Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm quite tired today. I-night tomorrow. Didn't really get a whole lot accomplished these last few days. A bit depressing.

I feel slightly directionless at the moment. I have so many things to do, and to be doing, and yet not getting any of them done. I join AV in two weeks, but I really want to finish Deck well.

I was given three days to do the lifeboat videos, during the time these guys are doing their training, to video them doing everything, basically.

Today was my last day given to do them. I've got the script of one of them done, 1/4 of the second script done, a bit of B-roll filming done. But none of the blocking done, none of the real filming done, and so, obviously, none of the editing done.

I'm VERY excited to go to AV. I really look forward to leaving deck. I don't know how it will be at all. Really weird. Kind of like being a kid, who was in school, suddenly being home-schooled, or something. I enjoy deck work, and too easily and probably too much see myself as a deckie, and a waterman. I am already doing video stuff and some AV programmes in my free time. I have so many ideas, but no way to play with them and try out.

Suddenly, it will be my job.

On one hand, sounds wonderful. On the other, slightly worrying.

Also I still have a problem really accepting that I will be joining AV. , even though I've had an official letter from Personnel about it, at last. I still honestly have a 80% belief that I'll be told "Sorry, someone is leaving, you need to stay in deck" or "Logos Hope NEEDS people, you're the only one who can go, even possibly. We don't NEED you in AV, we could take someone else, but if we don't send 2 deckies, they can't sail." Silly, I know.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pretty good day today. Some lifeboats videoing, some script writing, some fireman maintenance work (so the fireman can do lifeboats training!).

Found found a weird inconsistancy in the liferafts procedures, so chased it up, asked the captain about it, and have emailed a picture and full explanation to both captain and safety officers.

It's so strange though... I actually quite like ships, and all this safety stuff and all.W orking within the ISM and all the regulations and stuff is quite fun in a weird sort of way. Maybe I would make a good maritime laywer or something....

Monday, August 13, 2007

I was duty fireman today, so will be off tomorrow. I've been loading water, as well, but cannot leave the ship for 24 hours.

If there is a fire alarm go off, I'm fire-station supervisor, overseeing the investigators, calling if to page for the full fire control team to come, etc. Also I have to check any locations before any hotwork is allowed (welding, etc), isolate zones on the smoke detector panel before hotwork is allowed, etc etc.N ot very exciting unless an alarm goes off. Then it's quite mad. My first 3 times as duty fireman I had big false alarms.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Quite a good day today.

Family service in the morning - I was doing a bit of puppets.

Taught more ropes stuff all afternoon. Was just marking taskbooks, and will have dinner (real dutch cheese!!!) and then go out for ice cream with the i-night crew.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The THING I actually miss from Cyprus is a stable, normal, sane Linux box to work with. I am trying to find some documents about EDH training on the network, and to figure out some stuff for the lifeboats next week. There's one page of stuff I've seen the chief mate looking at, and it's good, but he's on break and now I can't find that page! Annoying.

But I just got a programme installed which makes this windows machine work almost like a Linux desktop. I can have 4 or 5 applications open, adn 8 or 9 windows, and get between each job just by pressing alt-1 or whatever. No silly alt-tabbing through 10 windows to see what I want. I don't like using the mouse.

The first day's training went well. I covered most of the ropework they needed to know. Knots, splicing, seizing, worming/parcelling/serving, stoppering at mooring. It's quite satisfying teaching, but complex too, and so much stuff to think about, and figure out how to get it to work. Tomorrow we will do purchases, bosun's chair and stage tomorrow, also care of rope....

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Life is good.

The e-day went very well.

I'm going to join AV on the voyage to Hong Kong in September!!

But I'm really tired.


9-12 i-night technical meeting, looking at the lights
12-3 sea watch
3-5.20 mooring and preparing water for the port

It's now 5.45.

Tomorrow I start teaching EDH (Effiicent Deck Hand), so I need to prepare all that. Should be interesting, but I don't have anything prepared yet.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm sitting in the dining room at 7.30am writing this. It's dark outside still, with rain and occasional lightning as the wet season continues to build here in Mokpo, South Korea. The windows are fogged up by condensation and water, allowing me to see the port about as clearly as I currently see my current life and future on Doulos.

I know that what job I actually do is quite minor, really, and that I'm here to serve, and it's God's choice what He asks me to do, nevertheless, I'm finding it intensely frustrating, and hard to focus on what I have to do day to day, and know how to spend my time. I was told (again) yesterday that I will be told for sure by the end of the week...

Tomorrow morning I'm taking a team of 4 people who I've never spoken with together (one of whom I've never met!) to do a 90 minute kids programme. I was told on Sunday afternoon that I was in charge. I was also told I had 2 steppers (who are tour guides, and so don't really speak english) and one from the new preship, who I've never really spoken with. So I tried to arrange a meeting that night, and told them as best I could.

None of them showed up.

So I spoke with the one from the new preship, who was working at the book-ex, and so couldnt come to any meetings. I arranged a programme, and told her what I needed her to do.

I managed to find one of the steppers, but I don't really know what she will do. We arranged to meet this evening to sort out her Bible story, but she never showed again. and I still havent met the other stepper/volunteer.

So I phoned today the host, and she wants to take us for lunch. So I said it was 4 of us.Then this evening I saw the notice board for e-days, and we have someone else joining the team!! So I hope I can see them at breakfast tomorrow, and maybe we have to skip devotions or something to prepare.

I really hate just bulldozing over the others, especially the steppers and just making them translate or something, but then the ballance between "the show must go on" and also "Doulos is about people".

To make it worse, Creative Ministries are closed all Monday, and by the time I'd found out I was in charge and thought about ideas on Sunday, they had also finished. So I havent been able to get any drama music CDs, or props, or costumes, or anything. They dont "open" until 9am tomorrow! Which is the time we're being picked up. I'll try to speak to one of them tomorrow at breakfast.

The host's expectations sound quite high of us, and I am really unsure of how it will all go. We're totally unprepared, and I'm struggling with feeling inadequate and cynical.

Just 4 days ago we had another crazy programme, a "mini-international night" which a church told us to produce at a concert hall they had booked without checking if it was a good idea with us first. So I was roped in and after work went along, having just taught 6 people that afternoon our cultural Scottish dance to perform... When we got there, we discovered one of the costumes missing, and so I had to re- teach them the 3 couple version backstage while the show had already started! We were totally unprepared, but somehow they managed to remember their steps.

The audience was about 80 kids and a few adults, who were there before we arrived and watched us troop in to the theatre and even practice how we would come out to bow at the end. I was feeling quite flippant and cynical by the end. It was an okay show, but what was the point!?

THEN... As we sat in the bus about to head back, a lady climbed up and spoke to all of us: "Thank you all for what you told us. Because of you, I now have strength to believe in Jesus".

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Didn't do a lot of work today, really. Moved a bit of water, checked a few levels, sounded a few tanks, and finished off the Pusan i-night review DVD.

It was raining today, so not so busy. It's rainy season here, and rain does have a certain charm.

I'm probably doing AV for a programme on Tuesday. The AV head went today and talked in strong terms to Personnel, and said she sped things up a bit. She wants me full-time in AV so she can release me to make more programme videos, and media clips for our use on board.

Now I have an e-day to organise....

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Today has been quite good.

The new Waterman is away on overnight, and will be back Tuesday. The other Waterman is doing most of the work at the moment.

So I'm working to get non-essential but good things done, such as the Waterman's bible, and writing a proper Waterman entry to the Ship Board Operations Procedures Manual (basically ISO 9000 for ships). And I'm getting the keys updated from piles of paperwork to be integrated into the ship's main database, and hopefully making the new lifeboat's training videos with the Captain soon.

Maybe also working with IT to get a couple of databases done.

Oh, and I'm trying to actually get to the bottom of the whole water chlorination deal, and get a proper procedure written down, and perhaps (the Captain is backing) to get an inline automatic chlorination system added. I'm aiming to leave my mark on the Waterman job!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Life is:
  • frustrating.
  • tiring.
  • confusing.
  • wearying.
  • long.
  • too short.
  • too fast.
  • too slow.
  • too bizarre.
  • too boring.
  • too random.
  • too inane.
  • etc. etc. ad nauseum.
I saw the personnel manager today. He asked me about jobs and extending and all that, but started from ground up, as if he knew nothing at all about what I would like to do. We had an 8 minute conversation, maybe, so I tried to explain the kinds of things, just answering his questions, rather than saying anything directly about our (and my dept. head's and others) past conversations as I was just so puzzled.

He told me that it's all very complicated, and that video isn't really a full time job, and that all the manning problems are causing so much confusion.

The new Waterman has started. He's learning fast. I taught him the sounding and basic rounds on day 1, then the other Waterman watched him do them on day 2. Today he wasn't workign with us, tomorrow he's on e-day, Saturday we will work together again, I guess. So I'll keep them updated about how he's doing, and hinting that I'm redundant...

So that's good. But I'm still feeling very frustrated, making me want to leave the ship, even though I still feel it's the right place. Every day people ask, 'So what's happening?' and all I can respond is, 'If you find out, let me know!' And that just makes them think I"m being funny or secretive or something.

It's weird. usually, I can *feel* how the dynamics of the place are, and can fit in. But right now, I feel on a different wavelength, like I expect gravity to be normal, and all mass to attract each other, and apples to fall to the ground, and so on, and yet I'm living in a universe where in fact things don't do that, but almost. And there are no rules written down, but in fact it's something like things attract each other depending on how blue their colour is, and that's why apples fall towards the earth.

I feel like I'm in a computer programme I'm trying to debug, and everything ALMOST works,except that there is some wretched buffer overflow error, and extra 0s and 1s get dumped into random data structures.

Right now, I want to do video and AV stuff, and maybe study and get my deck officers ticket in a few years. It takes 2 years or so. 6 months study, and 9 months on a ship, and then a few months study, then an exam. I think.

My idea currently is do AV until either mid 2008, or maybe 2010, on Doulos, then perhaps
work with the company's TV/video group in the UK, and then either study as a deck officer, or go do AV on Logos Hope, or come work with dad, or all of the above, in some random order.

The AV team would like me to work with them.

But does the dept. head? I dunno.

Does personnel? I dunno.

Will it happen? I dunno.

This country is lovely, but so tiring. Such weird expectations.T hey expect us to bring revival , or something. The church here started with a revival in 1907 of that kind, out of nothing.

They want us to come and for revival to burn, and then seem disappointed slightly by seeing that we are, in fact, merely human. and God is using us in small ways., and all our human efort and life and all is not amounting to the huge dramatic stories they want.