Christmas on the Africa Mercy

26 December 2012

Good Morning! I've written quite a bit about some of the traditions we have here on the Africa Mercy in regards to the Christmas season. It's been a very special time that has honored our multi-cultural crew.  On Sunday the Aussies took over and we celebrated in their style - a barbecue (Braii) and carols by candlelight on the dock! This is traditional in Australia, as of course, Christmas falls in the middle of their summer! Considering how warm it is here (around 90 daily), it felt much more appropriate than singing about snow falling!
Our crew is small right now, only about 275 on board. Here we are eating our yummy roast chicken and fixings on the dock.
We aren't allowed candles on the ship. There's special permission for the advent candles and the Santa Lucia candles during Christmas, but as for crew, we have to be on the dock. :)
This is where I spent my Monday and Tuesday morning - the Galley!
I don't do down time well - meaning, having five days off in a row is just too much for me, so I went out in search of work. I spent most of Monday and then again Tuesday morning in the Galley - helping prepare for our Christmas feast and scrubbing pots and pans.  There's always people working here, even on our 'days off', and I so very much appreciate them, and appreciate that they let me come help them out a bit :)
So Sunday was barbecue and carols on the dock, and Monday I spent in the galley. Monday night we had a Christmas Eve service for the crew, and it was beautiful!  There was a drama, two different choirs sang, then we all sang some Christmas carols.  The last advent candle was lit, and at the end of the service we sang Silent Night in six languages. (English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and Swedish)  It was beautiful.
Christmas eve night we all participate in a Dutch tradition of placing your shoes out for Sinterklaas (Santa) to fill with goodies! This is kind of instead of putting stockings on the fireplace as we would do in the States.  Shoes go outside the doors and in the morning, surprise!!
Down the hallway of deck 4, which is only Crew cabins.
This was outside of my door - Santa, or Sinterklaas, or my crew members were good to me this year!! Special thanks to the AFM crew who put things out for every single person on board, no one feels left out on Christmas morning!
This is what I was up to on Christmas morning - plating cookies, pastries, and other goodies, and setting up the banquet table in the Dining room!
The dining room on Christmas morning. 
Christmas day there was a huge brunch - and I mean HUGE. A full breakfast line, full lunch/dinner line, with chicken, been burgundy, leg of lamb, prawns, etc. It is hard to remember in such an abundant meal that we are living in Africa! It was wonderful and I flitted from table to table greeting friends and family here on board. Then, because I had an early morning, I took a nap after the meal. That afternoon I spent time with some of the families on board, and had some lovely conversations with the people I am so honored to share the holidays with. It was a wonderful Christmas on board the Africa Mercy - thanks to my family here. I miss everyone back home, but of all places to spend the holidays, I'm glad this is where I am.
Merry Christmas!! Much love to all, Krissy

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