Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The business of the Ports...

OK - almost done with the cruise saga. We haven't been on a cruise for a month and a half. It's just taking me that long to share the pic's and bits as I muddle on with the daily life as well.

Speaking of daily life real quick. Went to the Assembly at the Lower School today (elementary). Kendra received her ABRSM certificate for piano and wanted me there. In part because she wanted me there and in part because she's been a bit under the weather. So I went. And the following hit me as I sat talking to a friend. The father of the girls friends whose family is moving back to the States in December.

  • I have very few friends left after living here for 4 yrs. Most people I met at school were 2 -3 yr contract people. As the girls are more independent now (Kendra's even taking the public bus most mornings now!), I'm not at school as much and therefore not meeting as many 'new' people.
  • They said a goodbye to one of the girls today - the whole school sings a "Farewell" song. I got teary and realized I'm going to have to go to an assembly in June and it will be my child standing on the stage. I'll take my box of tissues.
  • They had a presentation re: the sister school in Ghana. Most of the fundraising done at the school goes to assist this school (near the village where our resident soccer (or football) star aka PE teacher is from - he just passed the highest level coaching certification level in Europe so we're hoping he doesn't leave us for FC Zurich or otherwise). The kids get such delight in seeing the progress of things such as the fresh water well, the cafeteria building, the playground, the fence to keep out animals, etc... going up at the school over the years.
  • It will be hard to leave. That is all I can say at this point.

Back to our regularly scheduled cruising program: Beautiful Sunset!!!!! It's about 10pm. Love the long days! OK - a little about me and what I inherited from my father, the electrician. I like to see how things work and the activity that goes on around a process. And from my mom who taught me to sew - how do things work/go together.

I enjoyed the bits of our cruise which related to real-life port activity. Not just cruise ships. How things get from point A to point B and everything that has to happen to make it work.

Cranes are a necessary part of that process (hmmm, think I've posted about cranes before. Hope your not too sick of them yet.). :)

Gydinia, Poland - busy, busy place!
Poland's Military fleet in the Harbor. Interesting quote from our Polish guide on describing life as it was around WWII : "We weren't sure what was worse, being occupied by the Nazi's or rescued by the Russians." I didn't know until I had traveled here and gone through the German History Museum in Berlin (Deutschische Historisch Museum) how the Polish people were treated during the war - from all sides. History classes focused mainly on the war strategy between the countries and specific events. Very powerful lessons but disheartening when you realize that parts of the world are still abusing whole populations of people. Anyway......
Piles of coal awaiting transport:
Into the port of Riga:
There was a huge, wood processing facility in Riga: wood chips, planks, pallets - you name it, it was sitting there.
"No Smoking" is pretty understandable in any language - especially if your ship is transporting natural gas/propane.
Coal freighter:
For some reason, I just like these cranes on rails - they look like giraffes to me:
This may be the dullest post re: our cruise that you've read but - I didn't post all the pic's I took! I have more cranes, more boats, more wood products/coal pictures than I could possibly need. It was all part of the fun. To see what life is like in the Baltic Sea. Which is more than just a pleasure cruise.
Enjoy your weekend!

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