All of the KUS people live in their own room at home. Everybody has got his own area to stay, when he or she is angry, tired, disappointed or wants to be alone in other ways. At our new home the Thor Heyerdahl having a room of your own is not possible. The only space you have for your own is maximum two meters to seventy centimeters. It is called bunk and in fact you just sleep there or lie there listening to music and writing your diary. Every other room or space is accessible for the whole crew. Between six and two bunks are located in one cabin. The cabins have got two or three shelves and each one contains five boxes. These boxes are the space where your clothes are in. Not a lot, especially if you have to share them with three other teenagers. There is space under the lowest bunks, too, but the trekking bagpacks, seebags and the presents for Cuba are in there, so there is no more space for other things. Hence the first challenge is the rare place for your clothes.
The second challenge is handling the sleep quota. At first the sleep rhythm at home is definitely not the same as on the Thor. Just look at the sentry duty. In the middle of the night, sometimes at about two o’clock, some roommates have to get up and start their duty. If the one who wakes them up is polite, you won’t wake up. If he or she is rude you will wake up, too, and maybe find no sleep anymore. Unluckily the members of your cabin are going to come back in a few hours, so you probably will wake up again. As a result you are going to be tired the whole day and you will be in a bad mood.
A special challenge for all the tall ones on board is working in the galley or taking a shower. The galley and the sanitary rooms are in the deckshouse. The ceiling of it is lower than the others. It´s about 190 centimeters high. If you are two meters tall your back will hurt after a few minutes and you will maybe hit your head. I am close to two meters and I can tell you that working in the galley is not fun. It´s the same for cleaning oneself up. Brushing your teeth or taking a shower is a good experience under normal conditions, on the Thor it is uncomfortable.
One more point I’d like to mention is that you hardly have no privacy at all, since you are always with a part of the crew. While sleeping or eating, it doesn’t matter if you have a good or bad time. Furthermore I believe that at home you always throw down your clothes in your room at the end of the day without thinking of the others. Here you always have to fit your belongings into boxes because you would get in trouble, if you didn’t do it.
In spite of all the hard cabin life, I think that we will be great partners after the trip, because you have to be yourself and cannot hide behind a mask. I believe cabin life is definitely a challenge for all of us, but I am sure everybody will miss it when he/she is back in his/her own room at home.