Monday, December 08, 2008

Happy Mother's Day Mom

This is only the second time in almost 6 years that I get to spend "mother's day" in my country. The day before yesterday, we had a small preview of this important celebration in Panama and some countries in the central americas. The discipleship group my dad leads, prepared a surprised celebration for the mothers of the group and of course my mom was among them. My sister prepared a wonderful meal and me and my brother and her girl attended the meeting. It was lot of fun, after the teaching there were a couple of activities that we all enjoyed, but the one that really kicked off was my dad poetical performance. It was so much fun, and neither my siblings nor myself knew Dad could be that hilarious. I got it all in video so one day his grandkids will laugh as well.
Yesterday in the afternoon, while talking to my sister we decided that we wanted to sing a "serenata" today early in the morning "a common practice in latinamerica countries" and so my brother and my sister started practicing the words while I acompannied them with the guitar. We woke up at 2.30 Am and approached our parent's room very quitely with lit candles and roses and start singing a mexican ranchera out loud and then a second sweet mother's song. Mom was really surprised, I could tell by the look on her face on the dark room lit only by the dancing light of the candles, and she was very happy and touched, I could tell by the quievering tone on her voice. It was a great thing I reckon and am happy to have formed part of it along with my siblings.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dinner Bon Voyage Celebration

Honestly, I could not have asked any more for a good-bye dinner, which was organized by my co-workers during my last days in the company. They really went out of their way to acknowledge my retirement and I feel very honored to have been part of the team. I knew they were up to something, because some of my friends just can not keep a surprise, lol. So I decided it was a good idea to surprise them rather than play the act of the surprised guy, so I walked in 10 min. before the set up of was ready. They were all "ohhhh"
Anyway, dinner was great, my favorite food was prepared, indian cuisine. I had a full plate of tasty and rich basmati rice with spicy but great shrimp and chicken curry. Dessert was just delicious, for I love tiramisu any day of the week, but this time it came with an orange sauce that just gave it a different touch. I even got a nice present from my collegues, this nice but very complicated watch which I still need to learn how to set it up.
After all this we had a movie night where we watched The Dark Knight, latest movie of Batman.
I guess this series of events will always remain in my mind, because after all, it has been five years of my life where hard and great moments I have experimented, and it all sums up in a great learning and shaping life-experience. And I want to conclude this lines with a phrase I heard from a friend of mine from Jamaica, who said "Wherever God leads you, He provides", so I am looking forward to the changes up ahead and hope to keep walking in God's way.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Final Chapter of a Carnival Experience

These past few days on board Carnival Ecstasy has been both sweet and bitter. Many friends, people who I've met over the years who know I will be leaving soon,makes it difficult for me to accept that it's time to say goodbye to this lifestyle, and at the same time it is bitter to know that I won't be seeing much of several of them in the near future.
Today I went through a wonderful moment when during the Employee Pin Award Ceremony I received my acknowledgment letter and a five-year gold pin from the Captain and Hotel Director's hand in front of a great crowd of fellow co-workers who like me were also being acknowledged for their five, ten, fifteen and twenty consecutive years of service to the company. Like the HD mentioned during his speech, "it is us with our commitment and loyalty to the company that makes this the biggest and most popular cruise line in the world" And I feel proud to be part of it. Now my time is over, or at least it is the idea and it is time to make space for the newcomers. Two weeks ago, the company decided to move the management trainee college program to Ecstasy, and so there are about 10 trainees who will be taking over in the months to come different ships. It's good to be able to teach to some of them some of the knowledge I've acquired over the years.
It is so sweet to know that I have succeeded and achieved much more than I thought I would during my stay in Carnival and it is sweeter to know that I will be going back to my country with full energy and lots of ideas and plans. Start from scratch, experiment life on land. My prayer is that wherever this decision takes me, I'd be able to listen God's voice and follow his lead. I am completely convinced that I've served my time in here, that I was meant to spend this time in Carnival, and that now is time to move forward. I know it wont' be easy, perhaps I can not realize the magnitude of it all, but I am willing to try it out.
I still believe I am not done with traveling, for it is perhaps something that I love so much, so I do hope and pray that there will be more of it in the future.
To all my friends around the world I thank you for the lessons learnt and the time spent.