Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Book Ship

Last week one of our local pastors told Todd about the Book Ship that was here. He told Todd that it was something that we might enjoy visiting and seeing. He was right. Yesterday afternoon, Todd suggested we take Nathan down to the Book Ship after football practice. So we did and I've got lots of pictures for you Uncle Howie.

They didn't have a lot of information about where they are from and where the books come from, so when I got home I went online and found them. I didn't have a lot of time to read up on all they do but I did find out that they have several ships and that they are a non-profit organization. If you are interested in learning more of the details you can visit their website here.

We took the short drive down to Freeport where the cruise ships dock and after taking two wrong turns and asking several people for directions we found the right road that led us to the "whaf" (wharf).

The street outside the wharf.

After getting through their security, which was trying to handle people for the Book Ship and cars that were going somewhere else and it was mass confusion as most things are here, we took the long walk to pay our admission fee. If they would have gotten out of their lounge chairs it might have been a little easier for everybody.

I thought it was funny because the sign to the right of that entrance says "no children allowed on port at any time." They might should have covered that one up because most of the books were geared toward children and there were lots of children on board.

Nathan wasn't really excited about going. He said that he would rather stay home. I mean how can a book compare to football practice? So he wasn't overjoyed to let me take his picture boarding the ship.

After paying our admission fee, which was $50 JMD (which is about $.75) for Todd and me, we boarded the boat and boy was it crowded. The narrow alley had bookcases along both walls and tables down the middle. So, it didn't leave much room for passing.

This sign was posted at the entrance to let you know how much the books were. All of the books were marked in units. I guess that way they don't have to re-price all the books when they go to a different port. Here 100 units equals $140 JMD which is $2 USD. All of the books were reasonably priced. We started off in the kids section and to my surprise Nathan handed me his DS so he could look at the books.

After looking through a lot of books and making comments on how silly Strawberry Shortcake and Cinderella were he chose a reader about the movie Open Season. He also found a Spiderman coloring book that he wanted. Knowing that he doesn't really like to color, I told him he could buy it with his tooth fairy money. He agreed. I really hate when my son makes a liar out of me, because when we got home he immediately colored a page and then got up this morning and colored another page before he got ready for school.

"Mom, do you have to take a picture of every book I look at?"

Besides the Spiderman coloring book, he found a big hardback Spiderman comic book and as he was reading and looking at it, I couldn't help but video it for his Uncle Howie:

Along the wall they had painted a map that charted all of their ports of call. Sorry the picture is blurry. This one was taken at the entrance. The one below was taken at the end as we were standing in the LONG, CROWDED check out line.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

The end of the alley, which was the back of the ship, was open. Looking at the Caribbean Sea puts a whole new twist on book shopping. They had a large variety of books for all ages. They had Bibles and reference books, devotionals, self help books, biographies, health books, maps, coloring books and sticker books, they even had Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books. They also had a lot of CD's and DVD's. But, after looking through all the books, there were no fiction, which is of course is my favorite. I was depressed because I do a lot of reading. And besides taking Nathan, it was my reason for going.

While I was shopping, several people asked me if I worked there. I told them no. I remembered the admission lady was white and, I found out at the end that all the cashiers were white, too. I assumed they thought since I was white I must work there, as well. After the third person asked me that, I started to keep a count. A total of seven people asked me and Todd said that one lady asked me twice. It was getting funny.

After making our selections, we headed to the check out lines. Oh my! It looked like a madhouse. But, to my surprise, even though the lines were long, they had four cashiers and each line was roped off. So, it was very organized.

As we were slowly moving up to our cashier, Todd whispered, "I have a book in my back and it has been there since we got in this line." I of course laughed at him. Then he made the mistake of casually turning around. The talky mouth of all talky mouths started in on him. She told him all about how smart her daughter was and how slow her boyfriend's son was and her daughter was younger than her boyfriend's son. Then, she showed him all the things she had picked out for them. When she noticed that the line wasn't moving very fast, she asked Todd to hold her stuff for her while she went to get a dictionary that she forgot to get and that she would be right back.

Todd with all of his "friends" stuff.

True to her word she came back. There were signs all over the ship that they took credit cards, but not to our surprise when we arrived at the cashier and the nice man rang our selections up the phone lines were out, so he couldn't approve a credit card transaction. Our bill was $1400 JMD and Todd only had $1200. Thankfully, he had $20 US tucked away in his wallet and was able to buy our books with it.

Nathan waiting for us to check out.

The girl to his left goes to school with him.

After we paid, we headed downstairs to exit the boat and in order to do that, we had to go through another room. To my great DELIGHT, look what I saw:

The room was full of boxes of, yep you guessed it, novels galore. Todd showed me a sign on the wall that said that these books aren't for sale. Each person is allowed two books or you can buy a commemorative Logos II bag and get three. Since it was getting late and we still had to eat supper, I decided that Todd and I would return on another day since they will be here until April 27th. He doesn't like fiction so I am going to pick out two "for him", if you know what I mean.

We had supper at KFC and when we got home, Nathan was on his way to his room and (unprovoked, all on his own) he said," Thanks for taking me to the Book Ship, Mom and Dad." I love when he does that. That is one of the small rewards of our hard parenting work. Oh, and he won't have to buy the Spiderman coloring book out of his tooth fairy money either. He has no idea the rewards he would get if he would always remember his manners.

I am off to the Book Ship to pick out my two books and two for Todd. Who would have thought a Book Ship would have come my way at this time? They won't be back to Jamaica for another six years. Thank you Lord!


April said...

OK.... I dont want to go there. TOO many sweaty people touching me!

April said...

Is Todd cournal Sanders?

Nathansma said...

No, he's Robert Shaw. Watch the movie Glory.

Nathan's Uncle said...

What a cool experience! I would love it. Too bad Plant City doesn't have a harbor. I'm so jealous because missionaries have all the fun.

Thanks, sister, for doing a special post just for me. I loved all the pictures and movie of my nephew, and I'm glad he enjoyed it.

Uncle Howie