant's mouth. It was one of the most unusual experiences of my life.

Other than that, I've been learning to fight fires, first aid, life boats, life rafts, all kinds of things seafarers need to know. I've had 3 of the 5 tests, and made 100's on all of them. As long as I pass the other two, I will be a certified seafarer, which basically means that as long as I stay in the port cities, I won't need a visa, and I won't get a stamp in my passport. I can pay $$ and get a stamp in my passport, but that would be silly. I've also learned lots of vocabulary, like fo'c'sle, coxswain, and quayside.

Oh and, I had a dream about Mama's sweet tea.

Monday, September 18, 2006


So I'm in Thailand now. In the second week of my pre-ship training. It's really great. I think I'll actually miss this place when we get on the ship. I am exactly 12 hours ahead of Texas here. So if you're wondering tonight what tomorrow is going to be like, I already know! That might not sound as clever as I thought it would, but you get the idea. I can't really think of any great Thailand story right now. Just wanted to post and say I'm here, on the other side of the world. And I'm loving it. Though I miss those in Texas who I love, including the dogs :(. I know it's silly, but I dream about them...I also miss sweet iced tea...But I'm here, I'm safe. Things are great. I can't wait to move into my tiny cabin on the ship on Saturday.

Thursday, September 7, 2006


I never know when you say Holland and when you say The Netherlands...

A couple of friends and I took a long walk the other day. We intended to go to the nearest town, but went the wrong direction. We realized it early on but decided to keep walking and see what we could see. All we found was the highway, so we turned back. When we found the right direction it was too late to go all the way to town, so we just went to this tiny little community that's about 2 or 3 kilometers away (so we've been told). I don't really know how far it was. But anyway. Up till then, it seemed that I could still be in Texas, not TX in September, but the farmland was quite familiar. When we got to the village, we could tell that we really were in Holland, for real. There is a real Dutch windmill there. It was amazing!

Saturday, September 2, 2006

in the netherlands

I've been here for almost a week now. I'm getting used to being away from home. I've met lots of great people, many of which will be on the Doulos with me (there are TONS of Doulos people).

The Netherlands is green, wet, and cool. It's a nice change from hot, dry Texas. But soon I will be somewhere that is probably still green and wet, but not cool at all...

Yesterday was the most intense day of training. It was a simulation of trying to enter a restricted country. The country was made up, but it was modeled after real life. Even though I knew it was fake, it was kind of like the Matrix. "Your mind makes it real." It was terrifying, really. I have no plans to go to a restricted country, so I was not at all prepared for the interrogations and such that we faced. But it was good to have gone through that experience.

OK. Almost out of internet time. So I'll leave you with one more closing thought, which some of you may not get....

After my shower the other day, I wanted to see how much time I had left before I had to be somewhere and I asked myself "What time is it?" Immediately, the next thought in my head was "Are you cookin beans?"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bon Voyage

Saturday was my Bon Voyage Party. It was really great! I think that just the right number of people were there. I had put together the shortest possible guest list-which turned out to be a little more than 100 people (that's including everyone's children). I think that there may have been 50 people there, including my immediate family. And they weren't all there at the same time. I think that I got to visit with all of the grownups, for a few minutes at least. My goal was to have few enough people that I could have some time with everyone. I think it was the best party possible. Except for one part...
Certain people insisted on a CWB? concert. (FYI: Can We Bail? was Melissa's and my band in college-we wrote silly little songs that, for some reason, people loved.) We didn't have our guitars or music with us, and it had been over a year since we played, and between last time and the time before last it was also more than a year. So, we didn't really remember our songs, and without having guitars it was just us singing. I think I heard someone say it was the worst concert they had ever been to. But it was fun to bring back all those memories of college and CWB?.
Now, the party's over, only work remains. I've got a list of things I still need to do before Sunday, so, time to stop playing...
[my family:]

P.S. All the party pictures from my camera are on my photobucket: