Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day Four: Tessa's Log

"I'm not lazy, I'm just careful with my time."

Dr. Charles Monroe's witty statements never fail to make me chuckle. Anna introduced our veteran yesterday, and I want to share yet another side of this dear man. He is the most joyful man I have ever met. The best part of this trip is the ample amount of time we spend lounging on the shady deck, listening to stories and laughing over jokes as the Bilikiki chugs through the open sea. 

Dr. Charles or "Chuck" has three doctorates: one in Theology, one in Higher Education and an honorary degree for starting a Christian University. "Todah rabah," he often says in Hebrew to thank me when I bring him his dinner or help him over a rocky area. He loves translating Hebrew, and I've learned quite a few things under his eager instruction. He has also been giving me teaching tips: "Remember this Tessie. Elementary schoolers look up to you. High schoolers look down at you. And middle schoolers don't look at you at all." 

Today we landed on "Skull Island" where head hunters used to bring their "trophies." Next stop was Kennedy's "Plum Pudding Island." It was unbelievably perfect, like something out of a movie. We younger folk swam to shore (like Kennedy did after his PT boat was cut in half). 

The veterans choose to hang back on the boat during some excursions. Dr. Charles, though, generally joins us for most outings; his legs are as spry as his sharp mind. I am always impressed with the older gents and their ability to weave about the boat. I actually think they're becoming more nimble every day! 

I know my post is getting a bit long, but I just have to say a few more things about Dr. Charles. He is an encouragement to us all. He is constantly patting shoulders, cracking jokes about getting old and teaching us about aging gracefully. The joy of the Lord is his strength, and I am privileged to know him. I will leave you with an often repeated bit from his "Monroe doctrine": "I've led a very rich life. The Lord has blessed me well." 

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