Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I am very excited about the idea of "Extreme Makeover". Accounting Deparment organized this activiy which consist in rebuilding a home for a extremely elderly couple in Mazatlan. I saw the ad on one of the boards and saw the pic of the status of their house, and it was wao. I complain about what I have, but what I have is a world compared to what this couple have. So in order to be thankful to God I decided to sign up. This reminds me so much about the trips I use to go when in Panama with Teen Mania (american mission organization), to very very poor neiborhoods in the city and help them economically, physically and spiritually. I am really looking forward to help them get to know the One who will be their provider, their supporter even in hard times. I even talked in one of my friends, who in order to go, will not sleep for 24 hours straight, but this kind of experiences, I know change lives. I hope this would be a extreme good day.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Sweet....they finally came back to the ship after a long, stressing, killing and agonizing waiting to re-inspect the ship. This last 6 weeks has been extremely hard, to much pressure from the headquarter offices in miami and from the diferent head departments on board. However, last sunday public health officer came onboard, and after a couple of hours we learned that we passed with the perfect score of 100. Now, to me, thats like nothing, I would've rather pass the first one with the lowest possible score than having to pass a second one with the highest one. Anyway, now everything back to calm, at least for a couple of weeks. So, around 11:00 pm my boss called me and asked me to come to the crew bar, to celebrate. All the management were there, and the manager was giving away his money buying drinks and beers to all the fellows, now, the akward moment was when he asked me what did I want, I told him, just a, he was like "are u serious" with this puzzled face, arrg, they were so pushing me to take a drink...and I felt kind of in a bad situation cuz he is the big boss and even the captain was around, so I know that to the worldly eyes that was just a bad move from my part, however I wouldnt never give up my convictions and my faith in order to please another person, even if that cost me a promotion and a better position. Even worse, I felt bad cuz it is there when I should stand high and be the light in the dark the answer to their nonsense life, but once again I couldnt. Peer pressure is a big deal, no wonder why so many teenagers go after the bad things. "God, I ask you to help me everyday to be the difference in this world"
On the best note of the day, I bought this new music cd of The Passion, it has songs from different singers, that after watching the movie felt compelled to write songs about the whole stuff. It has songs ranging from hard rock like P.O.D. passing to alternative like third day, going to rap from kirk frankling and sweet songs from others excellent performers. Its just a great purchase. I am enjoying it to the most!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I think, I finally learned how to use hello software.

Long Beach, California Sunrise Posted by Hello

Top middle section of the Carnival Pride vessel, with Ensenada as a background Posted by Hello

Ensenada Vista Posted by Hello

Monday, September 20, 2004

Two days ago, we visited Ensenada, which is not part of the regular route of my ship, but since we were trying to avoid Javier hurricane, they changed the itinerary last week. Early in the morning I went open deck to watch the new place for me to see. As we were approaching I got impressed by the huge quantity of seals that were singing and swimming around the vessel, I think this was actually the first time ever that I've seen them in real life, plus a lot of every kind of birds flying low close to the dock. Then back there you could see enormous bare mountains, not a single tree or green plant to see, only dusty yellowish land, filled with large rows of houses and business, just the way San Francisco Ca. is. A huge ray of sun coming vertically through a hole in the dark dense clouds made a beautiful effect when reaching down the far away bare mountains. And the cool breeze hitting everywhere and everyone, just made that moment special. Now, Mexico is known by its wild hot humid weather, this was just out of the rule. This brought me back 9 years back when I traveled for my very first time out of Panama. It was a youth mission trip hosted by an american organization who invited my church youth to participate in it. It was held in San Quintin, Tijuana (Mexico). That was an amazing experience I had, one of those that transform and shape the rest of your life. I barely remember the details of a lot of things back there, but in my subconcious they are still vivid and I now know that, as when I saw the view of Ensenada, a lot of those lost memories came alive. Ensenada is just about 2 hours away from San Quintin, Tijuana where I once were with a bunch of kids spreading the news of the Gospel. A happy feeling just embrazed me. Of course, after we docked, I went outside to walk around and take some pics. I went with a bunch of indonesian friends to eat chineese food and so we did.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bad Weather

Arrrrg.....the ship is rocking sooo bad. I am seasick, walking like a drunker, so is everybody around, due to Javier Hurricane. Anyway, today is my 100 day anniversary on board. Yuppi. I am celebrating with a soda and a seasickness pill. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Getting to Know People

Today I had the opportunity to share some quality time with couple of my guys.  It is weird, I spend almost 10 hours with them every day and we hardly get some time to really get to know each other.  The one thing that really caught me off guard today is the fact that sometimes those who are tough guys and give you problems almost every single second of your existence have a human side, have needs and stories to tell.  Thats the case of Alvaro, he's from Peru; he's been working for the company for almost 5 years, and he knows every trick available to play on a new supervisor like me.  So I have to be equally tough to him and during the last three weeks I've been on his tail very bad, but at the end in one or other way we manage to keep our communication line open. So, today we start talking about things and I got to know that he's got a child and he is paying for a private education (now, in latin america private education is the one thing that not everybody get to have) And according to what he says, thats the reason why he stays here regardless the extremely hard work and family time sacrifice.  He doesnt know how he's managed to put up with this life style all these years.  I see determination, a goal to be accomplished, a sacrificing father, so not everything is wrong about him, and thats a good thing to know.  Later on, like if my fate today was to get to know a bit more about the people that works with me, another guy, this time from Philippines, start asking me questions about me and my life and there we start a conversation.  He is a first timer in the company, and I learned that he had been unemployed for the last 10 years.  He is 34 and it was kind of sad that he wasnt liked by his family and girlfriend family because he didnt had a job.  He had been trying and trying to get a job and nothing of nothing, but 10 years? puff.... thats way to long time.  Now he says he got lucky and got this one, which is not very promising but at least he's got something, and his plans are to save some money to buy a piece of land and build his home, and afterwards marry his long time girlfriend.  Life can be hard to some and easy to others, yet everybody has their own stories, needs and human sides no matter how tough and rude they might be.  I learned today that when you get to know someones background you can understand better why he/she behaves or thinks like so.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


I think I messed up my blog, cuz yesterday when playing around with hello, trying to learn how to use it, I managed to upload couple of pictures, but then it wouldnt published it, never passed from 0%, but still I could see it, and then the internet access got slow and I got upset after trying and trying. So I left and I've got no idea how it is. I was trying to post some pictures of Cabo San Lucas, one of my favorites places. Thanks to my friend Willie who encouraged me to learn how to use hello software. Nothing really interesting happening around, the usual, work, sleep, excercising my body, eating and giving hard time to my people. I am looking forward to get some fun anytime soon. There was crew party recently, however nothing that I could enjoy at all. Lot of drunk people afterwards lost, trying to get to their cabins. Lol, thats a funny thing to see, specially when the ship is rocking, you get to see them sort of dancing hip hop when walking in order to not loose their balance and to top it off with a lost expression in their face.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Not Fair

I've got 20 people to look after during my shift. I am responsible to make sure that they finish their duties and everything is ready for the next shift. I deal with them for 10 hours every single day seven days a week, 8 to 10 months. I certainly know who is who, who is good at his work, who is a mamagallo (ship term for lazy) and who is an excellent worker. When it comes to give promotions me and my collegues have our top 5 list of guys who really deserves promotion. And in most of the cases the Manager of the Dept. consults us before taking the decision. However, this time the assist. manager didn't consult us and he gave it to someone who is not bad, but not the best. It made me upset, because there are couple of guys with more time in the company with a lot of experience and really reliable workers, and for some reason they don't get it. Unfair no? What should I tell to this particular guys? keep on working good, that someday you'll get it? Yes, but would they understand? would they really want to understand, when it is an unfair situation? Yes, yes, I know, things like this you get to see everywhere and will never stop to happen, specially when we are not under God's guidance and will. When we decide to walk according to God's will, this kind of bad decisions that affect people won't occur. Only with God's wisdom we will be able to take the best decisions ever and to be a living testimony for His glory. May God help us.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Quite Time Reflexions

Couple of sunrises ago, I was on the uppest open deck waiting for the sunrise with my usual cup of coffee. The previous night as I was reading my Bible, this verse caught my attention which says that God will certainly bless the just and like with a shield he will surround him with his favor. Then this other verse which says, For You are my surrounding shield, my glory and the one who lift my head. I was thinking on those verses, and it became evident that He is taking care of me all the time, he protects me and he loves me beyond my understanding. So when I was up there feeling the cool californian morning breeze in my face and trying to understand better those verses, I realized how enormous is the sea, I directed my gaze all around me and saw no limit to the surrounding sea and sky and though I couldnt see the air I could feel it because it was evident that it was hitting my face. I came with the conclusion that God favor toward his children is just as enormous as the sea and sky is and even more, His protection and blessing goes beyond the infinitines of the universe and though people might think we christian are crazy because we believe in something we can not see with our natural eyes, we yet can feel it, sometimes not very perceptible but sometime very evident and palpable just like the strong breeze that was hitting my face that cold morning of last saturday.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Today or I should say yesterday while I was still sleeping I had one of those strange, though nice dreams you get to have sometimes. I normally can´t remember what I dream, but this particular time I dreamed about my very good friend Tamara. She is a lovely young girl from my country I met looooong time ago. And though we dont get to see each other frequently mostly because I am abroad, each time we get to see each other is such a wonderful time. I remember last time I met her after a long time without seeing her, we lock ourselves in a brotherly hug. We spent a lot talking and talking about our lives and dreams. We spent a whole week in an indian village with some missionaries american kids translating for them. Thing is that I woke up in the middle of the night to the sad reality that I was away from my country not to mention from her. I dreamed that I ran into her at a physical rehabilitation center were I had studied when I was in college and she was there surrounded by lillte kids and my formers profesors. I was very happy and then......beep beep beep- the clock alarm. Anyway, that was a warm feeling I had during the morning. Tammy if you ever get to read this, I tell you what...I miss you so much!