31 May 2007
As a Christian am I supposed to give money to everyone who asks?
(Beautiful souls in Baltimore)
As I sat on a bench in Baltimore and watched people pass by with their children, families, boyfriend or even their dog; I couldn't help but wonder how many of them loved God? How many of them have even heard of Him before? And I sat and wondered, what am I doing about it? I want to be a missionary in a foreign land, yet I can't even help the ones walking by or around me. I wonder why I even decided to sit on that particular bench and offer a smile to the ones I did. I wonder if God had put me there for a special purpose or I just happened to sit there for no apparent reason. I'm sitting there with four dollars in my pocket and an empty Starbucks cup which once was a Java Chip Frappuccino.
A lady comes and asks me for money to get supper, she says it's already eight o'clock and I haven't eaten yet. I look at her with my apologetic look and say the first thing that comes to mind when a person ask that question... ...Sorry, I don't have any money... Now yes I am speedily depleting any funds I do have at the moment. I want to make a trip to Idaho to see my best friend Amanda, but I also need that same money to fly back out to the east coast to the ship I will be working on this summer. So the big dilemma was, do I pay $3.52 for the coffee or do I save it to put towards my trip(s)? Of course the flesh won and what difference is three dollars really going to make towards a flight that is probably going to cost around six or seven hundred dollars? So there I am sitting on the bench having spent the $3.52 on the coffee I really didn't need, and tell the lady I have no money... Obviously this was the wrong answer because I do have money and it was nothing more than a lie. So, I really want to know, am I supposed to give money to every one that asks?
My best friend Debi, whom had already driven five hours from Blacksburg to Baltimore just to stay the night with me, now had to drive another hour to DC just to pick me up. We had the greatest time at the hotel just catching up and doing what girls do best… Kaltgni otuab ysob… :D Anyways, so the next morning, we drive around Baltimore looking for Constellation Pier in Inner Harbor. After finally finding it and a parking spot we head for the dock. Now where the heck is the darn ship American Star? (where training is to be held) We ask Information, the water taxi, Port Control and anyone else who might have an idea… Their answers of course would be, she's not here, she sailed on Saturday… So you’re telling me that I flew half way across America only to find out training has been canceled? We finally get back to the car where I had left my phone, and I call the home office in Connecticut to see what's up. It just turns out the ship will be arriving within the hour... Talk about a scare!
(American Cruise Lines ship American Star)
This ship was finished in 2007 and is completely rust free, talk about super sweet. 220 foot in length and actually doesn’t have a helm. Apparently the new fancy thing is a lever, or three I guess. Yeah don’t ask. We did three days of training with basic deck stuff, it wasn't anything to exciting, but good to get to know the ship a bit. I’ve lived on a ship for three years, so the stuff that is just normal life to me is like a whole new world to others. It's actually kind of strange.
I will be flying back to Arkansas 01 June and then returning back to the east coast to work in hopefully less than two weeks. It will be interesting to see what kind of situations I run into working for this company, I have a feeling I will end up with a couple of stories.
11 May 2007
I am working toward getting my Able Body license which is required for sailing on a lot of vessels. It almost feels like I am playing a video game trying to get to an AB, that there are all these secret steps inbetween that no one can tell you about. I have made at least a hundred phone calls to the Coast Guard just trying to get information. I was finally able to go to Baltimore and get my Merchant Mariners Document. Apparently that was the first step.
Next I went down to Texas for a week of Basic Safety Training. The first two days were fire, then next we had first aid and CPR. The fire training was a lot of fun simple because I prefer hands-on over the sitting in front of a textbook trying to cram information into the brain stuff.
(Sonya and I)
That person in the grass is the man I killed just because he was a guy... No, just kidding.
(Amy and Buck)
Along with all the other fire drills we did, we had a dummy who weighed 165 pounds that was needing to be rescued from a "blazing" container. That of course was a workout with all the fire gear on.
The next three days we studied radio communications, personal safety, pollution prevention and sea survival. Once again my favorite was the sea survival, seeing how we were able to "go swimming". :D
(Amy trying to get into the life raft... It's not as easy as one might think.)
(Steve and I)
At the end of every day we would take a test on what we had studied. Talk about stress. I hate taking tests anyways, but to have to take them on something I really want to do good at, it just didn't add to the enjoyment. I am happy to say however that I did get 100% on most them. I had an advantage though, with being at Friend Ships for nearly three years. It really helped a lot.
So, I have this theory that I have met to many people in my life time of 21 years. That an average person probably meets around 100 to 200 people a year. Well, it seems to be that everyday at Friend Ships you were always meeting someone new. That I would meet like 400 or more people a year. Actually while I was in Gretna for the three months we had over 800 people come through. I talk to all of them. I seriously felt like I never want to meet and get to know another soul after returning from Israel. While I was living in Virginia I only left the house to go to work (the girls drug me out a couple times at first to socialize with their friends, but, I learned pretty quick not to fall for that trick again). My name's Danette, I was with Friend Ships for almost three years. Bla, Bla, Bla, Bla Bla. And NO I'm not a Hokie! (Their mascot)
Anyways, so before BST I'm thinking, here I go down to Texas only to what? Have to meet more people! If I can dodge everyone this will be good, then I won't have to pretend like I have everything together and life is perfect. I mean I do do missions, so I must be close to perfect right? NO!
I roomed with this girl Amy from Canada and we totally hit it off. She works on the African Mercy with Mercy Ships as the only girl deckhand so we had a lot in common. Then there was Sonya, she was totally cool and I had a great time talking to her. I actually went out to coffee one night with this huge group and had a good time... I realized something while I was down there. That I didn't have to pretend I was perfect, or that I had everything figured out in life. People are people and no one has it all figured out, especially the ones that pretend they do. I also learned that everyone has something special about them, that everyone you run across is different in their own unique way; that by not getting to know these people, I am the one missing out.
(Janna and Danette)
Jen took me hiking the Cascades one day. It was up hill the whole way and I didn't even realize it until the decent on a different path. At the end was a beautiful waterfall which was the first I had seen that was over like 4' tall. You would think with as many places I have been I would have run across one somewhere.
(Debi and Janna)
Those two beautiful ladies pictured above are my best friends; it was taken when we were in Baltimore for flights and to get my MMD. We had a lot of fun looking at all the ships in port and trying to find a hotel. I think we took every road twice. Anyways, we finally found a hotel and paid a fortune to stay. I'm sure we must own part of it now.
(Danette, Jen and Jean)
Jen, Janna and I went up to West Virginia to see Mark and Jean and then the New River Gorge. They are the sweetest people ever and I miss them so much. I hadn't seen them since they left Friend Ships around the beginning of 06.
(New River Gorge)
This is my favorite picture. Every time I see it, it just reminds me of how great my God is.