Since I am being fairly lazy tonight I felt like I should write another blog post. Today’s topic is the crew of the MV Explorer! I have been planning this post for a while and I don’t think anything I can say can really do justice to the hard working people on this ship.
My three favorite crew members are Achilles (who Hannah and I called Edga for the longest time)r, Joseph, and Clive. Achilles is my cabin steward and is one of the nicest people on this ship. For the first few weeks the idea of having someone come into my room and clean every day was intimidating. The fact that he would fold my pajamas and place Mr. Beeps my stuffed bear at the head of my bed was also somewhat foreign. However, his hard work is not unappreciated! Every morning my roommate Hannah wakes up before I do and goes to breakfast. When Edgar sees her leave he knows that I will be leaving in about thirty minutes for class. After I (finally) drag myself from bed and go outside he is waiting there patiently with a smile and a “Good morning Kendra, how are you today?”. He never complains about picking up our dirty towels and always brightens the gloomy days!
I ought to preface my stories about the dining hall staff with an explanation that I often eat lunches alone. Most of my friends have class on an opposite schedule than I do so more often than not I will be seen alone on deck 6 staring morosely into my PB &J. Joseph works in the Garden Lounge dining hall on deck 6. Every day you can here him singing while he clears plates and cleans tables. For a long time I only enjoyed his music from a distance, but one day he came up to me while I was sitting alone and started up a conversation. We talked about the different countries and how hard it is to be away from family for such a long time. We also talked about how little I ate and he asked if there was anything in particular that I liked. I replied that I love the ship’s iced tea and every day since then he will bring me a pitcher of iced tea to fill my water bottle. Whenever I sit alone he will take time out of his busy day to come and talk to me. I know that many other students feel uplifted by his singing and I wonder if he understands how much we rely on his cheerfulness to brighten our days.
Clive was the first crew member that I really had a conversation with. The day before we arrived in Spain I was sitting alone in the main dining hall on deck 5 doing homework when Clive comes over and says “I am Clive, where are you from?”. We had a great conversation about life and family. Several days later I was eating lunch with a friend and we told Clive about our parents’concerns regarding the white slave trade in Morocco. Clive promised that if we went missing, he would lead the search party for us. Simply knowing that someone was looking out for us made me feel much more comfortable about Casablanca and Moroccan adventures. Today I created another Clive story. Most of my friends and my roommate are on safari and I was feeling lonely and somewhat pitiful so I called home. I love calling home, but inevitably I will cry and wish more than anything that I could see my parents! After the phone call I went up to eat dinner and mope. No moping allowed! I had been sitting outside for about five minutes when Clive comes up and says “I was going to stand in your sunshine, but it looks like someone already stole it from you”. I told him that I was feeling homesick and he said “Don’t think about going home. Think about bringing home to you and sharing your life with everyone you meet. And I promise that your day will get better”. He was right and soon my favorite professor and her sixteen year old daughter came and sat with me and we ate while marveling in the beauty of Table Mountain. They later invited me to go to a bookstore and out for coffee with them. And so I am now sitting in my room with three brand new books ($5) and a smile on my face.
There are so many hardworking people on this ship and, although I have only brushed the surface of their lives, I am extremely grateful to know them. Even tonight I met a new crew member at the piano bar who is from Turkey and was telling me all about the beauties of Istanbul. I wish I could fully express the amazing things done by the people working on the MV Explorer, but words cannot do it justice. Besides, I have three new books to read (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tempted Champions, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Wisdom of War, and bizarre looking book called Jude: Level 1. Am I a dork? Hell yeah!). And so goodnight everyone! I plan to go to bed early knowing that there is an amazing crew taking care of every student on this ship!