Student reflection - Las Palmas
By Karen Røinås | Dec 16, 2019 |
Dear friends and families reading this letter from all around the world. Before I start, I quickly want to say that I hope you are all having an amazing Christmas so far! We all love you, and wish you nothing except the best back home.
Onboard the ship we have, to say it discretely, started to prepare and decorate for the big day. With a charming tree standing in front of our banjer, beautiful lights hanging in both nooks, and filled socks on our lockers every morning, it is hard to miss the Christmas spirit. As if that is not enough, many of us students have also started on our own traditions. Every day, after lunch, you will find us piled up in the port side nook, watching children shows like “Jul I Svingen” and “Blåfjell” together. The joy is everywhere, including Gran Canary Island.
We arrived at the Gran Canary Island early afternoon on December 5. As you probably experienced yourself, we students were all pretty excited to call back home. Therefore, for me at least, the phone bill kept a steady curve hehe. - I apologize in advance for my parents reading this. Other than this, we had shore leave the same night. We ate good food, and enjoyed the steady ground. However, it was not until the next day most of us managed to explore the Island properly. I had, personally, watch day with group 4 that day, but I know that many went out to, for example, surf by the local beach. I could tell by just the look on their faces that their day had been great. Their smiles stretched from ear to ear, and the laughter kept going to even after lights out.
Early next morning, as the ship was about to wake up, I was on gangway with Victoria Katama and our Able Seamen Ruben. We watched, amongst many, this sunrise and running club getting off the ship for their daily jog. As our gangway watch was about to end, we also had the responsibility for colors. Colors is our daily morning meeting on deck, for those wondering. We then ate breakfast together in the banjer, packed our lunch boxes, cleaned the ship, and got on the buses. With a guide on the bus, our first destination was a huge crater up in the mountains called Bandama. It had been a former volcano, however, after a reaction between spring water and hot magma, the whole area exploded. 200 meters down in the crater. We found ourselves tasting colorful fruits from a cactus and enjoying the beautiful sounds of nature. Not so peaceful was our next destination, which were the sand dunes. Do not get me wrong, they were amazing! We climbed several dunes, and rolled down even more of them. However, the wind was strong, and we found sand where sand is definitely not supposed to be. This even days after the field experience.
Our third day, we were very lucky to work with the organization “Ocean4Life”. During their presence, we cleaned a long beach from plastic, decorated our own reusable bags, and learned more about climate. For the rest of that day and our next, we had shore leave. This time, I was able to join in on the fun with surfing and I cannot express how much fun it was! It was the best experience.
As a nice ending to the port, we visited a beautiful Botanical Garden and the old city of Gran Canary – Vegueta. The kind guide taught us a lot about their history, culture and interesting agriculture.