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...