A Travellerspoint blog

Trip to the Indians is delayed...

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Hey everyone!
Well, as usual things change here on the boat so we aren’t leaving on Tuesday but on Thursday, which is the twelfth.
I am going to keep it short, because we haven’t been doing very much exciting since we are preparing for the big trip.
On the 9th did some school till a bit after lunch and then we went to a beach.
Since we weren’t leaving, the teachers decided we should see some of Portobello. On the 10th we spent a day viewing Portobello. The first half I went to an old fort which we looked at and after did an analysis of our goals for this first half of the trip and how they are coming along. After this we went with a motor boat through a sort of creek. One of the crew attempted to catch a barracuda by attaching a piece of chicken to a floating cola, but this failed. After this day we went to bed early since the next morning we have a big clean up!
During breakfast one of the crew members asked for our room to come to him. Nervously, we went to him. However, there was no reason to be nervous since all he wanted was for us to clean out our entire room since our room was going to be the place where are the bags are stored.
All of the bags are going into one room because then all the other rooms can be repainted and polished.
Of course this meant we had to pack our entire bag and clean our entire room so that everyone else could clean their room. Thus, we had to clean fanatically. But us being girls, it took forever to pack our room and really long to clean the room, since everything had to be truly and utterly clean. At around 2 our room was finally clean (four hours of packing and cleaning) and all the stuff was being moved in our room. The bags only fit inside by the centimeter.
Seeing as our room was filled with bags we couldn’t sleep in our beds anymore, so we slept in on the couches. Not comfortable, but it would have to do.

Posted by meimeilin 16:21 Comments (0)

Almost off to the Indians

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Hola everybody,
Today we got to sleep till late in the morning. For us that means till 8.45! WOHH.
The first half of the day I had free so I spent it calling my friend in Poland and calling my family. Life in Poland just goes on while I am here in Panama. Then we finished editing our video and it turned out really nice! After the lunch we had the big clean up, but I only had to wash the windows upstairs so it was okay. Also, we had to clean our stuff under the bed and organize the stuff we need for the big trip. I dumped everything all my stuff on to my bed including contents of my cubby.
After dinner, we had sort of good-bye for the people who are leaving. Four people are leaving: the cook, one of the crew (stuurman), the camerawoman, and a student. The cook leaves tomorrow, the student in a couple of days, and the camerawoman and crew member in a week or two. It’s really weird that we are going to have to cook without the cook. We can do it by ourselves, but he always made sure everything went smoothly. What is even weirder is that one of the students is leaving (due to medical issues), that means that there will be one empty bed. This student is so helpful and so strong, it’s actually really sad to imagine that she is going to leave. During this good-bye there were a couple of performances including some boys (they call themselves the backstreet boys) dancing to What Makes You Beautiful from One Direction. That was quite hilarious. After that we played a game where you have to guess the person also that caused a few laughs.
Well that was all for today, tomorrow some more cleaning and maybe visiting Portobello. But the day after tomorrow we get to go to the Indians!
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 16:13 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Just a short message, but a long day

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Good morning everybody,
Well its evening now, but this was a really long day.
We woke up at 6.00 to make everything ‘sea ready’ and raise the sails.
At 8 o’clock I had ‘wacht’ and I seriously haven’t done so much as then. I didn’t sit still for longer than five minutes.
Other than ‘wacht’ I had to do school and finish my video. I didn’t get much school done (one chapter of bio) but I did finish filming everything for our film.
In the evening we had arrived in Portobello, Panama and salsa class! It was really funny to see some people trying to dance, but it was also fun to do. Our Spanish teacher gave us the class. I have done salsa before so I vaguely remembered the steps.
Well more than that we didn’t do.
Bye for now,

Posted by meimeilin 16:07 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

San Blas Islands

School and visiting the Indians

sunny 29 °C
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Hello everybody!
I have gotten really behind on my blog and as these past few days have consisted mostly of school and chilling on the beach I won’t describe into fine detail what happens each day.
02 January – Everybody has school today, but at the end of the morning we left to the capital of San Blas Islands. This capital has 500 people living on it. Yes, 500 whole people. Well I wouldn’t call them whole because the average height there is about 1.50. I felt enormous around the Indians! Almost immediately after we anchored I saw a whole heap of Indians paddling to our ship in their tree trunk canoes, mostly women. They came to sell bracelets, materials with patterns on them, and bags; everything handmade. In the afternoon we went to the capital. There we saw how the Indians lived. Huts with straw roofs and everything! We even saw Indians that were albino. Since there are not so many Indians on one island most of them marry with family or distant family which creates some ‘mistakes’. After we saw their unbelievable way of living, we got to sail in the tree trunk canoes. What happens with these canoes is that a large stick with sail, usually made of a flag, gets put in a hole in the canoe. Then the paddle is used to steer. It looked really cool!
In the evening we finally had our ‘bonte avond’. I didn’t feel like it but once it started it was a lot of fun. Some of the acts were hilarious. Three guys and one teacher of ship created a dance to backstreet boys, I have never laughed so hard about a couple of dancing guys. After the ‘bonte avond’ we had a sort of party. The music was turned up extremely loud, we danced a bit, and talked.
03 January – The first half of the day was school and in between I did some cut some trash, again. However, the second half of the day was really chill. First we spent it jumping off the front of the ship holding on to a rope and then jumping in the water. I tried three times and failed every time. The second time the rope even got caught behind something and I fell into the water kind of awkwardly. Then we showed the kids from the Johann Smidt our boat. They are basically the same as us, but the German version. We also saw their boat, and I concluded that ours is much nicer, especially the beds. Their beds are really small! After dinner we watched a movie with everyone, Lord of the Flies. The idea was fun, but the movie not. I told everybody that I read Lord of the Flies and it was probably the book I hated the most, however still somehow through a vote this movie won. At the end, everybody was disappointed.
04 January – Again the first half of the day we spent doing school. In the afternoon we went to an island. People on this island live here to take care of the palm trees. Every couple of month’s new people get rotated on this island. We helped clean this island, but there wasn’t much trash, only plastic bottles that were washed ashore. After this we chilled, swimming and tanning. However, I also snorkeled. So many fishes! I even saw an octopus!
05 January – Same as yesterday, school till 12.15, lunch, and then swimming. Chill. The islands here are beautiful, actually they are the perfect sun, beach, palm tree island.
06 January – Again a half day of school, then a half day of beach and tanning. We were brought to the islands with the two rubber boats. However, on the first island we were brought there were flies in the sand so we went off to the next island. I have never seen such see-through water. Somehow I was extremely tired, I almost fell asleep on the beach. Other than that I took some pictures and swam a bit. When we got back to the boat we got pancakes for dinner! Nomnomnom.
But in the morning we also did something fun I completely forgot about. On board, since Bonaire, is a camerawoman. For those of you who don’t know a camerawoman is a basically a film crew but she does everything by herself. The camerawoman gave us a few classes about how to take interesting and better quality films. In our last class we had to create a commercial about School at Sea in groups. At times it wasn’t as fun since everybody wanted to do different things, but in the end our commercial turned out quite well. But what was even more fun was that we made a sort of music video, but I am not allowed to say more about it because it’s supposed to be a surprise for the parents.
After this, one of our teachers told us what we are going to do in Panama.
It is unbelievably awesome! So cool! Never expected anything like this! So awesome!
The first week we are going to live with the Indians; hunting, fishing, everything they do. After which we spend some days in Panama City visiting the embassy, working on a street kids project, and something else while sleeping in a hostel. The second week we have an exchange, probably with the International School! I really hope so! The third week is something really unexpected; we have to travel from Panama City to Bocas del Toro, by ourselves (with one teacher) with a budget. How cool is that?
I am so excited! Tomorrow we have to wake up at 6.00 to raise sails and sail to Panama. I can’t wait to get to Panama. On Sunday and Monday we are going to spend the day cleaning. Not so cool, but some things have to happen. Then we leave for our big adventure.
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 16:03 Tagged islands san blas Comments (0)

Happy New Year!

overcast 24 °C
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Almost happy New Year everybody!
Today is the last day of 2011, definitely worth a celebration.
First, I had an entire day of school. As you can guess, the concentration level wasn’t very high. Nonetheless, I did do a lot more than I would expect I would do. I even did a test! Probably the first and last time I will do a test on the last day of the year.
The test I did was math. I think I did quite okay. Except after the test I didn’t feel so well because of the waves. It was really weird because when I am just working for school I don’t feel anything but when I did the test I felt kind of seasick at the end. So instead of going to learn again, I decided to help make the apple cake. After about half an hour of apple cake making, I went back to school.
The waves were unrealistically high today! Almost as bad as the Gulf of Biscay! Waves came right over the edge of the boat and the boat constantly hung at an angle.
At 7 o’clock our time, Poland and Holland were celebrating New Year. Such a weird feeling! I was thinking of what my family was doing, celebrating New Year in Amsterdam with friends. The seconds before 0.00 they were probably counting the seconds till the first of January. This is my first New Year celebrating without my family.
Till 0.00 I just chilled, didn’t do very much. Some watched a film, but I decided I wasn’t in the mood for it. We were supposed to have ‘bonte avond’ which is basically an evening where some people prepare an act and most of the time it’s really funny. However, since the waves are so high we can’t have it on deck thus the ‘party commission’ decided it was best if we waited with this evening. Half an hour before the first of January everybody collected themselves upstairs. But before I went up on the top deck I ate an ‘olliebol’; literally translated an “oil-ball”. It is the Dutch version of a German ‘krapfen’, but with raisins. I am really happy we didn’t have to skip this tradition, but were able to make our own.
15 minutes left, the tension was rising; the spotlights were turned on so we could actually see each other. Almost everybody was on deck and the last people were being woken up. All we see is the deep blue ocean and a blue, almost black sky with shining stars. There wasn’t even one ship around.
30 seconds left! The last thirty seconds went by really quickly, everybody started counting down.
Then came the famous last ten seconds of 2011, everybody counted ‘ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!’
We hugged each other, gave kisses, and shook hands. Wishing a little more than 40 people a happy New Year definitely does take a while. But the atmosphere was amazing. Everybody was cheerful. We chilled on the deck for a bit. But at two I decided it was perhaps time to sleep since I had ‘wacht’ at 8 am that morning. Yes, that meant not very much sleep but it didn’t matter since I was in a good mood.
More very fun things I did on the first day of the year? Well I can tell you I really enjoyed cutting and washing the plastic trash. Scraping mustard out of a mustard bottle and washing butter out of plastic foil, definitely the thing I want to remember. Luckily after an hour of cutting trash I was done.
However, the cleaning wasn’t done for the day. It was Sunday, that meant the big clean up. Together with one of the girls here I had to vacuum the floor downstairs and all the rooms. Luckily for us, the vacuum cleaner was broken so we had to do it the old fashioned way. Yes, the broom. Sweeping/vacuuming is definitely not the worst job you can get during the big clean up. It’s definitely better than cleaning anything in the kitchen.
Well, the rest of the day was quite chill. At 8 o’clock I was supposed to have ‘wacht’, but we arrived in San Blas right before my ‘wacht’. In the dark I can see there are a couple of islands, with houses on them above which are big palm trees; unquestionably the image that comes to my mind when I think of bounty islands.
Wait, I almost completely forgot! After we arrived I heard a splash in the water. This meant “New Years dive” but to be honest, I didn’t feel very much like swimming in the salty sea. But it seemed like I didn’t have much of an option. Together with some girls we hid in a room, but of course we couldn’t push a door which 5 guys were pulling on the other side. After about ten minutes I was dragged out the room, carried by my hands and feet. We passed the showers and then one of the guys came with the brilliant to put me in the shower. So after my nice warm shower, I got thrown into the sea including clothes. Once I was in the sea, it was okay, but I didn’t appreciate it very much. After a shower, I went to bed. I was really tired, probably from my 5 hours of sleep the night before.
I hope every one of you has an amazing year.
2012, here we go!
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 16:01 Comments (0)

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