(Again on the computer with the weird spacebar).
Today is the last day of SabbathWeek, man, has it been tiring. Every morning doing the kids work. There are about 30 or so kids, ranging from ages of about 1 to 14, which is quite a large range. It means though that the range is too great for doing more formal games, I tried doing a few of the more basic drama games, but they just collapsed, as some kids just wandered off, others joined in enthusiastically, and then tried to help some of the younger ones, but then by helping the younger ones, got distracted from what they were doing. Oh well.
Today all of us were so tried, (I meant to type tired, but the typo seems to fit as well) that Jordan just didn't bother with a speaky bit (we are "doing" the fruit of the Spirit, LoveJoyPeacePatienceKindnessEtc), but just put on the tv, with some cartoons. Rubbish.
I think it was roadrunner, or something like that, where one random overly cheerful character blows up, maims, and generally smashes another random overly cheerful character for 15 minutes, and then the whole thing starts all over again. Thankyou, mum, for keeping me away from too much TV when younger. Blah.
Anyway, as predictable, the kids started getting irritable, crying, "I can't see, you're in my way, I can't see" and so on, and so we took them outside for a while longer to just play on the fundeck (one of the lower decks (the poop deck officially) which is separate from the rest ofthe ship, and netted all around and has rubber floor, toys, swings, and so on).
We have been doing loads of crafts with them, Rachel has been in charge of the 5/6 years old group, and me helping for crafts. Anyway, it's over now, the kids seemed to enjoy it, and the parents are happy, so thats good. I have 8-til-12 watch next week, so I can relax. *phew*.
I had watch 2 times this week too. The information desk is closed after 5 during sabbath week, so that means all international calls come through to the gangwayman. SO many. My goodness. About 1 every 5 minutes. Then as the gangwayman has no way of paging the ship for the person to forward the call to, you have to do a complex redialing procedure to route the call through to their cabin, or if they are not answering there, then to dining room, or other places they might be.
One funny story, after my watch 3 days ago (4-til-8), one of my fellow STEPPERs was also on watch. He is from South Korea, and his English is good, but basic. The phone is dead hard to understand anything on any way (international lines), and the re-directing system on the ship is quite complex too. Anyway. So I handed over to him. Yesterday, I was on watch, and one of the other sisters on board came and said she was expecting a call. Her mum had phoned 2 days ago in the evening (the day I was on watch, but later, during this other guy's watch), and had been told this:
"Too bad, I don't know how this phone works, try again tomorrow, goodbye."
Funny. Very funny. She wrote quite a concerned email to her daughter saying "And I thought you were all christians!" or something along those lines. heh.
Also, I was answering a call, and looking up in the book trying to find a name to direct to, managed it, looked up to find 3 guys in smart suits right up at the gangway. It was one of the government ministers, popped in to see how it was going! Totally out of the blue! So I called the Duty Officer, and he told me to phone someone else, and quickly the line-up people came, and conducted an impromptu V.I.P. tour. Wonderful.
I love being here.
Yesterday was a big fun-night for the end of sabbath week, many people doing cool dramas, funny songs, and so on. The puppet-people have been putting together a very cool puppet show, mixing live puppets with a whole puppet-film they have been filming last week. I have been able to occasionally help a few times with them, which has been really cool. Being a puppeteer, so they could watch and direct the filming, holding strings during a mission-impossible type stunt scene with a flying puppet dropping from a rooftop, and so on. Really good fun.
Anyway, yesterday, I was not able to go to the funnight, as I was on watch, but was able to help the creative ministry staff with setting up the room, moving chairs, hanging set, moving drumkits, and all that kind of thing. I just enjoy being able to do theatre work again. If I come back for 2 years, then I would be able to get envolved more, and perhaps in the second year be able to transfer to doing creative ministry (drama, puppets, etc) full time...
Only 2 weeks or so left... very strange feeling. Like I have only just arrived, and like I have been here forever.
We have been doing Purpose Driven Life in one of the small groups on board. It seems, well... It basically is a 40 day course which covers (or touches on) most of the basic aspects of Typical American Evangelical Low-Key-Charismatic (not penticostal) Christianity. It is very organized, and too pushy for me. It doesn't really say anything new, but brings a whole lot of stuff together, and presents it well, and in an easy-to-get way.
It is aimed at pop-Christian-culture, and it fits very well. Basically, it gives the major Purposes of a Christian life, ie, getting to know God better, growing in Him, ministry in the church, and mission to tell the world about Him. It is all presented in such a way that I am sure it has helped many people, but it is so broad, and so sweeping in places, and so pop, (and American), that I think it has probably also annoyed a lot of people and perhaps even pushed some away too.
For me it is kind of take-it-or-leave it, or would be, except for how annoyingly enthusiastic some people are about it. I guess that is partly why it does agravate some people so much.