There are certain challenges inherent to living on a ship, especially this ship. Thousands of miles from family and friends, you start to miss those at home, and miss the connection and... well... the assumption that those around you love and care for you. Here, if you allow it, you could just be a stranger in a crowd. You COULD just hide away, avoid people, and never build connections. Or, you make some of the best friends of your life. You spend more time together than most married couples, as you work, eat, sleep (majority of the ship lives in 3-6 berth cabins) and play together.
In the process, some friends come and go (ie: short term people who seem to leave just as you get to know them). Others, just get closer. Artificial families form as various groups get together more frequently. My friends took it to another level!!!
So a group of my friends had gone away for the day and ended up buying some food at the market, then making themselves supper when they got back. Enjoying the time together and the process of making the meal, they started joking about being a family. The joke continued, and the idea morphed into the thought of why not have regular "family dinners" either by making the food as a group or just all eating together a couple of times a month. They thought through who should be involved, and continued adding until it felt complete. And then another family dinner was planned... and this was the resulting family:
The family has continued to change, some leaving the ship, new people being added... and sadly our family will be reduced by about half by next field service. But for now... it's fun!
Buying fruit and vegetables in the market is fun, and makes for a very colorful sink when they're all soaking in the chlorine we used to clean them (wouldn't recommend eating local produce without cleaning it REALLY well!)
Teaching my "niece" to make pizza dough from scratch, priceless! I've promised to teach her how to make bread... somehow we just never got the time! Good thing she's coming back next year!
Making pizza sauce (and taste-testing of course!)
I'd upload more fun pictures, but the internet is being slow, and I'm a little scared of going over my max uploading for the day, so I'm going to end now. Suffice it to say, the crew galley was organized chaos, we have great fun every time we do this, and I am SO blessed to have a dysfunctional made-up family onboard! They make my heart happy!