The English student part of me, dear readers, insists on having an eye-catching and humorous title. But blogging on the spot makes it hard to think of one and as I need to do a boring catch-up anyway, I shall simply give you a timeline of events up to now. You can have your skull bored out and then next time it’ll be exciting, I promise!
Sailing Gozo- Sciacca: The sea was beautifully calm. I learned to helm by the stars. Kyrah prayed ‘God please send us lots of dolphins right now!’ Then we saw lots of dolphins. I had never seen dolphins before and they were elegant and joyful. Fellow-trainee Seth (otherwise known as the mysterious Captain) and I are on 4-8 watch, which means we have four hours on duty and eight hours off. This means very early bedtimes and quite a lot of half-asleep stupor- but also sailing into the sunset, watching the sun creep up over the distant coastal mountains, and raising the sails so we can leave the 8-12 watch to take them down again. (Raising sails is more fun than lowering them, as you might have guessed.)
Sciacca: a historic walled city where crowds of youths on mopeds zoomed up and down the quayside watching us living our lives on our boat. We had Vicky Bolton’s week of teaching on ‘Bible Overview’, to which I will hopefully return at some stage because although I was, so to speak, weaned on stories of the kings and the reason Jesus walked the earth, I have never felt so excited about it. Re-enacting the story of Israel and Judah, including reading Lamentations aloud while burning our cardboard model of Jerusalem, may have helped. I cried. I’ve realised I cry a lot more and I think it’s a good thing. I believe they call it being healthily in touch with your emotions. Or just sensitive to how incredibly beautiful God’s creation is.
Sciacca-Palermo: We saw more dolphins!
Palermo: Jet-black horses pulling colourful buggies. We climbed a mountain on what I hope was a Roman road, switch-backing up terraces then bush-whacking over the rocks, dodging lizards till we could see right across the island from Palermo under lashings of rain and sunlight on our left, to the radiant blue Mediterranean away on our right. This was a challenging week, once we had descended the mountain, but good things definitely came out of it. Anne Sloan was teaching us on ‘Identity’. For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs, I discovered that I am INFP- I process internally and dislike working to deadlines. Other than learning to put myself in a box (which is NOT the purpose of Myers-Briggs) I realised that- trying to come up with a soundbite- actually never mind. (I apologise for my appalling writing style- I’m thinking on the spot.) For now I’ll just say I’ve had a huge amount to process and I would rather not restrict it to meaningless words. I will be back on this topic!
Palermo-Cefalu-Termini-Cefalu: I got seasick. We lost some mooring lines and our motor dinghy but God kept us safe in a storm!
Cefalu-Messina: I started learning to play the accordion. I stood on deck as we sailed east and
Messina: I fully intend to act out scenes from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in some park or piazza!
My progress in Italian continues:
- Parlo molto poco Italiano.
- Una caffè decaffeinato, per favore!
- Abitiamo sul un nave.
- Grazie mille!
As you can tell I am practically fluent and will soon be ready to move on to the basics of Albanian, because GUESS WHERE WE’RE HEADED ON OUTREACH?
For that reason I must leave you for the joys of Albanian phrases and national foods, because I’m presenting it to the rest of the trainees tomorrow afternoon! I’m pretty certain my laptop’s about to die and also I’m really tired of the music they’re playing in this cafe. I will be back soon. The adventure continues till the day I die!
PS. It’s really sad when you think about it, how unpolished my blog has become. Let’s just take a moment.
The life of a battery is too short to be perfectionistic!