Whilst you our I might consider traveling for a short distance to see something exciting – people from Andrha Pradesh in India (and indeed people from other states) travel great distances in the hope of seeing this ship. After browsing our large selection of books, visitors are curious about how we live on board and what is on the other decks of the ship. Whilst we’d love to take people on a tour of our home – the numbers are simply too great, so we created the ‘open ship’ program.
After visiting the book fair, visitors come into one of our big conference rooms where they find many displays of the different aspects of life on the ship. There are stands for European, South-East Asian and Latino culture, Deck and Engine, Cleaning and Catering department stands and things like face-painting and drawing. Best of all in the wide open space visitors have the opportunity to talk with friendly crew members and ask them about their life on board.
My job was to direct people in and out of the conference room and for a while to tell people about the deck and engine work on board. I had many photos taken with adults and children and generally just answered ‘what is your name?’ and ‘what country?’ but I could chat breifly with two people about why I am a volunteer on the ship and they were very thankful for the opportunity.
On a day where the crowds were huge and somewhat overwhelming for us, God gave us the opportunity to connect with a few and to bless the many who come on board through our smiling faces and our willing hearts. I could not have continued to wish people well and to smile if not for God’s help, but he loves the people of India so much that he used me to show it.