Thursday, May 28, 2009


I just have to chuckle. I don't think I can laugh today, but I can manage a soft chuckle.

I just got off a series of night shifts, just woke up in fact, in time for supper, which they insist is called dinner. I digress. During my last night shift, 9:00pm to 7:00am, I was told that I needed to wear my uniform. I had not previously known we didn't have to wear our uniforms during night shifts, so this didn't change anything for me immediately. The reason why I had to wear my uniform in the darkest hours of the night was that Don Stpehens, the founder of Mercy Ships was coming for a visit and was arriving then. The reason, or part of the reason, why Mr. Stephens was coming for a visit is that we, the crew of this vessel, were invited by the President of Benin to dinner at the presidental mansion on Friday. This is pretty cool.

News that I heard when I got up: The dinner was cancelled.


On a side note; I hadn't thought one person could grate on me so much that my day would be near ruined. Skillz.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009


Yes. I have just come from witnessing a travesty. I was so appalled by it that I thought immediately of writing of it. This will be short, however, due to my shift starting in a few short minutes.

No it was not a genocide. It was a gamecide. I just watched the latter parts of a 13 round game of Risk. No joke. 4 players, 2 of them new, one of them Dutch. Now Ben, do not become angry with me for insinuating that your countrymen are responsible, you cannot help it. You're cool by me, just so you know.

It started with a horrific modification, a paring down as it were, of the basic, civilized, standard rules of Risk. And from there is dragged on in a more painful fashion than any of the frankenstien versions I have had the pleasure to playtest. Those even have the excuse of being testable, admitting their potential for flaws and getting over it. This, this was brutal. And it is apparently the way it is always played, no leeway for change, or acceptance of brokeness. Argh.

It's not even that I like Risk all that much that I feel compelled to defend it, but I must speak out in this case; At the very least play with the full set of standard rules, no less, please. I can't even really get into it right now, my brain feels like a cat jumped on it, a mean cat. Ok, my rant is done, ask me later for the horrific details if you must.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

My new residence

I cannot say that Africa is my new home. Home is a place that you are comfortable in, I used to say that home is where the toilet seat is most comfortable. Others say home is where your heart is. My home is then back in a cozy little town on a hill above a river in the midst of a temperate rainforest. I miss home.

Homesickness? more like heartache, from all the way over there, yeah, I know.

I am a crewmember of AFM. A receptionist, I get to put these black sleeves on the epaulets of my white shirt, the sleeves have gold embroidery, crossed quills. I guess that's appropriate. The novelty of this glory wore off quickly.

I should really have pictures to post here for everyone, but I haven't gotten around to taking many. I ran through my camera battery on the plane looking at stored pictures, I just recharged it. I am on deck 2, or my cabin is. That's right above the tanktop, which is the lowest, hottest, noisiest deck. There are 8 decks total, though deck 8 is just a weather deck, which means it is exposed. They don't call the beds Racks, or even Bunks, they call them Berths. I call them Racks. It doesn't look much like the Battlestar Galactica inside, it's mostly white and green, instead of the nice utilitarian grey. There are a few watertight doors, but none of them have wheel seals, just dog-ears. It does feel like I imagine being on a starship would feel. The vibrations are constant, even though we are in port, the generators must run all the time for the lights and A/C. The climate is controlled and air is recycled just as it would need to be in space. The water tastes scrubbed, but better than the awful water in Texas, my hair is doing alright. And there are not many windows, at least not on my deck, so it feels like the containment I would imagine in space. Even the windows here on deck 6, the big ones, feel like feeble imitations to me, the sun and the clouds mix the light so that from anywhere but close up they appear as white lights, I guess that is the opposite of the blackness one would see in space, but when it gets down to it it's a minor difference.

I don't know what to think yet, I am very adaptable, but I don't want to fit in. It's not that I have to make a concious effort to not fit in, I'm just not putting forth any effort to. Books, headphones, laptop, all are my hidden coves of refuge from everyone here. I'm sure that after a while I will discover that there are people who I get along with, but I am not seeking it, why?

I'm not telling. We'll just have to see if God is going to shake me up and make me, or if He can teach me what lesson I need to be taught without the ease of such confidants.

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