First Impressions of a Floating Village

First Day

NOTE – I wrote this a week ago and because i’m the worst photographer in the world it took me a week until i realized that i wasn’t going to be uploading photos alongside the descriptions anytime soon.  So i present the pictureless blog post of my first two day!

Life on the ship has begun.  I’ve been here a total of 2 whole days now.  Yes i know – riveting stuff!

So what is life like on the ship?  Well so far it seems a lot like if you were living in a village of 300 people that was sorted nicely into a single building.  Except the building is technically floating and is located in a port in Africa.

The ship has everything that a person could need.  It’s not exactly as big as i was imagining – instead of being on a cruise ship it is on an old dutch ferry.  However it is a rather large ferry due to the fact that it used to carry rail-cars.  The ferry is super nice, you enter into a tidy reception area which opens up into a large dining hall one way and a two floor cafe/lounge area the other.  The cafe has it’s own starbucks (run by volunteer baristas) as well as comfortable couches and a few TVs that seem to always have soccer on them.  The cafe is my favourite area so far as it has coffee (50 cents for a double americano which is awesome) as well as Internet access.

I’ll be drawing up a little picture of the boat so you don’t have to read a huge description of everything but i’ll touch a few important areas now.  The two bottom floors of the ship are the hospital.  I won’t be spending too much time there (except possibly with media teams) but it seems a nice enough place.  Lots of nurses in scrubs, people swathed in bandages, water-tight doors with bold warnings of STAY OUT plastered all over them.  Actually it’s not that bad.  I was pleasantly surprised in fact!  As i peered through the ward windows I saw people laughing, playing games, one guy was wailing away on the guitar – it was great!

Now for my favourite places:
The cafe – They serve starbucks and have decent Internet here (though we can’t skype or watch youtube sadly).  Lots of comfy chairs and people lounging with coffees in their hands.
The dining hall – Food here.  Enough said.
Library – Books.  If you don’t know that i love books than you don’t know me.  The library is awesome.
The pool/deck – Yeah they have a little pool.  Perfect for lounging beside in the hot congo sun.
My Office:  My real home for the next 4 months.
My room:  Me and 3 others share this modest space.  The common area at the back is full of bags at the moment so i don’t really go back there.  We have a fridge which is cool.  I can’t forsee that i’ll be spending much time here except for sleeping.  Especially because i have a great office and desk!
International Lounge:  This is where we have church and other such meetings.  I’m working hard at getting on the worship team.  It’s time to liven this ship up!
Gym:  It’s a tiny little room way at the bottom of the ship.  It feels like a dungeon.  But it’s got weights so that’s better than no weights right?
The Dock:  Um it’s where we are docked?

I was going to take pictures of all these things but apparently i’m much better with words than i am with photos.  Hopefully i’ll add an addendum with all these great places photographed soon.

I haven’t gone into town or anything like that yet.  Last night i joined a group of runners that jogs to the port gate and back, which is approximately 2.3 km or something.  We did a solid 10km together which felt amazing.  You aren’t really allowed to run alone so i was very happy to find a group to tag along with.  If i wasto categorize the whole country by the short run down the port road than i would have to say that the Republic of Congo is full of lounging fellows who enjoy yelling in french, about 100 guys trying to jump start one car, huge trucks that drive dangerously close to runners and air that smells overwhelmingly like greasy fish.  Admittedly this could be too small of a sample size to be statistically sound… But I know what i saw!  (I’m kidding for those who can’t read sarcasm in the written word).

Well that’s enough reading for you!  Feel free to ask questions about things on the ship and whatnot, i’d love to have direction on what to write to you all about!  Any feedback is good feedback!

Love you guys,
Kyle

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2 thoughts on “First Impressions of a Floating Village

  1. Good to hear you’re getting settled. Did you take any of your musical instruments – sounds liken you may be able to have some jam sessions. Looking forward to hearing your adventures.
    Take care Kyle!!!!!!!!!!!
    Charlene

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