Picture Perfect [?]

*to explain*...
We had a fun night on our voyage to Manilla which we had to dress up how we imagine ourselves 20 years in the future.

I had nothing. Nil. Nada. So in the end I went as a "43 year old mid-life crisis patient [so, the blonde wig and hot red lips etc] with a robotic arm [I thought that would be cool]".

Hahahahahahahaha. I am weird

BookEx Shift 2!!!! This is what we look like at work. The yellow shirt is for a sponsor here in Manilla but we normally all wear maroon.
This was a photo taken just recently... we are one crazy bunch of randoms! I love them!!!

The Mall of Asia... and my favourite party trick.

Random post - be prepared.

If you have ever been to Manilla, Philipines, then you have likely visited the Mall of Asia.
Oh - my - Goodness...
Its so stinking humungeous!!!!!!!!

Here's me, tough girl, cowering at the sight of this massive chunk of metal and glass. That is just not right. Its like a city in its own right, you could practically live there.

There's even an open air ice-skating rink. I don't skate [can't even wear flip-flops without falling over] but it was surely entertaining to watch other's who were. I laughed many times, but one memorable moment is seeing this girl reaching for the side of the rink and being too far away, who then [in what seemed like slow motion] falls flat on her face, not just in one smooth move, but has that whole head-bouncing thing happen. You think I'm horrible but I was thoroughly entertained...

You can buy cars in this mall... and I could very well go mad being there. The first time I went it was quiet and I was with Rachel [USA] and her friend-of-a-friend, Rhoda and they have a tendency to want to do that 'dawdle-shopping' - the one where you find yourself going into every store possible. Ack. That to me is as fun as running your nails down a blackboard. Its not torture all the time but I'm sure I'm more one of those shoppers who would rather go and buy what I exactly need, have a very quick browse and then leave the shopping. Others like to look longer, and to their advantage, they often find more bargains than I do.

Rachel and Rhoda really wanted to see this movie "The Diary of a Shopaholic" [or whatever its name is]. I flatly refused to see it, and since we left that day, we've only heard how funny it is. I should remember that usually the ones I judge as being stupid can often surprise me [or they aren't as stupid as I thought]. So we might go see that soon.

Onto the second part of the title - my party tricks.


I've fallen over and poured more drinks [hot and cold] on myself than I have in the whole time I lived in Adelaide in just the short time I've been onboard from Bacolod to Manilla. What is going ON!!!!

I've slid gracefully down stairs, completely missed chairs, and walked into objects that were obvious a mile away. I've poured a full cup of hot Starbucks coffee on myself and splattered my friends when it also fell off the table, not to mention a full cup of COLD coke [bottomless, so it still got refilled when they saw that it was empty - hahahaah!] on myself - causing my face to shriek in disgust and embarrassment... and amazingly, the same 3 people have been at EVERY one of those situations. Perhaps I should stop spending so much time with them. Ha!

I think i've been tired, distracted [by life of course...haha] and not concentrating. And at the same time providing great entertainment for my pals... :)

Mind Over Matter...

Good Morning!

That's a bit of an extended truth, its actually 1:30pm but I've only been out of bed for a short amount of time. This past week has provided many opportunities to avoid going to bed until really, really late.

Last week we received an early delivery of our shipment of books so for a few hours some of the BookEx staff were involved with placing them in some sort of order on the Quayside [area of 'jetty' next to the ship] ready for the Container day [yesterday].

I was rostered only on the day shift and other's the late shift. Some also were rostered the Container shift. My shift leader, Ruban [India] became very unwell yesterday during day shift and went to his cabin early to rest as he was also rostered on the Container shift, and being one of those stubborn male types, herefused to take the evening off and let someone else replace him.

Lucky I am also stubborn and with the help of our Assistant Manager, we managed to convince Ruban it would do him a great help if he rested the evening and day and do my shift tonight and I'll replace him on the Container shift. Now I finished day work at 5pm Manilla time, and others who also finished then who were rostered on the Container shift [which started at 9:45pm the same evening] had the chance to get a few hours sleep before hand. Because I didn't know if I was working or not, I had to just wait. So when 9pm came around, then I found out I WAS replacing Ruban and then had to get geared up for an evening of work.

It was really enjoyable, and at the same time, totally exhausting. I was given a 'ladies job' [grrr!!] of dealing with some unruly Handbags [psh!!!] and having to go through every single one on two big crates, it took a good 4[ish] hours. I had my pal Rachel [Virginia, USA] with me so we were doing some random singing to the random songs we had blaring out of the Sound System, making a few crazy song dedications to the BookEx staff [one of those had to be there moments, sorry!], but at the end of the day, just doing the jobs needing to be done.

So my Wednesday [yesterday], also known as Container Day, consisted of a 9 hour regular shift, 5 hours off [well, sorta] and then followed by another 6 hours that evening, crawling into bed at 4am.

And then being woken up by the girls in Section 6 [where I live] at 7am.


Ah... anyway... its all fun and games until someone gets smacked by a pillow... :)

So that's one story for you... if my brain kicks in I'll share a few more...

otherwise, goodnite my friends!


So we're currently sailing to Manilla, which is exciting!
Bacolod was A-MA-ZING! It was GORGEOUS and welcoming and what I would picture a place like the Philippines to be. We had our biggest visits in one port in Bacolod - 114,000 people came up the Book-Ex gangway. Saint Peter's Beard! We were only there for 18 days but it was a huge blessing to have that many people come along as we were thinking it was going to be a quiet port - how wrong we were!!

Bacolod is also the "City of Smiles"... and they aren't wrong. Smiling because they are stealing a photo of you, smiling because they have no idea what you are trying to say, smiling because they are just lovely people... it changed alot. But they smiled. And they made 'kissing' noises at us. That is to get your attention so don't be alarmed. They also will say "Yes!" by raising their eyebrows - something that takes a bit to get used to, and many of us onboard now do it [shame!]. They can hold a whole conversation by "kissing", pointing at something when they have your attention and then you acknowledge they wish to buy, they agree "yes!" with their eyebrows. Hillarious!

I got to visit Mumbukal - a resort [not for me!] that resides in the hills/mountains behind Bacolod. It takes about an hour and a half jeepney ride up to Mumbukal but its worth it. The scenery is beautiful, the little towns you pass are full of shops and people and are just beautiful, being out of the city is just beautiful and spending quality time with your friends is a plus! When we got up there and made it up to the first waterfall [after I gracefully stacked it on the way up - wrong footwear!] I was sitting on a rock by the pool with my legs in the water. Two girls were going up to the other falls and the guys decided to follow. I was getting up [can you see where this is going already?] to stand near the girls stuff and I totally slipped INTO the pool. Oh, Man! That was not desirable. The water was, because it was cool and lovely. But I wasn't intending on getting wet. I'm not sure if being half wet is worse than all wet, but for this conversation I had the pleasure of trialing that half wet is possibly worse.

I spent Bacolod on Day, then Late, then Day rotations in the BookEx. Each rotation is a week and you have a day off and a outing with a group of you within that time. Day shift is fine, long but work continues to flow. Late shift is really tiring. You are awake early, spend the day doing not alot, start work at 4:30pm and stick around till the BookEx closes to the public - THEN you have to clean up the mess [*cries!*] and when you have finally done that you have to go and 'pull' [collect the books sold that day] and then you put them in their rightful place in the shop, a final clean up and then you could go and sleep. It was hard! You're meant to get up early to do devotions but I couldn't get out of bed before 9:30pm. Anyway, that's my little spill. I've got it easy compared to many...
My first outing [called an E-day or Evangelism Day] was on a Saturday to the Alliance Baptist Church next to the SM Mall in the City [a 10 minute walk from the ship]. We were 6 of us going to do a program for 215 children from the ages of 3-12. The age range is huge because all the children are street kids and they open their doors on a Saturday to teach them things that could be taught in school. Now I worked at HYPE, with about 6 or so leaders and with about 24 children aged between 5-12, and that is HARD!!! But these 215 kids were SO well behaved, obeyed their teachers and sat so quietly that I was actually blown away! We did our two hour program where we had some games and some drama's showing God's love, and they were the most well behaved kids I've ever seen - especially in that number! And the best blessing was that I got to see many of the older kids when they visited onboard and got to know one of the Teachers, who used to be a street kid when she was young and was sponsored by an Australian. God is so amazing!

Many many things happened in Bacolod that I can't possibly share. I'd show you some photo's but they aren't mine - the Electricians tried to fix my camera but they said one of the cogs in the Lens had broken and its not mendable without being sent to the manufacturer and with everything postal being slow from the ship... yeah, no. But here's a picture of the smallest class of children from Alliance Baptist...

And here's a picture of my current home... enjoy!!!