Why am I up so early?

by Priya Chandra

Early start for ANZAC Day – got up at 4:15 which has to be the earliest I’ve gotten up this entire trip. Even during the Tonga mission I wasn’t getting up before 4:30!

The service was lovely – if I do say so myself as one of the prime organisers. Even though it had a Chaplain giving a reading from the Bible as well as a prayer it felt very open to me, not directed solely to the white Christian males in the group which is the main problem with the AWM dawn service – as a dark skinned, non-Christian female serving in the military I never really feel the love at those dawn services though of course I continue to go to commemorate the day itself.

The service ended just as the sun was coming up behind the clouds – perfect timing. The only thing I regret, and there’s nothing I could do about this, was that we couldn’t see the wreaths being laid (tossed) over the side of the ship. Luckily there were a couple of US Public Affairs guys there videoing the entire service so I’m looking forward to seeing those videos once they’ve edited them.

Speaking of the U.S – they were fantastic. There must have been at least 200 people there, all formed up from quite early on, and they were all very generous with their praise after the service. Lots of photos were taken of us in our ceromonial uniforms with our US friends!

There was a flurry of activity afterwards to get photos and media release out on time. As always Helen’s photos were fantastic and they made it onto the Defence images gallery before everyone else which was our aim!

Then enforced quiet for the rest of the day practically – the internet went down around midday and then the ship went into a Damage Control exercise for 2 hours.

We (the embarked forces) weren’t allowed to travel around the ship during those two hours to avoid getting in the way of the people participating in the exercise.

Without internet I was kind of lost – well we all know how much of a digital tragic I am right?

So out came the baby sampler that I’m cross-stitching for my sister’s baby. This is what it looks like so far:

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pretty impressive right? You can see why I needed to work on it – after all the baby’s due in August and it should look something like this!

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