Life Onboard LAST UPDATE  July 12, 2005
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June 1, 2005 In Pictures – Photo Tour I of Life Onboard
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Kamau “Pitch Black Gold” Abayomi, spoken word artist, poet and hip-hop artist, joined Peace Boat from Yokohama to Sri Lanka, his third time onboard. Originally from the San Francisco Bay area and now living in Bali, Kamau shares his creative techniques through interactive workshops where participants can express their unique perspectives and share with others. He believes that far too many people think they cannot write and express themselves properly, and his workshops intend to show them that poetry is about personal artistic expression, something everybody can do to capture moments and emotions. “Poetry is not about structure, it’s not precise and exact,” Kamau explains. “Rather, poetry is about self-expression, to know oneself, and benefit oneself honestly and truthfully.” Undoubtedly, after three months worth of experiences aboard Peace Boat participants will be able to learn not only more about themselves but also how they observe their world through expressive writing. After all, what is most important in life is “to learn about oneself freely without fear”.
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All participants onboard Peace Boat voyages are required to attend an evacuation drill. Unlike the inflatable lifejackets used on planes, which require one to pull tabs to inflate, the bright orange lifejackets worn by the participants are large, bulky and come equipped with whistles and lights. Unfortunately, Peace Boat participants were unable to test out the lifeboats, much to their dismay.
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GET (Global English/Espanol Training) teachers collected approximately 300 books from around the world for the children of Sri Lanka left homeless and without families from the devastating tsunami of December 2004. The GET book project is a fundraising event where participants can buy a book for US$10 or 1000 Japanese yen, write a message in English and then return them as donations for an orphanage in Sri Lanka, the next port of call. The fundraising project raised US$1,600 for an orphanage in southern Sri Lanka. As a final surprise, Le Ly Hayslip, a Peace Boat guest speaker, offered to match the amount on behalf of her Global Village Foundation program. Kris (right), a GET teacher from Canada, who helped organize this event, stands with a participant who brought a book for the orphanage.
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After picking up the rest of the participants at Kobe, the GET (Global English/Espanol Training) and CC (Communication Coordinator) groups donned costumes to hold a welcome event to kick off the voyage. A performance by guest Kamau, as well as African and Latin music, provided a taste of the cultural experience anticipated on this voyage.
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In honor of the recent wedding of Mr. Sun and Ms. Mai Dia, Peace Boat organized a wedding reception for them before they disembarked in Singapore. Under a blue sky, the couple walked down a red carpet aisle and were congratulated by the ship’s captain, Mr. Yoshioka, the director of Peace Boat, as well as the participants who came to witness the ceremony. The two have known each other since they were young. When their previous partners passed away, they rekindled their friendship and eventually married. “Some people may laugh at us for getting married at such an old age,” said Mr. Sun, in his 60s. “But we don’t care because we love each other.” The ceremony concluded with a champagne toast and wedding cake.
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Peace Boat “shiok la!” (Peace Boat is great!). A taste of Singlish was introduced by two Singaporean guests, Di Kun Goh (right) and Xiang Run Li, who came aboard from Hong Kong to Singapore. They will be participating in the GET challenge program (language and cultural exchange) in their hometown, as well as offering lectures about the multiculturalism of Singapore, sightseeing tips, and Singlish (the dialect of English used commonly by Singaporeans that blends English with Chinese and Malay words and intonations).
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Getting their 15 minutes of fame, 10 Peace Boat’s participants showed off their talent in the “Topaz Star Idol” event held in the evening of May 31. Auditions were held a few days prior to pick the most talented performers for this talent show. The acts included: a magic show, Japanese calligraphy, hula, hip-hop dancing, Okinawan dancing and drums, and traditional enka singing among other performances. The lively event contributed to the jovial atmosphere aboard Peace Boat.