Sunday, April 21, 2013

Multi-lingual Fail

April 20, 2013

Today was a pretty slow day.  Matt woke up dark and early (there are no windows in our cabin, so we never have any clue what part of the day/night it is) and scrambled around to head out and film Protei's Hackathon today.  They were supposed to leave the ship at 7:30am, so he ran out of the room at 7:15am to grab some breakfast.

I showered and got ready, looked at my watch at 7:45am and then looked down at the camera and tripod still sitting in our room.  I wandered up to breakfast and found him and Jessie chatting over breakfast potatoes.  It ended up they didn't need to leave until about 9am.

Matt and I sporting our Prana in port.
We had a leisurely breakfast together recounting the way that we ended up coming on this trip.  It was interesting to think back to all the events and emotions that led us to coming on this voyage.  We talked about the people who supported us and the people who were worried for us, and we ultimately landed on the point that we couldn't imagine being at home watching the other's photos roll in as we went about the same routine we had had last summer.  It's crazy to think about all the things we had to uproot in our life to make way for a four-month leave like this.  After this experience, though, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  You can't live your life looking at the green grass over the fence.  You have to get over there, roll around in it and find out for yourself that it has goat heads, then you can make informed decisions on whether or not you'd like to deal with goat heads or go back to the grass that causes you allergies.  I suppose that's pessimistic.  The optimistic metaphor would be whether or not you like smelling roses or tulips, both of which are good in their own right.  One just happens to have thorns and the other one bees that sting your nose.  Do you value your nose or your fingers? Ha!  Okay...that random string of thoughts would have probably been funnier out loud rather than written down.

Next up...the rest of the day!

My job today was to follow Pedro.  I had no idea what he was doing, but I did know that it consisted of a meeting at 11:00am.  I didn't know where and I didn't know if I was allowed to tag along with a camera.  I called him around 9:30am in his room, and he said to meet at the gangway at 10:30am.  I did so, and we headed off for the shuttle to the end of the port.

Once we got to the end of the port, we walked over to a nearby hotel, and it turned out that this was where we were meeting a university student who is doing research in water purification.  He spoke a tiny bit of English, Arabic and mostly French.  Pedro speaks English, mostly Spanish and French.  I sat and filmed their quadri-lingual conversation wondering if we'd ever be able to use this footage.  I could pick out all of the English, a little bit of the Spanish, but only the yes's in French.  It fascinated me how they used their vocabularies from all three languages to help one another understand.  If they said something in one language and the other didn't understand, they'd try it in another language.  Pedro said that if two people have passion for something, language is no problem.  That man has so much passion for purifying drinking water, he could do anything.  I have so much respect for him.

They said goodbye and Pedro and I finished our Red Bull and espresso (respectively) and decided to see if Evan wanted to get some lunch with us.  Evan has been trapped on the ship our entire time in Morocco editing the video we took on for one of the learning partners.  We thought we could give him a break.  Pedro wanted an hour to go and try to sell his iPad "on the black market" and I didn't want to partake in such activities.  I decided to head back to the ship and check on Evan, and because we were so close to the port, I thought it would be okay to walk to the port entrance then take the shuttle back to the ship.

Within two blocks, I had been followed by one man wanting me to come to lunch with him and hassled by the port attendant who said I didn't look like my passport photo or ship ID photo.  He made me take off my glasses, take out my ponytail, turn my face side to side (which definitely didn't make sense because the photos on both of those IDs are straight on).  I tried to act happy and nice, and I assertively laughed and took my ID's back and walked under the car gate, thanking him in Arabic.  I muttered under my breath some non-thank you's in English as I walked away.

The shuttle was not waiting at the port entrance, and there were three local men chilling next to where the shuttle picks people up and no one else around.  I decided I would walk rather than wait with them. I picked up the pace and walked past cat calls from the ships nearby and honks from the cars and motorcycles that drove past.  They are NOT kidding about the fact that women shouldn't walk alone.  I did not witness a single woman walking by herself anywhere in the city in the past two days.  They are either with their kids, husband, other women or the places I've been are literally all men.  It blows my mind to think that America had female discrimination like this during the lifetime of people I know.  We humans are so silly with our need to be superior to other humans.

I made it back to the ship, sweating and tired, and found Evan enjoying sloppy joes on the fifth deck.  I joined him, Tendekayi, who doesn't have a visa to Morocco, and Daniel, who is working on the ship today.  We ate and talked about the future of Unreasonable.

After lunch, I decided to hang around the ship and catch up on everything I've been neglecting for the past few crunch weeks, and it really felt great.  In fact, just a little bit of downtime really goes a long way.  Tomorrow will be our 7th official day off on this entire voyage.  The nature of being locked on a ship and having deliverables as you go means the work is never done.  In documentary, you shoot everything your subjects do when they are out and about.  When you live, eat, play and work with your subjects, your work is never done.  There is no separation.  As much as I absolutely love the Unreasonable entrepreneurs, I'm looking forward to my next documentary subject not being my housemate.

Evan and I worked on the edit a little bit together and I worked on the outline for my feature film.  It certainly feels more attainable after all of my talks with these awesome mentors and watching these entrepreneurs follow their dreams.

The door to the restaurant.
We found out that there were ice cream sundaes for dessert down in the dining room, and went down to eat those for dinner.  We found Daniel there who convinced us to scarf our sundaes and then go workout with him.  I've been partaking in the "deck of cards" workout where we flip, one by one, through a deck of cards and perform whatever exercise that symbol or color represents and do the number of them on the card.  I've chosen squats instead of pull-ups because I'm unable to do a single one and push-ups just about take me out after 50.

We showered and then headed out on the town to a restaurant that Daniel had found on TripAdvisor.  We arrived to a totally decked out Moraccan restaurant with delicious food.  I had to order up a #selfie of Daniel, Evan and myself (which means you take the picture yourself), and we got this lovely gem.


It was a neat restaurant, and we met Mara and Tom, both from the Nike Foundation, and our new learning partner, Daryn from Microsoft Xbox.  It was entertaining to get to know one another better by playing a version of "hot seat" where each person asks the group a question, and everyone has to answer it truthfully.  We bonded.

We walked back to the ship in the cool Casablanca night.  All around a slow, but good, day.