Time is passing faster and the memories of SAS are growing dimmer. Last night I was unable to sleep because I could not remember the name of my favorite crew member on the MV Explorer. After an hour (and going through a list of popular Filipino baby names) I finally remembered Mardy. It is not fair to let these important memories slip away simply because I procrastinated on finishing my blog. So here it is again!
I suppose it is fitting that I write about Mardy today since he was on my mind last night. I have written previously about how amazing the crew of the Explorer was, but Mardy is in a class of his own. Every once in a while, I would have a day where I felt lonely or homesick and wished that I was not in the middle of the ocean. It was on one of these days that I met Mardy. He walked right up to the table where I had been sitting alone and started chatting with me. At the time, I was annoyed and wished he would let me mope. I thought that this one incident would soon be forgotten, but every day for a week, he came up and started talking to me again.
From this time on we were friends. I was his “favorite friend from Mexico” (I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was from NEW Mexico) and he always made sure I was smiling. If the food was terrible, he would find me peanut butter and jelly so I wouldn’t go hungry. He would bring me hot water for my tea and ice cream if the line was too long. Mardy taught me a secret handshake and greeted me every day with a resounding “It’s KENDRA!” He was a better friend to me than many of the students I met on the ship. The last time I saw Mardy was when I was disembarking the ship in Fort Lauderdale. He had been taking coffee to the customs officials, but when he saw me, he set down the tray and gave me a big hug. Unlike my other SAS friends, I have no way to speak to Mardy. I cannot email him or write him a letter to let him know how much his friendship meant to me. I hope that wherever Mardy is now, his life is wonderful!