My trip abroad is almost over and I have to be honest…I can’t wait to be back on land for more than just a few hours! It’s been an interesting experience, traveling the Caribbean, meeting folks from all over the world…yet it made me crave home all that much more. All too often we assume the grass is greener on the other side of the fence – and just as often we tend to be wrong. I have a greater appreciation for many aspects of my life in the U.S. that my foreign coworkers don’t have. Job availability is unstable (due to unstable economies, among other issues) in many countries, so people from all walks of life (doctors, scientists, academics, etc.) are forced to take menial positions aboard these cruise ships, and work 7 days a week (up to 80 hours for some), with minimal pay – which is still more than what they can accomplish at home.
For example, the room stewards work 80 hours each week, with little time off, and are paid about five hundred American dollars. Sure, our dollars go farther for them back home, but $500 per month is nothing less than SLAVE LABOR. We all work in a constant state of exhaustion and sleep deprivation (haven’t had a full night’s sleep in months – either because the ship is rocking its way through rough seas or because my hallmates are making late night noise while the rest of us try to sleep). Ship food leaves a LOT to be desired – more than once I had to spit out food that had gone bad but is still being served in our dining room. Indigestion and irregularity are the norm. It’s going to take a month or two to get clean out once I’m home!
Anyway, looking forward to sharing more ‘words of wisdom and wonder’ with you all again. Should get back to posting regularly in December, once I’m back on land and settled into a new home.
Until then, stay well.