Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It seems like it's been a while since I put any pictures up here. So here's a photo diary of what I've been doing lately:

First of all, Christmas came! Finally! I got three packages on the same day. One was a birthday party in a box, complete with party horns, plates, activity book, paints, and a movie to watch (all built around the theme Disney's Little Mermaid). Of course there were presents also. The other two were Christmas presents. Here I am with one such present. I love Texas! Look at my goofy, crooked, happy grin!

My alterego-Speckles the Clown-was born in the Philippines. I don't think there's any explanation for this picture besides that...

I went to one of the malls claiming the title "Biggest Mall in Asia." I'd believe it with this one, it was ginormous. It has this giant globe in front of it, too, which is what I'm holding in this picture. All the continents and islands are grey, except for the Philippines, which are black.

Ferdinand Magellan is creditted with bringing Christianity to the Philippines. What you see behind me in this picture is a cross encasing what is known as Magellan's Cross, which he set up in this exact location. It's the oldest historical thing in Cebu, maybe in the Philippines, can't remember...

Monday, February 12, 2007


In Cebu, pretty girls are called "guapas." As in most Asian cultures, pale skin is desirable, so they call all white girls guapas. And they stare at us a lot. And they tell us over and over again how beautiful they think we are. We're kind of used like a sideshow attraction sometimes. One lady told us that the guys would see us at some program or event and say "The guapas are there! The guapas are there!" and then they'd want to come to the thing. And then they hear the gospel, all because they wanted to come stare at the white girls. It's annoying sometimes, but I see that God can use it.

This story is not about God using us so much as it is about men staring at us and making us laugh. We have on the Doulos what we call the Sundeck. It's above the Boat Deck where the lifeboats and bookshop are, and it's open, so that you can go there and get some sun (thus the name). Today Kris (who is American but of Dutch heritage) and I were sitting on the Sundeck, leaning against the railing. We could see the people walking past to go to the bookshop. One of the men walking past happened to glance upwards, and he saw us. I didn't see him at first, I was reading a book and not paying attention. But Kris saw him and he was making eyes at her. He continued walking while looking up at us and trying to flirt. He was doing well with that for a while. But those sneaky lifeboats...sometimes they just jump out in front of you! He walked straight into my lifeboat (that's lifeboat 6, the biggest one on Doulos, we call it the Life Ship), dropped his shades and phone, the phone fell apart, and he was feeling really dumb. That's when I noticed him, when he ran into the lifeboat. We laughed, a lot. So did the security guard who was guarding the entrance to the bookshop. Maybe that'll teach him to stop staring at pretty girls.

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On the ship, if you don't already have a significant other when you join, you aren't allowed to have one until you've been with the organization (on the ship or off) for a full year. Many people on board had 6 months of training in South Africa before joining. So, even though they've been on the ship only as long as me, they can already get SP (that's Social Permission). So, as I work at the Info Desk and people all treat me as their personal secretary, this guy Thabo and I have a running gag that I am his secretary, scheduling important meetings for him and such. He is able to get SP starting this month. So he asked me in January to start making a list for him of potential ladies he could get SP with. As I am his secretary, that apparently is in my job description. I'm a good employee so I willingly agreed to do this for him.

(This next part may not seem to go with the story, but stay with me here) There are several places on the ship where you can take things you don't want anymore. Toiletries go to the Blue Cupboard; clothes, accesories, housewares go to Charlie; and books go to the Staff Lounge. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. I have found many treasures in these places. A couple of months ago, I was in the Staff Lounge, looking for any interesting books to read. I came across a book called "Cooking for One." I thought, 'That's the most depressing book I've ever seen! But I may have a use for it sometime...'

Then Thabo asked me to find him someone to get SP with, and I knew what I had to do. Rather than making him a list of ladies he can get SP with (though every time one of the girls who went to South Africa training mentions that they can get SP now, I let them know that Thabo's on the market now) I am going to give him the depressing book! Being that the 14th of February is generally accepted as a day to celebrate love, I'm going to give it to him then. And tell him, "Thabo, since I can't find you anyone to get SP with, it may be a while before you get a wife, but until then, here's something that should help you out!"

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Sunday, February 4, 2007

my new favorite game

I was wrong about the girl who we told we were eating Jackalope. Turns out, she believed us the whole time. She went to a drama practice and they had to start out by telling something about themselves. She told them that as a child she had pet rabbits and now she's eaten rabbits. They asked where? when? And she told them that it was on the ship just a few days before. They didn't remember eating rabbit, though. So later she went and asked the cheif steward and he told her that it was actually chicken. I nearly died laughing when she told me all this. I didn't really think that she believed us the whole time. But, she did...

That's not my new favorite game, though. Cat and I just moved from our old cabin, where we had 2 other cabinmates, to a new cabin, where it's just the 2 of us. It's a beautiful clean little cabin where we can get a full night's sleep. We discovered yesterday, just before our second night in our new cabin, that there's a small gap in the corner where two of the walls come together. It's by the head of my bunk, and on the other side of the wall is the head of one of our best friend's (Kris) bunk. It's just big enough to pass papers through. We already knew that we could talk to her, because the walls are thin, but now, we can pass secret notes! It's so much fun. I don't know why. She passed us a poem last night:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I would write more
But my brain hurts
So I'll let it sleep
And also my new roommate
Thinks I'm crazy
Because I talk to the walls

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