The concrete heart...

I am typically an observer. I tend to notice the small things others might not see. I also pay attention to the structure of abandoned worn down buildings or the messages of graffiti. I see the impact of discarded rubbish or even the joy on the face of a child with poor living conditions. But I don't just see it - I feel it.

Today I had my 3rd E-day - or Evangelism day for those playing at home. In the past 2 E-days I've only left the ship once, and that was to walk around the nearby park in Brisbane and promote the ship to the community for a couple of hours. This wasn't very successful because out of all the people we talked to, the first 2 groups had already been on the Doulos, the 3rd were going to the Doulos already, a big group of people playing sports were actually families from the Doulos so we obviously didn't promote to them, and the very few people we spoke to after that didn't want to know.

So when I got told I'd be going to hang with kids with one of our crewmember's parents, I was overjoyed! I've missed the chilluns from HYPE where I was part of the leadership, so the opportunity to spend time with kids really excited me! So a meeting was set up with the 4 people doing the E-day and our group leader, Samuel [Switzerland] was asking about some of the creative ministries things we could do. I had no idea. The other team members have been on the ship for a longer time, some for up to a year, and have done many E-days so the skits and drama's they've done were things they could discuss. We decided that since we were so unsure about what we'd be doing anyway, we'd just let God really work in us.

Our pickup came at midday today, and 5 [gained one teamie overnight] climbed aboard. It had been mentioned to us in our prayer meeting at 11am that the term 'kids' was quite - broad. Not so many kids, more people. And we were going to be with Aboriginals or Muslims. When we arrived, the original plan Stanley [crewmate's Dad] had apparantly come with an unexpected surprise - something else was already happening.

Then we were kinda just followed Stanley around - which is something I utterly hate doing because I feel like I'm not allowing things to happen while I'm only following someone around - but he introduced us to people, and we handed out some flyers, and then we walked...

We walked past falling down houses that have bricked up or boarded up windows and doors to prevent people from squatting there, but mainly to stop people having some place to go to 'shoot up'. We walked past fenced off stairs and areas covered in broken glass. This apparantly is what it looks like when its 'clean' too. We walked past houses that had a horrid stench coming out of them and people still live there because there's no where else for them to go. We talked to people and said hello despite their consumption of alcohol and cigarettes that have almost burnt down to their fingers.

I looked, and tried not to stare. I tried particularly not to stare at a man who was wearing women's clothes. I tried not to stare at people who perhaps once were big drug users and now the drugs have taken their affect on their body. I tried not to stare at the people who find their clothes in Villi's bins. I tried not to stare at the ground expecting to see needles, and tried harder not to search for them.

But then, lyying on the ground I see a piece of broken concrete from a set of stairs that used to exist. I'm not sure if it fell or was brought down by choice from someone, but everything had been taken away and the ground sealed up, 'clean' is what it was called despite the broken glass lying around this piece of tarred concrete. It facinated me [who know's why, I don't find concrete particularly facinating] and I walked over to it. Surprisingly it was a concrete 'heart'. A broken piece of concrete that had its shape like a heart. And I felt compelled to pick it up.

The thing is, the moment I had grabbed that piece of broken concrete, I saw the whole situation of the day differently. Sure, most of those people were probably in poverty by some sort of choice, a choice that they made to put drugs, alcohol, or another form of 'abuse' before themselves. Sure, most didn't know God and don't know the freedom a person like myself knows. But among their 'shattered glass' life, there is still going to be hope. It might also not come from themselves. It might be someone foreign, like my team mates and myself, who have a hope for these people with 'shattered glass' lives that one day the life they live can change. My crewmate's parent's continue to work there in that area with those people hoping to help change their lives.

...just like the tree that was surrounded by brickwork, graffiti, torn posters, rubbish and glass, still growing tall reaching towards the sky...

I was confronted yet encouraged by my little adventure today. And then to make it all the more better, we have Security tonight. If you could please open your bag and place it in the tray there...

... please step over to the screening...

... and turn...


Cause I gotta have faith

Since being in Sydney, we’ve certainly begun experiencing more of our Australian winter. Most people on the ship are ‘suffering’ from the cold – particularly when they arrived in New Zealand – as they had predominantly been living in mostly ‘summer’ weather for a year – or had arrived while travelling in countries like the Philliphines where its often warm. Mum has been informing me of her ‘puddle’ status – currently I believe she still has some puddles existing – which make her glad. And Dad has informed me that they’ve been having a reassuring stint of rain to keep them hopefull that perhaps this is the year the drought will change. I hope wherever you are your lawns and gardens are getting a well deserved watering.

I have appreciated the cool weather as I more than understand we’re in a drought, but have ashamedly found it frustrating as our Café is exposed to the elements being on the ‘Car Deck’ which is practically the bow of the ship. Because we also haven’t had efficient weather proofing – particularly from the wind and rain, [having it open gives people much more picturesque views not obstructed by shelter], so we have been braving the bitter chilling cold instead. Our demands really are not many. We want something to stop the rain getting to us, and we’d like a couple of those heaters that café’s with outdoor areas have. Having the heaters would trick us to believe the wind isn’t as chilling, and with the shelter the rain wouldn’t affect our entire area like it does. But it might take us all getting sick before that happens…

Saturday I spent my first money in what feels like months by going to my first IMAX experience with Timothy [UK], Mikaela [USA], Tomas [Sweden], Naveen [India], Jeff [Paraguay] & Christian [Paraguay], dude and dude [Naveen’s friends]. Oh-my-goodness. I’m not even gasping bout the slightly pricey cost to watch a movie there [only a sweet $25]. No, I’m talking about the overly impressive screen we got to eyeball. This was such a MASSIVE screen! I joked to my Jeff & Christian [picture me jammed between 2 well-over 6ft guys] that it would be hilariously nasty if IMAX tease us with this massive screen and show the movie with black defining top & bottom lines. We laughed, but I think we were all thinking how low that would be if we cough out that much money for half an awesome screen. Luckily after previews and really bad advertising [seriously, Sydney, I am appalled in your terrible graphics and advertising in cinemas!] the movie started and we were comforted to see that the screen disappears in front of the people in the front row and goes all the way to the ceiling, and wide enough that you have to slightly turn your head to keep up with the action. Amazing… so worth it!

I also went to the Hillsong City church – which was a lovely way to spend Sunday. A group of 5 of us walked about 45 minutes through the city to a stop where a ‘courtesy’ bus collects attendees and drives them the 5 minutes to the campus. The group was Noelle [USA], Jen [Canada], Timothy [UK], Tersius [SA] and myself. When we arrived I was honestly truly surprised that we had people recognise we were new. Our first greeter was really informative and encouraging – and upon hearing that we all live on a ship and are from all nationalities in the world – informed one of the head Pastors about us and soon we were talking to him too. They really found the whole idea fascinating, which isn’t really a surprise. They also had never heard of OM – which also did not surprise me. And for Hillsong City – it was tiny. I had imagined a humungous venue – but it was so small. And I was expecting to be bored of the message because I wouldn’t find anything of value in it – when infact Robert Fergusson actually preached the Word. He was reading verses from all over the bible and actually using them. He said don’t come to church and focus on the speaker, the singer, or the place. Focus on the message, the worship and completely on Jesus. I was encouraged greatly by his sermon.

When we had finished we caught the courtesy bus back into the city [it almost felt like a wasted drive when we could’ve walked that distance rather easily], and had a really awesome lunch in Darling Harbour for under $10. Shock. I really didn’t think there would be anywhere to get food there for less than $25 – so I was impressed – particularly as my chicken, avocado & salad sanga was a great size in price comparison.

Life otherwise is exciting. I worked my longest shift on Monday, working from 12:30pm till 10pm. It was meant to be 1-11pm but the Bookshop closed early from having less than 100 people come through all day. But Mondays on the ship tend to be quiet anyway as most people have Monday as their day off, which means to keep departments running, whoever’s on shift that day works ALL day.

Tuesday was then my official Off day I left the ship [you have to – or you’d go nuts from never leaving] and wandered the city with Cara [Brisbane]. She’s a Salvo, so we were actually in the city for her to do some Salvo things at the head office, and I tagged along because I was free and we have rules about how many people have to go with you if you leave the ship. When I got back I changed and ended up at work [it’s the hang out place for Douloids that just happens to come with AWESOME coffee or hot chocolates!] and ended up in this great DnM with Crystal [USA], Liza [SA] and Tomas [Sweden] about knights in shining armour, do they exist, that most women want a manly man, that even though Tomas isn’t that much a blokey bloke we’re sure he’ll fight for the chick he loves when he finds her, and other really random but interesting things like that which drinking coffee’s and eating chocolate in the sun. Then to randomise the afternoon, I hung out with John-Lee [SA] who really is like my brother [kinda annoying] but he’s cool and we just laugh a whole bunch, the tripper. And last night I got to hang out with some of the Bookshop Douloids, particularly Semih [like Sammy] [Turkey]. He is SOOO funny! And random! He reminds me a lot of Monty – we can just say a whole bunch of whack stuff and laugh about it and its all fun and fancy free but totally random. Nothing from ‘Lilo & Stitch’ has been mentioned [personal joke with Monty & Ali…]… hahhahaha!

Today I have had the pleasure of just doing random things that appeal to me till I have to go to work @ 3pm – earlier than normal because I was REALLY late to our Barista devotions [completely had forgotten them actually so I totally missed them] and therefore get to go to work early – haha! Then I watch the drills take place which today meant all the lifeboats on starboard side were lowered with crew and drills were practiced. This evening I work till close and that basically will mean just hanging out with Elliott [NZ] and telling him I can’t understand what he’s saying… hahah so funny! One example is that he says “Chux” when speaking about “Chicks” – which puts me into giggles. We’ve not been able to hang out as much as with the rest of the Barista’s and STEPpers – so it’ll be nice to just muck around with him.

Tomorrow I swapped a shift to work early because Silvan [Switzerland] came and asked me if I would sing with him at Prayer Night – which was really cool! I think he only asked because for one of our programs in Brisbane they were playing “Hosanna” by Brooke Fraser/Hillsong and I’d offered to do harmony as I knew it from Church but due to time restraints they decided to go ahead without – which was fine. But it seems I opened the door to sing on the Doulos. Lucky I’ve done it a few times back home J.

So - that’s really the latest update that I can give! A couple of weeks more and I’ll be only 1 state away! I have no idea exactly how many Adelaidians are coming to see the ship [and me?], and I can’t wait to see whoever does arrive!!!! I think Pandy & Dee Dee might make an appearance which might make some spontaneous precipitation occur from my eyes… but we’ll laugh it off! Note to them if they read this: txt message me when coming if you know – then I can see if I’ll be around! That goes for anyone really…

But please pray for 2 ‘incidents’ that have happened in the past week, particularly that they be resolved quickly…

One of our van’s was involved in a car accident with a Jeep on Sunday evening going to Hillsong Church – Hills campus. Out of the three vans and one car that were going, the third van was hit. Please pray that the shock of the accident wont affect the children who were in the car particularly as well as the other Douloids involved. Pray also that the driver of the Jeep could realise that it was an accident and not carry out the threats she has made.

Pray also for one of the STEPpers [Karl] who today was involved in a car/bike accident. He was with 2 other STEPpers [Samantha [Brisbane] & Elliott [NZ]] when he and the car collided. It seems that neither parties saw the other, and because we have no fixed address on the ship, the driver took Karl’s camera as security and is expecting a call back from us [the ship]. Karl by the way is okay.

Just to add to all the excitement already happening.
Please pray for me for patience with a couple of other Douloids who require more energy and patience to work with. Pray also for the right words when speaking to these people and to remember that God loves them and the person they are so I too should give them that grace.
Pray for energy to work and for enthusiasm to do my studies everyday. Pray also for my relationship with God as I’ve been so busy and then tired, or consumed by life that I’ve started to not be as consistant in my talks with God.

Thankyou sooo much!

The 'honeymoon' is ending...

Salut! I think I have now been here long enough to finally allow reality to set in. Or, I'm just really tired from working alot and from the past two nights of staying up late giggling with Cara.

Its all been a bit kaotic lately as I have had soooo many scattered morning shifts [9am-4:30pm] closely mixed with soooo many night shifts [4-11pm+] that its beginning to wear me out. We tossed up the idea of working one week all mornings and one week all evenings, but somehow we universally came to the conclusion that we enjoy having shifts with different staff each day. And we can have some days to go out or some evenings to participate in programs each week - instead of only evenings one week and only days another.

Wednesday was a public holiday up here in the Big Q which concluded being our biggest and busiest day thus far. I worked all that day, then worked all Thursday, which really just smacked all the sanity and normality out of me. I also had to change rooms on Thursday evening, so straight after work I had to cart my gear from one end of the ship to the other - something that certainly wasn't high on my "Awesome things to do today" list. The move actually refreshed me because both Cara and I got to put our stuff wherever we both wanted - instead of being provided a slither of space to occupy and live in from those who already resided in the cabins.

Random side note: I could easily say I feel like I am on school camp. Most people on the ship are around my age - so basically from 18-28. There really aren't that many people older than that in comparison to how many people are onboard. This means there are loads of riff-raff and cheeky ninja-pranking behaviour, which also means a load of laughing. Add to that the confusion of new languages and translations and words being used that mean one thing in one culture and something different in another, and bouts of random laughter just flow from all sources.

Speaking of laughter - I have become humbled to my own since being onboard. I used to think I was unique and had too many varities of laughter, a characteristic to be shared and enjoyed by others. Then I met Thabo from [insert country here]. He trumps my laugh and its so hillarious. Its soooo much louder than mine, so high squealing, so out there, so contagious... if you are a Simpsons fan, think Dr Hibbert [who always laughs at the most innappropiate of moments], times that by 10, crank the volume, and make the "hee-hee-hee's" top shelf high pitched. He is soon to leave - like so many other awesome people I've only just been getting to know - so until he does, I taunt him with the "Why, hee-hee-hee's". I've even gotten to a point where I don't have to say the whole thing... just "Why..."... hahahaha!

Anyway, back to my update...

The rest of the STEPpers arrived yesterday. I have only met about 7 girls and 3 guys so far - there could be more. Its really weird having them finally around because we've already been here for 2 weeks and have established friendships, know how to get around the ship, and have our jobs already. Its like an invasion into our group and I know that sounds nasty and judgemental from their first day but here me out. We've already done the awkward moments, got introduced to our group, got to know each other and the rest of the Crew, we've been there - done that. Now they have finally arrived, we certainly don't feel like we fit in with them. We're still apart of their crew but - not. Its like we have one up on them because of our arrival earlier, so its like its two groups instead of one. And their jobs are interchangeable because all STEPpers do those jobs, and they don't necessarily like them, whereas we actually applied to do our job as Coffee Barista's, so our job is more personal to us, and our time isn't the same everyday. It really will be interesting to see how the dynamics work out. I really pray we do gel well with them all.

So other than that - all is well. I am finally almost over being sick. My sprained ankle unfortunately is not healing fast at all - still very swollen, very sore and just an annoyance I'm ignoring - which means its not healing because I just keep doing life on the ship. Add to that the fact that I totally bashed myself up about a week ago with one of our external doors. [I may have mentioned this earlier... sorry]. Some of the doors are really heavy, and most need a key to open them. There is also a variety of door step sizes, which has been tricky to avoid tripping over when I'm in a hurry collecting milk or cookies for work. So picture this...

I arrive at a door needing a key to open it [crew only]. I have my key on a neck chain for covenience as I brought work pants with no pockets [great idea]. I open the door, and while trying to get my key out again, begin stepping through the door - not quite getting my leg high enough over the step, the key finally releases from the lock, and while loosing stability I grab the door to correct myself, resulting in pulling it closed with my legs caught between. This has got to be the most random way to be jammed - you seriously cannot correct yourself gracefully.

Hope you had a laugh. I certainly did writing that. I am uncoordinated at the best of times - but I feel that since being on the ship I've become so much more awkward and easily damaged . Bruises adorn most of me from just running into random things - or randomly assaulting myself like the above.

Another cool thing is that it seems we have free dental - and I'm having un-wise wisdom teeth problems again, so I'm going to look into seeing if I can get the problem ones removed. I mentioned as a joke to the Dentist if she would like to pull out some teeth - and she all too quickly and excitedly said that she'd love to - scary woman. I'll go suss her out.

And that pretty much concludes this update! We set sail [hahahahah] on Tuesday afternoon - bound for Darling Harbour, Sydney - berth 5. Please pray for efficient cleaning and packing for all of us, pray for good sailing weather and seas, particularly that sea-sickness is minimum. The biggest prayer point for me right now is my future. I haven't been here very long at all and the suggestion of returning in Feburary as a Pre-ship has been thrown around by my crew mates - but also from some in leadership [wowsers] - so I really need your help in prayer as to a direction and to know if God wants me here and not accept the idea because I'm having a great time - you know how it is...

Love, love, love... [doo be doo...]

View from I-Cafe'...

I like to be beside the sea side...

Hi everyone! How are you? Can you believe its been officially ONE WEEK since I jumped onboard the ship and almost 2 weeks since I last saw most of you guys? WOW! Can I just say I feel like its been so much longer - but not in a "so boring" kinda way, oh no. Its just full on. I know my way around the ship now, have met many many random people from all over the globe, and have even visited the doctor onboard [the Neoh's if you were aware and its okay, its just an ear infection]. Its cool.

The Barista-ing life is fantastic. My team includes Cara: 23 - QLD, John: 33- QLD, Bev: 53 - NSW, Elliott: 24 - NZ, Maricel: 32 - MALAYSIA, Liza: 21: Manager - SA [South Africa] and Captain Ashley who is our "Big Boss" and not just because he's the Captain. The International Cafe is his little pet project, so anything that goes wrong we tell him. He has been getting loads of stuff for us regarding setting up. We've just received today our final piece of work attire in the form of an apron & cap with the Doulos I-Cafe' embroidered on it. The cap is like a hat with no bill [if that makes sense]. NOW I think we'll feel like we're really a part of the crew. And hopefully soon we'll get out most fantabulous ID Badges instead of the most un-funky Guest Badges, which hopefully will stop people asking why a Guest is working there. Enough already.

We're still in all the early stages of development, trial and testing many things etc etc. We dont have Decaf Coffee - and I'm not sure if we will because all the coffee has been donated to us. Nice. We might be having syrups coming soon so we can funkify the menu, but thats probably happening later so we can get better at making shots and doing the milk. I'm a little backwards with my milk, making frothy milk for Latte's [and having to spoon off the excess] or making flat milk for Cappucino's [not enough froth at all]. Its hillarious! But it's definately improving!

Where we're positioned on the ship overlooks the bow, and I have some awesome photos of that view of mine but my camera is having a caniption and wont be recognised on the computers I've tried. I'll try again later I hope! The only down fall of where we are positioned is that when its a windy day all the coffee grinds get blown around and we've had several cases of 'Caffeine Eye'. Its not a cool thing to catch. Nor is "Chocolatte Eye". Thats a mixture of coffee grains and chocolate dust. We also get a fair bit of sun since they took down half our tarp covers so people could sit drinking their most fancy Latte's in sunshine, and this also has allowed the one night of rain we've had to get more drift onto our un-waterproofed coffee machine and computer. But that all adds to the fun!

People are genuinley liking our coffee, and really appreciate that we're all still learning - so that really has helped. I think we've only had one case of 'complaint' about what was wrong with the drink they were given, and they sound like they were a little toffy - which is to be expected since we're 'parked' [that is the ship I mean] right in the middle of lah-di-dah town. That has a cinema. That us Douloids get like half price discount at. Wee-ooh!

Ah, in other aspects of the Doulos life, its hard to get to know people when so many of them are leaving soon. So conversations are really quick or really random or really just "Hello!" as we walk by. Its amazing the friendships that are developed in such small spaces of time. The Auckland STEPers are soon to leave, and its amazing to see their friendship not only with each other but with the long-termers. I really pray that as time goes on here that I get to continue to meet really amazing people.

Another funny thing is the whole "SP" Priviledges that people have to apply for. You may have heard me mention this to you before I came onboard, but the Doulos has very particular 'friendship' rules. No one is to date within the first year [lucky for me I'm here for 3 months!]. After that if a girl fancies a guy and the feelings are mutual - then they go to some dude or chick high up in the co-ordinating department and apply for a "Special Persons" priviledge to spend extra time with their "Special Person". How hillarious. And from that point their relationship is public - and can often be mentioned or congratulated in meetings or prayer nights. Ha! Embarrassing much?

Very funny!

Well I must go get some fancy cards that I have to sign for and to work out what to do with my washing [we have washing days - and you can only do your washing on those days], and the only other machines we can use are for Families only. Which I think is a bit unfair because I just want to wash my clothes and because I have to work I couldn't wash all my work clothes and can't wait 2 days to get my clothes back! ARGH!

*Well thats about it for now. I don't know if you groovers have worked out you can write to me, or you are just opting to let me be adventurous for now. My mum did seem to think I had told everyone that they couldn't write just to tell me they hung up the washing. This is true, I don't really want to know you hung up your washing. But that doesn't mean you can't tell me if you have been struggling lately or that your life is going fantastic. I do also have at the top of the page my email address but perhaps that explanation doesn't make sense so I'm going to put it in better terms here... okay?*

*...*This part has been edited recently... sorry if it confused you before hand.

Ciao Whoops!

PS - Please pray for health, I can't rest to get my energy back so its taking longer to get better - and thats frustrating me. Pray also that I wont be distracted by the new environment and the 'new fishing pool' - people don't necessarilly act different on the ship to how they would in real life, but everything heightened when you work with someone all the time or you see someone all the time. I hope that doesn't sound too weird! I don't have a problem with it but I want to be focussing on doing God's work.

I think thats all... for now! :)

Carola xxx

Mucho Update-oh

Its been a crazy few days! I am totally EXHAUSTED! It could be because there are endless stairs to be climbed and decended throughout the entire ship [I'm sure I'm going to come back half the person I used to be - ba-dom-cha!]. It could be because for 3 full days its been all go and the only stop I get is when I’m vertically standing. I could be from all the information we’ve had to absorb in 1 day that any other STEP team/crew had atleast 3 days to take in. It could be because Brisbane has FINALLY pumped out some better Brisbane weather instead of Adelaide weather [it got to 5*C at one stage I’m sure they were saying!].

But I am having a total blast!!! And I really can understand why so many people do this for longer because the experience itself is truly amazing. I think I’m going to really miss leaving all these wonderful people! And you would be so shocked to know I didn’t act at all like the person I'm usually being [loud, crazy, chatterbox, clown - You know the one!] - until today! That’s a pretty big challenge but don't act so shocked! I can’t take all the credit - I had the flu :( – so I was far more intent to listen to everyone due to lack of voice. So I had you going back there. You were thinking “She hasn’t even been gone a week and she’s a totally different person!?”. I think that would probably take something really big..

So I’ll describe what the ship is like…. its TOE-TAH-LEE OOR-SAHM!!! [Have you watched “The Incredibles” anytime recently?]. Coming from afar it looks so …Majestic. Intriguing. Facinating. Superb. Even as I continued to walk up closer to it, its sizing did shrink a little but I realised how real it was! And then I was onboard. Well I managed to haul myself on board anyway. Mr Holland [or other country - I never got his name or nationality] was cleaning the sides of the stairs up to the ship [as you do] and saw my luggage [it wasn't shocking!] and without me even putting its lah-di-dah roller handle down he was hauling it up the stairs. And inside. And through some doors. And all he said [and has said since] is "Ya!". Hahaha. Good introduction to the ship and crew!

Mr Daniel Wong [STEP Co-Ordinator] then collected myself and my luggage [I know!] and showed me my room - and its TINY! Sooooo tiny! I will show pictures soon. But its sooo tiny! I get the wonderful blessing of sharing with Gerdia from South Africa. She has alot of stuff [really puts me to shame!] and its really - everywhere! But she's been here for almost 2 years, is about to get married, and has shared a room with herself for a while! She's sooo lovely! We have our own telephone box sized shower & bathroom - thank goodness! Its so groovy!

Up stairs from my floor [known as "Main Street"] is the dining room. And upstairs from that and around a corner is my "workplace". I believe I was blessed with such a good location so that I could get my ankle & knee back to some working order - so that by August or September I'll likely to change rooms when Gerdia leaves *tear*.

Thursday evening [the day I arrived on the Doulos] was "Prayer Night". This lasts for up to 4 hours! Its intense! Its a bit of info night, a bit of singing, a bit of randomness, a few skits, and oh - some mega praying! Its very spirit filled. I unfortunately lasted till 9pm and then "karked" it, exhausted from the flu and Brisbane weather. I unpacked what now seemed like very small amount of luggage and pretended to go to sleep. Pretended because I was so HOT! Having been used to going to bed with a hot water bottle in a cold room, to then go to having a regular temperature throughout your whole home/office/gym/library [note it mention some random things because these are all on the ship and this is where I spend most of my time!] ...of 23*C [perhaps?] was really bizzare and I felt so stuffy!

Sleep did finally arrive and I was awake at 5am when Gerdia went for a run, and then managed to drag myself actually off my bed at 5:30am to get ready for early breakfast with our crew which magically grew from 4 to 7 for coffee sampling in a cafe within the city. Wee Ooh!

So the team which originally consisted of Bev - NSW, Cara - QLD & John - QLD, has now grown to Liza - South Africa [on a long journey with the ship and is also our Cafe' manager], Elliott - NZ [who sailed on the ship to join us as Barista's around Australia - cool!] and Marcelina - Malaysia? [who is also on for a long journey]. We also met Brett McDonald - brother of our Cap'n Ashley and Barsita extrodinaire. Due to the early start we enjoyed the coffees [note - plural :)]. It was a funky way to learn some things - and invade someone elses Coffee making space. Then we had orientation for the rest of the day. That probably was the most intense and exhausted me the most as it was so full on and jammed in because instead of 3 days Orientation we had only 1. When I really had no brain left, I managed to have dinner and do more learning in the evening [I've seriously forgotten what we did because I was so brain dead - and it was only last night].... wait - we all practices making coffess, I remember. Then most were so exhausted that they went to bed and Elliott, Brett & myself set up and practiced making coffees on random people until one of the randoms brought back his friends. So I got to give it a whirl. Wee Ooh. Said Random actually returned today.

Wrapping this up quickly, my first shift was today, and it was pretty crazy! We had about 3 hours off as we used up all our milk [all 14L's!] and then finished my shift technically at 4:30 but as I'd had register/money/EFTPOS experience from Bi-Lo, I got to teach people how to use it - with the guidance of Mr Paul C - IT crazy man from IRELAND! :)

So - thats about it! Make sure if you write me emails you send to the email at the top of this page - the one in red - and replace the [at] with @.

Kisses to the ones I miss-es...