Day 16: Back on the ship
Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
92Trip End Dec 25, 2007
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There's really not that much to say about it; you guys know all my experiences already. People's perceptions were really mixed: some people felt a lot of racism, others didn't really notice; some noticed how cold everyone was when they interacted with us, and others took note of how kind and helpful people were. For my part, it was interesting to see history from the point of view of a country that had been around for it - it was clear that Portugal's colonial history still drove the country's culture and national pride, of which there was a considerable amount. The Portuguese are a proud people: proud of their history and their heritage and proud of their impacts on the rest of the world, both positive and negative. They strike an interesting balance between pride in their world conquests but not too bitter about having lost all of their colonies to independence.
I shared my experience with the mime on the street with a couple of small groups and got pretty strong good reactions from most people. I find that people are only hesitant because they aren't familiar with mime and a lot of people have never seen it at all. Several of my friends want to see some now and I've found one or two interested in working on some things with me, so that's exciting.
Back on the ship the waves were really rough all day long and a lot of people were sick. We were all readjusting to being at sea and I found I had to start all over at getting my "sea legs." Doing so on rough water was not an easy task and I was feeling woozy all day myself. Hey Eliza, if you're reading this, I thought about you a lot today as I went stumbling down the hallways trying to find some sort of balance, or in most cases, handhold. It's a strange feeling when the ground keeps moving under you and there's nowhere you can go where it will stop. The Navigation Officer assured us that these waters were rough but that they would calm by evening, but when I went to bed it wasn't five minutes before I had to get up to lock the closet and bathroom doors to keep them from slamming open and shut all night. I was thankful my room is near the center of the boat instead of on either side (or, god forbid, the end) and that my bed ran parallel to the rocking instead of perpendicular. That would have made for an interesting night.
I've taken to spending a lot of time in the Contemplation Room working on my mime and trying to come up with new ideas to practice on my own. I hope it gets easier when there are people to practice with and when the schedule settles in a little bit better. The Contemplation Room has been a great place; I have never run into anyone else there and I always have the room to myself to work in silence. It's down in the bottom of the ship so the rocking is minimized and it's in a quiet part of the boat that no one ever comes by except the occasional crewman on his way to somewhere. I don't feel so self-conscious in there (except that there's a mirror on the ceiling) and it's a good chance to just explore and see what inspiration arises.
The rocking did subside a little, but I was still rocked to sleep a little too fervently that night and had to curl up against the way to keep from being rolled around (and off) the bed. The rocking makes me sleepy all the time; everywhere I go I'm rocked to sleep! Unfortunately I haven't had as much time to spend out on deck except when I go out for the sunset, but this particular night there were so many clouds all I could see was a sliver of light that got a little brighter when the sun sank past it. I haven't had a good sunset picture in a few nights - I really hope this doesn't become the norm on the Atlantic.
Sorry I'm still writing from a day behind; I am still having a hard time catching up with myself. Maybe after the first few days of class I'll be able to get everything caught up. Unfortunately even if I write the day of or as things are happening, you still have to get them after the fact because of my limited access to the internet. For instance, Lucía just informed me that at the moment there is no internet at all because the satellite is out of range. And on top of all that there is still so much confusion that I've just decided to stay offline until it all gets sorted out. It saves me the worry of using up all my minutes and it saves other people that extra person using up valuable space on the server while they're checking on their facebook.
It's midnight but it feels like 3:00 and I'm going to bed. Hopefully I'll be able to post at least a couple times between now and Panama but with this internet thing you just never know. So maybe when you read this you'll have two weeks' worth of blogs after it to read too! :D
Love you all. Good night!