I’m sitting in the dining room, typing this, after a children’s programme this morning. We went to visit the school at 11.30, and were told we had a 45 minute or an hour long cultural programme, they wanted. No problems. One of the other team members is a teacher from oz, and so she was voted to “MC” the time.

The kids enjoyed it a lot, as did the teachers, but one of the teachers _kept_ coming into the room, like, every 2 minutes, and calling for another kid to come because their parents were there. We should have really started the programme at about 11 o’clock, or 10 thirty. Eventually the whole thing dissolved at about 12 o clock when pretty much all the kids left as their parents were there to collect them. Oh well.

We taught them some (fairly) silly songs, performed a drama about friendship (they gave me the main character, which was fun), did a song about Doulos work (also quite silly, but impressive. Basically a short chorus about “if I was not upon the stage of the Doulos, I would be…” and then each “verse”, one of the people stands forward and pretends to be some job; captain, carpenter, laundry, etc, with a short chant, and actions. and each time through the song another person stands forward.

So it starts off with one person standing forward, next verse two people, the verse after that 3 people, until all of us stand forward. and the actions to each persons chant include standing up, bending down, stretching arms up and down, etc, which are choreographed so that each person ducks out of the way of the next person just as they do something. IE, the carpenter stretches out a measurement, just as the painter ducks down to stir paint, and so on.

The last character to stand forward is… a ballerina. and they are supposed to be a really strong masculine macho deckie, and so guess who that was? yes! me! wearing my deckie clothes (really grubby looking and “work” ish) and also a ballet skirt thingy on top. it always makes the kids laugh, seeing someone so tough and manly pirouette and leap across the stage… yeah. pretty fun anyway. this evening we are going to help up at the bookshop, and give tours and chat to people. but until then is time off, which is quite nice.

Yesterday was my off-day, and I went out to see the town with some of the others. we visited the souk, I wanted to try and find a new watch (analogue, with alarm and backlight, but not big and heavy, and nice looking. I’ll be using it on deck, so just simple and stuff.

heh.. anyway, I didn’t find a good one. I found lots which were almost right, but none I really wanted to get. the guys at the shops always started off prices of about 8 to 12 dinar, but by the time i’d looked at them all and decided I didn’t want to buy, were all talking off special offers, me being their friend, and 3 dinars only.

oh well. Perhaps I’ll see one in India or Oman.

We then went and had lunch at a place called “Hardees”, which is an American style fast food resurant. I had a salad burger. Then we walked to one of the malls about, walked around it for a while, went to a Haagen Daaz icecream place, each had an icecream thingy (v. nice. I had a waffle with icecream on top) and then walked a bit more, and went home. Over all, fairly relaxed day not doing very much. Then in the evening I played Rummikub with some others, and then hung out in one of the families’ cabins with them and just chatted and looked at photos and such. They are a really friendly family, and have people drop round many evenings, and have their door open. They were making a sign to put on their door, with “hi! come in!”,”we’re busy, sorry”,”not in!”,”go away we’re sleeping” or something like that on it, which they can then put a blue-tacked arrow at the approp. label, on the computer. So I helped with the design of that for a while as well. v. friendly.

anyway. I’m off now. It’s nice to have had these two not so busy days after the last 7 days of watch. Normal day deck work tomorrow, we’ll probably be starting to get ready to sail in 2 days, so finishing off paint jobs, perhaps loading some of the vans and stuff…I don’t know.

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