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... carola.bradford@gbaships.org... 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