I’m starting to freak out a little about appropriate behavior during our three months on the Africa Mercy. And it’s not the kids’ behavior that concerns me….
I’m not a rule follower. There I said it.
I have never been a rule follower.
My job is to question the rules. Sometimes this has served me well (and benefited the processes, companies, service agencies, etc. around me). Sometimes, well, not so much.
I think I’m in trouble.
Unfortunately, here’s where I have to admit that the last time I got spanked (yep – true story). I was fifteen-years-old and had disobeyed the ship rules by going on a deck which those under sixteen were only allowed on with an adult (it was deemed unsafe). And I got caught. Oops.
And, Dreamboat and I are taking the family to volunteer with Mercy Ships for three months. In Africa.
Alcohol and smoking are not permitted on the ship due to insurance reasons. I get that. But here’s my secret hope: maybe they’ll reconsider when they meet my kids and realize we’re homeschooling for the first time in our lives, and when I convince them that being a parent and being in Africa and after a long day and when I’m longing for some peace and quiet, or had a really rough mentoring session with some of the crew, or want some alone time, or want to kick off a deep conversation with Dreamboat, or enjoy a good book, or need to really focus and prepare my management training classes for the following day…a glass of wine or good whiskey is the perfect answer to all of it. And, I’d even go for bad whiskey…not yet sure about bad wine. But, after a real scorcher of a day, I’m betting I would.
Smoking is not a temptation for me. So, I’m good there. Whew.
So, at Bunko the other night, I asked the girls for advice on what to do if the ship doesn’t change their minds. By the way, I’ve never yet played Bunko. We talked. And drank good wine. And after you hear what we came up with, you’ll realize it was more than just one glass.
Their fantastic advice was for me to take up chewing tobacco in those little pre-stitched packages. I think it’s called “Snuff”. The thinking is that I won’t be breaking any rules that could invalidate the ship’s insurance. And, it would provide me with a quick and easy way to just chill and take the edge off. And I wouldn’t have to deal with spitting out loose tobacco and carrying around some sort of receptacle all day.
And you know what? It’s a viable option. I’m considering it.
I realize a mature adult would request someone in HR send me a list of official guidelines. I haven’t. I’m too terrified of how long the list will be and that the part of me that doesn’t like to follow rules will rear her ugly head, dig in her heels, and decide to be stubborn. I’ve seen that happen. It’s not pretty.
So, I’ve just been planning to go off the ship, find a little café, and have a glass of wine in the evenings now and then.
And today I heard from our travel agent that one of our flights was outside of ship curfew.
Oh help. I can’t say it out loud yet.
I can feel my inner child’s heels digging in. Just a little.