(A message arrived this morning, in reply to one I sent earlier in the week. Answers to a few questions are included. If anyone reading this has other questions for Dan, please do write them in the comments section and I'll pass them on to him via email)
Saturday 16th July
Today was I-Night, or rather, "Doulos International Festival", because it was held at 3.00pm (African time, so started at 10 to 4...).
I was on the prayer team, so we left at about 11ish, to the Catholic University which was kind enough to let us use their hall. Biggish hall, too echoey and windows along the top of the walls with no curtains... kind of made the projected material a problem.
We did quite a lot of praying, and in the end the day went well, I think. Sadly, not so many people went, about 150 people in the audience, I guess. An ex-Doulos now-pastor from this country preached half way though, for 15 minutes. And he actually did 15 mins, too, which is quite amazing in ANY part of the world.
I can't get used to the style though. He was right after the "Tales" drama, which is fantastic, all mime, basically the whole story, Father and Son make world, people, angels, an angel turns away, tempts man into sin, Son becomes a man, other men kill Him, and through His death, He defeats the turned angel, and brings back people to him. Very beautiful.
Then this preacher gets up and, basically, shouts for 15 minutes solidly. I'm kind of sceptical, I mean, I know "there is no 'right' and 'wrong' ways, culturally, only different" and all that, and I know my personal culture doesn't do this kind of thing, but through the whole drama, everyone was riveted, as soon as he began preaching, people started leaving, and carried on leaving through the whole thing. I dunno.
Also, from a beautiful, flowing, poignant mime-drama, suddenly into full bore hell and fire preach (I don't speak Portuguese though, so I don't know if it really was). Anyway. I can't judge, and I guess he knows what he is doing, and God can use anything. Oh well.
We got back about 7 o'clock, it's now 10 to 8. Quite cold too, for me. Other people complain it is too hot still. Strange people.
[re: stars in the Southern Hemisphere]
On sea watch, boy, it was amazing. No light polution or other polution for 40 miles in ANY direction, on a dark unlit deck... You wouldn't believe how many stars. I saw the milky way too! fantastic. Different stars, it's lovely. I got to see whales too on watch!! I have got photos of many things from the "scratch" sharing drive.
[ re: Scottish Dancing - were all the STEP team involved?]
Just me. They have a notice board on the way to the dining room and all groups put a notice up like "All Scottish dancers meet in forward lounge at 8pm" or something. And so I went, they said, "oh cool, another man. we need you to dance with us in 2 days time, ok?". Funny. Other people are with other groups. Swing dancing, tiniklin, irish, etc.
[How does music and drama work on the ship?]
A different music person leads each week, and they pick whoever they want, and know about for that particular week. A couple of the guys on the STEP play drums and guitar, and one girl plays piano. Perhaps we will lead one week, just the STEP. We have also
had our own impromptu (and promptu) worship times too.
The drama team is for long termers only, but they teach everyone shorter dramas (the table drama, the chair drama, the window sketch, the balloon drama, etc), and also ways of sharing the gospel using 3 bits of string, or a square peice of blank paper, and so forth.
[re: thick socks, which he said he was lacking in a previous message]
I don't really need any, and I will try to look in Charlie (the spare clothes place), or at the market on monday (my off-day).