Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Midnight wanderings

So as a brief update, I arrived to the IOC (International Operations Center) of Mercy Ships in Garden Valley Texas on Sunday afternoon.   On Sunday I met a handful of lovely people from a few different countries, and we found a lot of common ground.  Monday the dorm filled right up within about an hour as all the remaining women seemed to arrive at the same time.  There are a lot of amazing people here and I'm loving it.  Everyone is friendly, and we all have common ground, each with unique personalities and stories.   I'm staying in the women's dorm
 with about 13 other women spread amongst 6 bedrooms.   I have two roommates.

I've been on about 3 long walks around the property here (40min brisk walk, or 60min slow walk... we're guessing about a 4-5km walk), and have already managed to get a few blisters on my feet, but nothing to slow me down :D.
Last night after our evening of getting to know staff members, my Swiss roomie who was overtired/jet-lagged went straight to bed.  I went out with a group of about 7 other women and we went on a slow walk around the property, enjoying the woods and lakes, hoping to see wildlife, and just generally getting exercise.  By the time we were back my one roommate was asleep and the other was getting ready for bed. So I kept the light low and slowly got ready for bed.
Sometime around 2am, I woke up sweating.  I don't normally sweat when I sleep, but we're at the far end of the building from the air conditioner and the two fans in our room only help so much, especially since we keep the room door closed at night.  With temperatures in the mid 30's (Celsius), I'm not surprised I was sweating.  Anyways, I woke up at 2am, sweating, so I decided maybe I should get up and go to the bathroom (and let my bed cool off a bit).  As I slipped out the door, I closed it behind me and heard a click.  It was at that point that I realized that the door had locked behind me and I had no room key.  And everyone in the house was asleep.
I went to the bathroom, and then went back to my bedroom, in hopes that I was wrong about the door locking behind me.  Nope.  I was locked out.
I wandered back to the lounge area and sat on the couch thinking.  I decided I HAD to try knocking on the door... I couldn't sleep out on the couch!  
I tapped on my bedroom door... no response.
I went back to the lounge, changed my mind and went to knock lightly on the door.
No response.
Knocked lightly again.
No response.
I decided to see if any of the other rooms were open, since most rooms had at least one empty bed...
All the rooms were closed.
I looked closer at a few unmarked doors.
One was a shallow closet with a few random items (like shampoo) left behind by other guests.  Could be handy but not in the middle of the night.
The other had a light behind it.
I tried the door and slowly opened it...
and found a spiral stairwell.
Lacking anything else to do, I decided to explore.
The metal stairs weren't perfect and clanked a little as they moved a little when I stepped on them.  Not enough to wake anyone though.
As I wandered to the top I found...
Two extra bedrooms, with nicely made beds.
I was tempted!  Really tempted.
But!  I knew I had set my alarm, and wasn't sure how long I'd end up sleeping if I was tucked away from noise and light, and didn't want the alarm ringing off waking my roomies and me nowhere to be found.  So I reluctantly went back down the stairs and closed the door.  I tried one more time to knock on my bedroom door... still nothing.
Finally I curled up on the couch in the lounge with a light blanket.

 I fell into a restless sleep and woke to the sound of someone blowing their nose.  In the vague hope that it was one of my roommates, I made my way back to my room... and found the door ajar.  I slipped back into bed (this is how my bed was when I first arrived, with all the extras.)

 and checked the alarm clock, it was 4:45am.   Time to get some sleep!  From now on I'll be carrying my room key everywhere!

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