“Silence is very important to me, I can calm myself down and try to do something more seriously, without silence it would be a disaster to me. So thats why, I need it and enjoy it.” -FL

Episode 24 features 24 year old Fernando (Bin) Lu. ‘Bin’ is a combination of 2 Chinese character letters. One being ‘Literature’ and the other ‘Sports’. He is indeed a balance of them both making his parents proud. His hometown which he loves very much is Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China. The man that can move mountains with his deep voice. Almost. Movement and being active is a part of his life as his role on this ship is as sports staff, a nice position for someone who dreamed of being a basketball superstar in his youth. There are numerous sports and activities he teaches and supervises, his favourite being ‘FlowRider’ (a surfing simulator). Robert loves distinct characters, along with their unique traits and Fernando’s voice is one of them. It is very cool as it adds to a mature, wise storyteller character. Fernando also has a gift and passion to learn languages having studied Spanish in University and from working in Italy on Costa Cruises. All this adds to a very special accent. 

“I don’t have everything I want in my life, but I AM blessed enough that I have all that I need in my life at this moment, for this I am grateful.” -FL

Fernando is a very positive optimistic man. Truly a gem to have around the ship as he wants to be here. There is great power in deciding and enjoying where you are and not defaulting to complaining. It is Fernando’s values in honouring friendships and community that speak to his happy nature. This comes from a strong family bond which is his priority to keep, even when working so far away. It was powerful to have a repetitive theme appear throughout the interview, ‘the importance of listening’. Fernando also reflected in a unique way of experiencing silence in his life.

“Listening plays an important role to build up a good relationship, because most people don't listen to each other, they just want to talk. But imagine if all the people are talking, who is listening?” -FL

Fernando described himself as being 50% traditional Chinese. From traveling the world and making friends from different countries, one cannot help but grow in being more open and cultured. Similar to Denald from Episode 19, Curiosity fuels Fernando’s life. He is open to challenges and trying new things. Robert was flattered how he spoke highly of him and the perspectives Robert offered. The feeling is mutual toward Fernando being a strong warm hearted man. Even if he eats chicken feet! In Fernando’s words. . .”That’s it.”

“Try to think of about things from different sides, don’t always stay in the same opinion. Otherwise you live a hard life and may make other people feel sad and disappointed. So try and switch your mind and think more about others. That is what I am trying to do at the moment. It’s hard but we need to try it.” -FL

The theme of this ‘WeeklyQuest’ is FAMILY. To leave out some time and go back home to stay with your family. For at least 2 hrs, talk with them, share stories, put your phone away, stay away from the tv, have a meal at the same table, talk but listen to your family. This is especially important for people that work far from home. Even for those who may have some family challenges, reach out to them and listen. Be gracious with your communication.