Friday, January 22, 2010

Goodbye Sucks: Update on December 22nd, 2010

I am officially in Jamaica, and have yet to find a bob sled track (or team) anywhere! Who would have thought?! So since I am in Jamaica, it means I am not in Aruba, which means I can reminisce of one of the nicest ports we had, and one of the tougher things one has to come to deal with on the Logos Hope. Aruba was absolutely gorgeous. It had some pretty nice stuff too, like Taco bell, Wendy’s Little Caesars, and Quiznos, as well as easily my favorite beach in the Caribbean yet (still not quite Lake Huron in early August). It had loads of night life, geared for the tourists that come with the 2-4 new cruise ships every day. We obviously avoided all of that, unless on the way to Taco Bell or Starbucks, where one may get solicited for drugs, and obviously decline. One of my good friends even told the drug dealers “it’s not good for you, man” when asked if we wanted some ecstasy (a first for me). My wallet took a bit of a hit in Aruba, from all the nice stuff around.

Another thing that took a hit was my emotions. On the ship, one grows fairly cold to goodbyes, since every 3 months or so a bunch of people leave, and a bunch of new people join. Well, the time has come for the big changeover, with some 50 people leaving to do whatever they are called to, and around 110 people joining from the recently decommissioned Dulous and the new PST. What is so important about this one is that two of my best friends on board and, along with the Ogres, maybe ever are going their own way. My closest mate (since he was an Aussie, I will use mate) is gone. This has happened before when someone I have grown close to has left, but usually they are not too far from home for me (if within the US is considered close), and I know without a doubt I will see them again, but this is different. It was also different since this was the guy I told everything to, a deep connection on every level. We understood each other well, and got along like we were meant to. I already miss you Fitz!

So I got to do a hospital visit in Aruba too, and it was decent. We went into the center where people get their blood cleaned when they have Dialysis, which I had never before heard of. I met a guy who was a tour guide of the Island for some 40 years, and was currently retired. He was kind of falling asleep, and didn’t have direct answers for my questions really, but he was a nice bloke. Then I talked to a Hindu guy who owned a Hugo Bass store in town, he was really nice, but when questioned about faith said he believes in Jesus, but is a Hindu. Very typical Hindu answer, but I thought it would be folly to get into a religious debate in the middle of a hospital while he was getting his blood cleaned. I felt sort of bad for not standing up for Jesus, but one must pick their battles, or else we look like jerks. On the way home I had a decent chat to another lady on board too.

So now I am in Jamaica looking at the next stuff to do, probably some swing (forgot to mention that we did another event in Aruba where I had to transfer a black dot to two others to represent aids) since this port will be busy. We expect tons of people to come on board, so pray that we love each one of them, even those that seem impossible.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010?!: Update on January 9, 2010

The start of 2010 was somewhat similar to the start of 2009, with some key differences. The sense of reflection was the same, yet it seemed so different. When presented with a slideshow of where we have been in the past year, I was amazed. I have been to 17 different countries on three continents in the past year, how many people have done that in their life? I am blessed beyond reason and for no real reason except that I jumped at an opportunity that was presented me. One New Years Eve, we had the same set up as last year, but in an entirely different place. Carousal is a beautiful place; there is little doubt about that. Our time there was an experience that was mostly notable. Christmas and New Years were celebrated with swimming and enjoying the climate instead of trying to keep warm. The island also offered us two basketball games against a younger co-ed team. After the first game, we had a chance to share with them, and KC (from Canada) gave her testimony after I told them about the ship. Some conversations started, and they were welcome to take the bibles we took. We passed out all of them.
It is amazing how much life has changed in a year, and almost it’s crazy to think that five years ago I was a senior in High School. In average lives, I would be into my career, getting married, etc. This reality sometimes creeps upon me from behind and lies to me, telling me that that life is better than this, or I am too old for school. Lately, this has been hard to suppress as it is hard to see the benefits one receives from his current struggles before they are over. So, in my head is a battle between what is happening and what could have been happening, and which one is better. I am glad I came here to experience the world, and surely I won’t leave the same as when I came. I have experienced some of the world, and hope to experience even more of it as I continue here, and to experience a different world when I come home and make the next big choices.