Dreams can come true

January 16, 2007

January 13, 2007

When I was small, in the drawing class at school, I liked to draw a tall ship sailing in the sea. I had no idea what a ship or the sea looked like, but I had some theories. I thought that the sea was an endless area full of water which started in China. I do not know why I chose China and not any other country. Furthermore, I was born and lived my whole life in the desert of Algeria, where there is no surface water and the drinking water comes from tens of miles away. I got to ride the desert ships (camels), but never thought I would one day sail on a tall ship.

Despite the fact that I lived in a desert, I loved water and always wanted to sail on a ship like the one I used to draw. This time my dream came true, I am sailing on the Picton Castle and in the Caribbean. This trip has been full of interesting things and surprises. When in Carriacou, which is a small island part of Grenada, I got to go to the beach and see the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. One of the most beautiful beaches in the island was Paradise Beach, which I really liked, and I got the opportunity to go swimming, but sadly I was not able to go snorkeling.

Even though I come from a totally different environment, but I felt the connection to the place and it seemed as if I have lived here for many years. After Carriacou, we are heading to Petit Martinique, which is even smaller island, and I am sure I will experience even more exciting things.



It felt so much like home

January 16, 2007

January 12, 2007

It is really busy here, even if you are off-watch. There are many things to do and see in the islands, and that is why I was not able to keep up-to-date with my entries for the blog. I have been accumulating them in my journal and never had time to type them up.

My second day in Grenada was amazing, touring the island with members of the MHC group, crew members Evan and Travis, and Sara, another sail trainee. The whole trip was full of surprises and fascinating things. In this trip, I got to see and taste fruits that I never even heard off. In addition, I got to see the beautiful landscapes of Grenada, such as mountains, forests and waterfalls.

I went to the market, which reminded me so much of the Friday market back home. This was not the only thing that I found in the island similar to that of Algeria. Though, the two countries are geographically located in different continents, they still shared many cultural similarities. For instance, when walking in the street, I felt safe. Moreover, the way people drove in the streets, high speeds and no organization, was another similar aspect. In addition, one of the most interesting things was that of Taxi drivers. One can get a Taxi very easily because you do not have to ask for it, the drivers would offer you a ride, but you would have to negotiate the prices. Nevertheless, there was a tradition different from home, the piping style. I found it an interesting way of communication between the drivers, they would pip every other five minutes. It was funny but interesting at the same time.

In just a day, I got to experience many things that I never thought would have the opportunity to experience. I really enjoyed and loved Grenada, which reminded me so much of home; however, it was really sad saying goodbye to the island and the people. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience, and I hope I would be able to visit Grenada again in the future.


Not what I expected

January 15, 2007

January 10, 2007

I cannot believe it! Today is our sixth day, and many things have been going on in the ship. What I have done in the past few days was not what I anticipated. I learnt many things, from painting the ship, setting the sails to washing dishes. Basic skills such as painting, one would never think of learning in a tall ship.

For instance, one of the most interesting things I learnt was that of vaseling eggs. It is believed to keep them for a long period of time. This skill—I believe—is useful when camping or simply at home and especially in the winter because in the refugee camps, where I live, and we get a certain amount of eggs per month, which is hard to keep for a long time. In addition, one of the other existing things was claiming the yard, which was tens feet high. I was indeed scared of doing it initially, however, once I was up there, with the fast blue ocean under me, I felt very special, comfortable and it seemed as if I was doing it for years. Moreover, it was a great honor to meet different people with different sailing experiences and different background. I was truly impressed by the diversity of the crew members, as well as, the trainees.

To me this voyage is not only about learning tall ship handling, which is the essential aim, but also about teaching and learning from each other. Moreover, this trip taught me the basic leadership skills and community support. For instance, at night each one of us has an hour watch, when one is responsible for the entire ship. One has to check for things like fire, flood or simply keep people quiet after quiet hour. It is indeed not an easy responsibility, but it is a good lesson in life, because there is no such thing as easy duty.

Though it has been only six days and I got to experience so many new things, I believe that the coming couple of days will be equally exiting.