November 6-
Been doing some hiking around the streets of Heidelberg. I say 'hiking' because the streets of Heidelberg are
steep and rocky (or 'cobblestone-y', anyways). My brother lives about a twenty minute hike up to the 'Schloss Heidelberg' or
Heidelberg Castle, a massive imposing structure that towers over the city below. I took my nephew along for the day, as he
wanted to put his new frisbee to some use. We toured the Schloss, which is currently undergoing  an extensive renovation,
walked all over the 'Schlossgarten' which take up most of the grounds around the castle. The area of Germany we're in has
more hardwoods than conifers, so the autumns are an explosion of reds, oranges and yellows.  Not quite as colorful as the
foliage back home in New Hampshire, but it's no less enjoyable. We're coming to the end of it now. The Schlossgarten has
sculptures and  medieval structures scattered around the well-maintained grounds.  I could've walked around there forever,
but after an hour or so of frisbee and pictures,  Xavier and I headed into the Schloss.  We saw an Apotheke Museum, some
more statues,  and the
'Großes Fass' two-story wine cask that holds 220,000 liters (58,100 gallons). It was built back in 1571
and 130 oak trees were reputedly used in its construction. It's used as little more than a tourist attraction these days, as you
can climb stairs to a good-sized  platform built on top of it.  After a few hours at the Schloss, we meandered our way home
through every tiny, winding street we could find,  snapping photos of any interesting buildings  I could find along the way.



View From My Window- Heidelberg, Germany 10/30/08

A Brief Glimpse of German Humor at the Information Counter in Frankfurt Airport-
(Alternatively, 'What was the only joke I was told during my entire two week stay in Germany?')

Me-"Excuse me- Where ist Air Berlin?"                                                                                
 Informations-Kostenzähler- "In Berlin."                                                                                  


November 5- Xavier contemplates Goethe...


November 27-
While my own country celebrated Thanksgiving,  the Logos Hope was having it's opening day and ribbon-cutting
ceremony.  We constructed a small 'live nativity' scene, complete with sheep  and goats, shepherds and Wise Men. Crew members
from the many different nationalities onboard set  up small displays of  'Christmas in their country',  and short performances were
put on in our new International Cafe. Along with the displays, the crew also handed out samples of their traditional Christmas fare
such as roasted chesnuts (England), kutya (Russia), and black cake (Jamaica). Christmastime games were also on hand for you to
try, though I never learned the names. All of this coincided with the ribbon cutting ceremony for our bookstore, though Operation
Mobilisation calls it a 'book fair'. A friendly competition of sorts was held for the displays, and my vote for funniest would go to the
Australians,  who apparently celebrate the birth of our savior by hanging out on the beach and watching rugby matches. Priceless.


Køge, Denmark- Spent the morning walking around it. It's a nice little town...very similar to many English villages I've seen,
with a cobblestone town square (full of vendors in the morning) and generally straightish lanes branching off from it. Only the
architecture gives you a clue that you're not in, say, Yorkshire. With half-timber houses, sharply slanted roofs and a prevalence
of mustard-colored houses, it's clear we're in Scandinavia.  The street at left is one of the quainter lanes, with a fairly standard-
looking building next to it. The two pictures at right show some buildings right on the town square. The photo of the mustard
and green building at  right doesn't really do it justice,  but if you look close you can still see how the whole  building seems to
be collapsing inward. I managed to find the 'steppenkannen' I was looking for, and it was even 'en tildun' (on sale) for half off!

Below left is the oldest half-timber house I wrote of earlier, now attached to Koge's bibliotek (library). I look forward to seeing the inside-
all 300 square feet of it. Double that if you count the attic, no doubt.  Next to that is 'Olaf Sanderson's House' built in 1638 if my meager
Latin serves me correctly. Next to Olaf is a fly fisherman, casting for some sort of 'fisk' only a block off of 'downtown' and actually having
some success. But the photo below right takes the cake for 
'Things you least expect to see on a residential street in Koge, Denmark'.

Logos Hope-
  Wasn't hard to find. You can see it towering over warehouse and harborside restaurants from the train station a block
away. We're in Køge, Denmark, a small ( pop. 35,000) maritime village about 20 miles south of Copenhagen.  Other than having the
countries youngest mayor (27) & the oldest half-timbered house (481), Køge doesn't seem to be of much consequence. I'm headed off
the ship today for necessary shopping & obligatory sightseeing,  so maybe I'll get to see a little bit more of the town than it's harbor.

December 8-
A few obligatory nice ship shots. For you Google Earth geeks, we can be seen at 55° 27' 17" N @ 12° 11' 19" E


December 7- A great deal of my time the past month has been attempting to complete the necessary requirements to sign
on as an officer. Maritime regulations require mariners worldwide to complete a 'Basic Safety Training' class every five years.
'Basic' is the operative word here.  After 17 years at sea, there's very little I can learn in a one week 'basic safety' class. Most
nations don't require you to retake it every 5 years as long as you are actively sailing, so my 5-year class expired a few years
back. However, the Faeroe Islands, where this ship is registered, DO want it every five years...whether you're sailing or not.
So I've been trying to piece together some sort of compliance for the past few weeks. Luckily, I renewed my first aid back in
June, which covered a good part of it. Operation Mobilisation put a number of crewmembers through fire training last week,
and I sat in to fulfill that portion of it. I still had to complete the 'Personal Survival Techniques' section of BST, which entails
methods and equipment associated with survival at sea. All I really needed was a one day class to obtain the certificate that
you get upon completion. I contacted no less than 20 schools in 9 different countries from Ireland to Poland, trying to find
someone that had an upcoming class, in English, within my budget.  The best I found was a class just outside London that
following week for about $650 (including airfare, hotel, and tuition), I chose instead STMS, a school here on the west coast
of Denmark, in the city of Esbjerg.  Although it was a few hundred dollars more,  it saved me the hassle of traveling to the
UK during a work week. They even cut a little of the price for me. although I didn't learn too much new, it was the most in-
depth survival class I've ever taken. After several hours of classroom time, they had us suit up in survival suits and took us
out into the ocean, where we spent three weary hours going through the various survival techniques and exercises.  Below
you see a few photos from the day we spent at Brandeskolen, where we were able to run 24 or so of us through a full day
of fire-extinguishing  for the stunningly  low cost of  8000 DKK ( about $1500 ), using our own equipment to save money.

Here you see photos of some of the exercises we practiced while at STMS. These photos were taken from STMS's own website,
as I was not able to bring my camera along...for the obvious reasons. Man overboard, entering the raft, righting the raft, survival
swimming, finished off with a 30 foot plunge. I'd done many of the exercises before, but never in water this cold, that's for sure!

By funny coincidence, the drive to Esbjerg  took me across the
Storebælt Bridge,  a 4.2 mile long bridge which links Denmark's 
two major landmasses. Finished in '98, the bridge made obsolete the rail ferry which had ran for 18 years between the 2 masses.
The ferry,  'Dronning Ingrid' (or 'Queen Ingrid') was purchased by Mercy Ships in 1999, & is now known as the m/v Africa Mercy.


December 13-
You have to get off the ship.  You have to or you'll go mad.  Trouble is, you only have six, seven hours in which to do
something, as that's how long  days are here. Copenhagen is only about a 30 minute train ride, and really, the only thing to see around
here. We took a few bikes onto the train (the Danish are outmatched only by the Chinese for bike usage) and made a trip up to the city.
Nyhavn is a 3 or 4 block long harbor that is generally what people envision when they think of 'Copenhagen'. Antique wooden sailboats
line the quayside and charming Danish restaurants run the length of the harbor.  During the holidays, the streets are filled with vendors
offering everything from Christmas decorations to 'Glogg', the Nordic version of hot mulled wine, theirs made with raisins and slivers of
almond. As you can see, Viking apparel is even available for those interested, and there's no shortage of places to eat. You think Danish
prices are expensive, imagine Danish tourist prices. I satisfied my hunger with a 'Fransk hotdog' from one of the prolific '
Pølser vendors'
found on the streets of Copenhagen. From there, into the town square, where a giant ice rink had been constructed, and families skated
together around the ragged, choppy ice. A zamboni would have been a great addition...I'd never seen ice in such a state. From there, we
biked through the city, along the river, and into several parks, where among other things we saw a Viking ship constructed for the kids.
You see the biggest kid of all jealously guarding it at bottom left. If I look unusually heavy, it's probably the many layer of clothes I wore!

View From My Window- Highway E20, 12/23/08

Danish Design- One of the best parts of this country. The Danes seem to find clever, intriguing ways to make their
live just a little bit easier. Below you see a 'smoking cabin' from the Copenhagen airport, with enough room to fit six
or so smokers without bothering those around them. Next you see a sign for an underground parking garage with a
digital readout showing the number of spots left. The city square boasts a giant neon thermometer so you're able to
see just how cold you are...and finally, Tim demonstrates one of Copenhagen's  'cykel rampes',  thin metal channels
found along the edges of stairs that make it easier to walk you bike up (or down) each flight. Whether it's furniture,
toys, or even a  coffeemaker,  I find myself continually impressed how Danes turn simple objects into a work of art.

anuary 7-10- Tough week. Mechanical problems and sub-zero temps were responsible for our water getting contaminated and
causing illness in over a third of the crew, or between 120-150 crew members.  Below you can read the 'official information'  that
our main office in Mosbach put out. Due to a large amount of younger (read: dramatic) crewmembers, we sometimes have to put
 out official notices like this, lest we get flooded with calls from panicking family members around the world who have read about
a 'Plague Ship' on blogs, websites, and Facebook.Thank God I was not affected, as we have
the Big Lifeboat Inspection on
 Monday, and much more work left to do. Both my workers were sick, and I was fighting to get some help. I managed to finish on
Friday afternoon, and it looks like the boats are ready for inspection. The Second Officer has returned from Belfast, so he'll resume
his duties as Safety Officer, which reduces my workload significantly, and gives me more time to occasionally update this website.

Dear friends and co-workers,                                                                                                                                                                                    
On Monday this week (5 Jan), a frozen waste water discharge pipe led to the fresh water supply on Logos Hope becoming contaminated. Action was
taken immediately to rectify the situation with the supply switched from the affected tank and chlorine levels in the system being increased.  Everyone on
board was told only to drink specially treated water from the dining room and mess, & bottled water was made available to children and elderly people
on board.  Despite these efforts, over 100 people became ill, with vomiting and in some cases also diarrhea. These symptoms lasted from around a few
hours to three days, and most people are now much better. A fault in the waste water system that led to this situation has now been corrected. Tests of
the water quality were taken daily over this week. The final test results are expected later today for the water supply, and on Monday for the water tank
affected. We're thankful for the swift action of the technical team on board, and  for the work of the medical team
Mike Hey  Director, Logos Hope

Danish Design, Part II- Seizing every opportunity I can to get off the ship, I often volunteer to make runs to the
airport to pick up arriving crewmembers, whether I know them or not.  As such,  I get to see the Danes waiting for
their friends and family members...alot. Without  fail, there's always at  least one person waiting for their friends or
family with one or (usually) more small Danish flags, which they then frantically wave as their friend enters the con-
course.  There's never more than 30 or so people,  so it's not like they need to wave a flag to get their attention, but
there it is.  Why is this?? Why must it be a Danish flag?  Why not a handkerchief or even a rag? Are they welcoming
them back to Denmark, or just trying not to lose them in the meager crowd?  I've no idea. Yet every time I'm at the
airport, there's the same scene being repeated. In Denmark, you bag your own groceries, it seems. Below you see a
checkout counter with a sliding 'guide-rail' that keeps one customer's purchases from mixing with the next. Still, you
have to bag quick to keep things moving. Not a problem, as Danes buy in small quantities and bring their own bags,
as you're charged 3 DKK ($.50) for each. Also, shopping cart theft must be a major problem here, as you're required
to deposit a 10 or 20 DKK coin to get a cart. You get your coin back when you return the cart. At right, you can see a 
few sexy looking 'kaffemaskins'. If I had one of these, I'd never use it- just put it on my counter and look at it all day.

While you're out on the town shopping, remember to look down those little 'covered driveway' looking things along
the street.  They're not parking lots or garages, they're more often than not courtyards,  hidden from view and with
funky little shops in them. They may not be as high class as the storefronts, but usually contain some of the coolest
shops around, be they an 'Antik' shop or better yet, a Tolkeinesque pub, like the local Hugo's Kaelder.  Speaking of
squeezing them in,  I strolled around a cemetery here in Køge, which was designed a  little different than ours back
home. Instead of a sprawling lawn with graves spread out and largish headstones, the Danes (in Køge, at least) put
the graves as close to each other as possible, with cobblestoned  walkways right on top of them. A simple polished
rock with dates and a name is enough to mark the grave, and last names are optional. At the cemetery entrance you
will find a full watering can if you need one. Just another example of the way the Danish make life a little bit better.

Christiania! Back when it was warm enough to do so, Tim and I went on bike ride through one of the more unusual places you'll ever see,
Freetown Christiana.The rich history of Freetown Christiania is long and colorful, and I lack sufficient time (and bandwidth) to tell it all here. 
The  'one-paragraph' version is this- In 1971, a small group of squatters took over Bådsmandsstrædean, an old abandoned military base just
east of downtown Copenhagen. The 85+ acre base dated to the 1600's, and contained many buildings, warehouses, and ramparts. There was
a lack of affordable housing in Copenhagen at the time, and many claimed it was a protest against this, though that's debatable. Whatever the
reason, the first 'settlers' decided to proclaim this new community a sort of freestate, henceforth to be known as Christiania. It became a home
for every  sort societal dropout...hippies, artists, vagabonds, druggies. The always open-minded Danish government allowed it  to remain for
over 30 years, calling it a sort of 'social experiment', until rising land costs (and Danes growing impatience with Christiana's shenanigans) had
the government cracking down on it's open-air drug market and making calls for 'normalization' of  the city.  It exists today, despite an ever-
encroaching government presence and condos sprouting up all around it. It's much tamer now than it was throughout the past three decades,
and the dozens of kiosks selling drugs have been reduced to a handful of vendors. Drugs such as pot and hash can still be bought along the
aptly named 'Pushersveg' (Pusher Street'), which runs down the center of Christiana. Biking around Pushersveg, I was asked if I wanted some
'Super Hash'. I refrained from replying, "I'll take the soup!"  So contrary is Christiania to 'normal society', a sign you see upon leaving it says,
You Are Now Entering The EU". The Christiania flag (seen below center) is a red banner with three yellow discs representing the dots in  
the "i"'s in Christiania. The colors were supposedly chosen because when the first squatters took over the former military base, they reportedly
found a large store of red and yellow paint. Anyone who's ever been to Amsterdam's redlight district could relate to Christiana, and the 'Bevar
Christiana' (Save Christiana) movement has spread over Copenhagen,Denmark, & even Europe. Here's travel guru Rick Steve's take on things.

Below here are some photos taken around the entrance. Right inside, there is a good sized 'main area' that serves as the main gathering place
for residents of Christiania and those who come to see it. It's packed with old warehouses and buildings, most splashed with colorful murals &
graffiti.  The ones you see below announce their acceptance of soft drugs and disdain for harder ones. Camera's are strictly forbidden, as you
can see from the giant signs painted on the walls around Pushersveg. Also below is a Wonderland mural, a bicycle stating Christiania's general
attitude "We seek a lower standard of living for a higher quality of life" & Herman Goering's famous quote on culture and revolvers.  We biked
around a bit and hit the trails to see some of Christiana's houses, funky little works of art that the residents call  'architecture without architects'. 

Once you get away from Pusher Street, Christiania is actually quite charming, a strange sort of combination of hippies, artists, free land, and a
trailer park. Narrow paths snake out from the 'downtown', through the woods and along the miniature coves,  past amazing little houses that
are often described as 'shabby chic', slapped together with basic materials in a variety of designs.  Truly, no two houses are remotely similar.
Along the paths we rode, stopping at many of the houses to photograph them. Photo's are never as good as the real thing, but here you see a
few of the more interesting ones. These houses are a study in self-sufficient living, as there's often no electricity or running water. They didn't
look to be sufficiently insulated, and there's absolutely no roadway to the house, usually just a bike path.  You've got to lug in your own food,
supplies, and firewood.  The house at below center looked as if a decent storm would capsize it, and almost all of the houses are cut off from
help should you have a fire or a medical emergency (say, a drug overdose, for example).  Still, the views are unmatched, and if you can learn
to live a little on the edge, I can think of many worse places to do it than Christiana. These five photos show only a small fraction of the many
many houses we saw, as well as 2 stables, numerous 'houseboats', a good-sized school, and some old Army barracks, now serving as homes.

And, a few more photos of the weirdness.  An African-style hut for an outhouse, one of the more eclectic houses in Bevar Christiana  (including
a dragon smokestack), underground comic book legends 'The Freak Brothers' painted onto a garbage truck ( labeled The Dirty Bastards ), a tree
that appears to be growing through a window (or vice versa, more like), and finally...nudists! (actually taking a swim, in Scandinavia.
You might have noticed a lot of links in this entry- that's because I put a lot in! While I might disagree with it's politics and liberal attitudes about
such things as drug use (while remaining close minded about things they happen to disagree with), I actually found Freetown Christiania to be a
fascinating and desirable place to live.  You'd think environmentally minded people would pay closer attention to their impact on the land, but I
found it to be pretty dirty, very much out of place in scrubbed-clean Denmark.  And for people who pride themselves on living outside the law,
it seemed hypocritical they'd be so restrictive about the use of cameras, especially as there was so much eye-catching artwork scattered around.
I understand the reason-they're trying to prevent the open-air drug dealing from being documented for future legal action (so many police have
begun showing up on Pusher Street, locals have begun referring to it as Copper Street), but you can't splash colorful murals & graffiti on every
other blank surface and not allow folks to take pictures of them. Despite all this, Freetown Christiania is still worth taking a day to explore if you
find yourself in Copenhagen. And if you found it as interesting as I did, watch this video on  YouTube-set to John Lennon's 'Imagine', of course.

January 25- I've been sick all week. There's a flu bug going around...not just the ship, but Denmark as well, as a friend in Copenhagen
tells me. Anyways, I've been out of work a bit, and when not at work, I'm recuperating in bed, downing oranges & Fisherman's Friend's.
I've not taken too many pictures, as we're all working overtime to prepare for tomorrows big PSSC inspection. The inspection is the one
that allows us to operate, and will take most of the week to do. Keep it in your prayers, and I will let everyone know how it goes. In the
meantime, here are a few nice pictures of the ship I have. the constant overcast skies make for nice lighting, provided you don't take the
pictures too early or too late. I took the first picture below at around 12 or so, probably at lunchtime. The other two were taken between
8 and 8:30, so the sun is not full up (sunrise at the time was around 8:30). When sunrise is so slow and the fog so thick, you get a good
amount of time  to get plenty of those kind of shots. There was no blue filter,  that's the actual color of the sky that morning. As you can
see, flat calm seas in the harbor make for a great photo, but unfortunately  we don't really see a whole lot of days without wind in Koge.
While those are the three best photos I took of the ship, they pale in comparison to some of the pictures taken by our ships photographers.Here
you see a few examples of their work. These photos are some of the ones used in our literature and handouts, and seem to be used as screen
saver by more than a few around here.  The excellent photo in  the middle was  taken during one of the brief snow storms we had in November.

Below you see a photo of the ship soon after we purchased it. Yikes. This photo is on our ships computer network transfer drive under the title,
when in doubt look at this.jpg'. And we do. Next to that is a photo of the crew taken on Christmas day. I can be seen about 10 feet in back of
the girl in the front row wearing the pink jacket.  I'm standing next to Capt. Arne Johansen in a coat and tie.  Finally, for those who want a bird's
eye view of the ship, here we are in Kiel, Germany (I believe), with a photo taken from a nearby crane. You get a good look at the upper decks.


Duties and Responsibilities-  My job on board is basically Lifesaving Equipment. Immersion suits, life rings, lifejackets, liferafts, and
of course, lifeboats, of which we have six.  All this equipment has to be counted, cleaned, repaired, operated, and repacked on a regular
basis, from weekly inspections to annual servicing to 5-yearly overhauling. Below left you see over three hundred spare lifejackets, all of
which had to be counted, checked, and stripped of their flashing lights. They came from the recently-scrapped Logos 2, so we sorted the
good from the bad, took what we needed, and will donate the rest once we get to the Caribbean. Working alongside of me are Mishka, a
young deckie from Russia, and Weiland from Namibia. Weiland leaves the ship within the month, leaving the work to Mishka and I. With
the weather like it is, working on the lifeboats is a challenge. The damp, moist air and sub-zero temperatures keep the paint from curing
properly and the rain, snow, sleet & fog keep us indoors.  Our Scandinavian location means our days were as short as 7 hours, although
they're steadily growing longer. The sun stays so low in the sky this far north, I never see it on the starboard side, even though I'm one
deck below the top deck! I try to find things to do on the port side as much as possible. I am looking forward to the Caribbean and what
my lifeboats/davits will look like after a few months work in good weather. In addition to maintenance, I also assist with training & drills.

Of course, we drill regularly on the Logos Hope.  Lifeboats are rigged, lowered, and maneuvered weekly to make sure that lifeboat crews
know their jobs backwards and forwards. They say if you want to see how a team would react in a real-life situation, just watch how that
team performs in a drill, and our lifeboat crews are top-notch. Operation Mobilisation ensures that it's lifeboat crews are as well trained as
they can be; you never know when you may have to abandon ship.  That's just what happened to our first ship, the Logos, back in 1988.
It ran aground in bad weather while departing Tierra del Fuego, Chile.  While the ship was a total loss, not a single life was lost and all of
the people were safely disembarked;  thanks in no doubt to the excellent training of the lifeboat crews.  As electrical problems prevented
us from lowering the lifeboat for a few months earlier this year, the crews got a bit rusty. Now they're back up to speed and getting more
time to practice. As you see below right, the worst thing that's happened is boat #2 running over it's own painter line. That's why we drill!


Mosbach is where the Operation Mobilisation Head Office is located. It's a mid-sized river town of about 25,000 people located
on the Neckar River about  40 km east of Heidelberg.  I got to visit the Head Office recently, when I spent two weeks in Heidelberg before
coming to the Logos Hope. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised.  After Mercy Ships, I had expected a much larger base than what I saw.
The Mercy Ships Head Office is a series of buildings including several offices and homes, a dining hall, a gymnasium, a garage and a barn
located on 400 acres of farmland in east Texas.  It's big enough for all the livestock Mercy Ships own  to live and still have room left over.
The OM Office is a comparatively small plot of land located a short walk from downtown Mosbach. What it lacks in size, it certainly makes
in beauty. With several half-timbered buildings,  a small stream running right through the middle of it, and surrounded by the Odenwald
mountains,  the OM Head Office is one of the prettiest places one could hope to work.  The picture at left is taken from the train platform,
so train is obviously the easiest way there. Get off the train, and you're looking right at it. Also below are several photos taken around the
base, including the main OM office, a barn, and the stream. There seemed to be several walking paths leading into the semi-wooded area
outside the base, but I didn't have the time to explore them. I spent a part of the day here, meeting most of the marine operations staff.

After a short stop for a photo in front of the entrance to the OM headquarters, I went walking around the town of Mosbach. It's a pretty town,
and reminded me of the towns you find in the Mosel valley a couple hours north.  Mosbach has many half-timbered houses, and is actually
one of the stops along the Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse ('German Half-timbered Road'), a sightseeing trail joining the locations of many of
the best half-timbered buildings in the country, and the Burgenstrasse ("Castle Road"), doing the same with historic castles.  Below you'll
see a few of the half-timbered  houses in and around the  town square, and a 'rocking Viking ship' for the 'kinder' to 'platz'.  But the neatest
thing I saw in Mosbach was it's fountain. It consisted of a simple statue of a man pouring out a bucket of water onto the ground. The ground
was then shaped by cobblestones to from a 25 meter long 'channel' that the water ran down, into a storm drain.  The channel was shallow
enough to blend in with the street,  but deep enough to keep the water from flowing out, and produced a nice effect. German engineering!

February 9- Tonight we had a 'Ministry Medina'. This is a sort of 'Open House' for all the ministries on board the ship to showcase
what they do and allow people to sign up.  Our Deck Four was given over to everything from clowns to singing to African gumboot
dancing. The ship recently received a new group of 'recruits', called a PST, or Pre-Ship Training. Unlike Mercy Ships, OM gets most
of it's people in groups of 40-50 twice a year, in August and February.  A PST group will do two weeks of pre-ship training nearby,
then join the ship for another week of training before becoming crew. They will be classified for the next two years as being part of
that PST.  PST's are named after the place where their training took place ( PST
Køge, PST Trogir, etc...), and this new PST will be
called PST Birkedal, which is a small town about an hour north. PST Birkedal will continue to attend seminars, classes, and regular
meetings as a group for the remainder of their two years.  Upon joining as crew, they will have a choice of which department they
would like to join, usually restricted to deck, engineering, galley, or housekeeping. The good-looking ones usually get sent to deck,
with the other departments dividing up the rest.  Of the 40 or so people in PST Birkedal, deck will be getting 8. In addition to their
regular jobs, a PST is also required to spend one day  a week doing ministry, so this 'Ministry Medina' allows them to get a taste of
all of the ministries on board the ship. Among the ministries we have are Choral Singing, Mimes, Clowns, Drama, Sports, American
Sign Language, Writing,  and of course, African Gumboot Dancing.  I had no interest in  sign language and my singing voice clears
rooms, so I signed up for writing and art.  Short demonstrations and performances were given by each ministry ( not so much the
writing ministry ) and what they do. Here below you see a few shots of some of the ships ministries.  My camera's USB cord is MIA
right now, so I'm at the mercy of those who put their pictures on Facebook and the ships transfer drive. A new cord is on the way!

February 15-
From the sounds of things, we will be departing Køge this Thursday, bound for
Gothenburg, Sweden.  A sailing schedule for 2009 has been released, and can be viewed here.


View From My Window- Køge, 2/17