Semester at Sea

This semester I will be on a ship taking classes and traveling to different countries. I will visit Cadiz, SPAIN ~ Casablanca, MOROCCO ~ Takoradi, GHANA ~ Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA ~ Port Louis, MAURITIUS ~ Chennai, INDIA ~ SINGAPORE ~ Ho Chi Minh City, VIET NAM ~ Hong Kong/Shanghai, CHINA ~ Kobe/Yokohama, JAPAN ~ Honolulu/Hilo, HAWAII ~ San Diego, USA.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.

Today has been relaxing…it’s the first day of classes but I didn’t have my first class (World Short Story) until 415. It was pretty good. A lot of people in the class are English or History majors, so I didn’t know what they were talking about half of the time. We talked a little bit about the history of short story and what is needed for something to be a story, and I think the class will be interesting.

I slept in really late today. I am in an inside cabin, so it’s pitch black when the lights are off. I never know if it’s morning or night when I wake up. Also, the time changed last night, so we lost an hour. I think we will be losing an hour on a regular basis, so it will be interesting!

The ship started rocking really bad last night, and it still seems bad today; apparently we’re headed for a hurricane. I didn’t even know there are hurricanes this far north. Ariel said that this morning in Global Studies (everyone has to take it so it’s in the union at the front of the ship…where the rocking is the worst), a bunch of people ran out during class to puke.

We had an ‘Activities Fair’ last night and I signed up for a bunch of stuff. One was like an extended family thing…they pair you and a few others with a life-long learner or a faculty member and you have dinner sometimes or do other things together. I also signed up for Students of Service, the Christian student group and the Dependent Children Program (there are like 30 kids who are the children of professors or faculty….I signed up to do arts and crafts or some other stuff with them). It seems like we will have a lot of free time, and they said we could drop any of them if it got to be too much. I’m excited for all of them though.

Tonight we hung out with some people on the pool deck. Ariel and I decided to go to Seville when we get to Spain. There are some other people we know who are going there, so it should be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to eat tapas and see the city!!

Is this real life??

I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired in my whole life! It’s been a crazy and busy 24 hours…plus the boat rocks really bad and so the medicine I took for seasickness made me really sleepy. I thought it would be just like a cruise, but it’s not… I feel like I’m on a rocket or something because the ship is going soo fast.

Yesterday I checked out of my hotel room and was going to walk down to the ship (they told us on the phone that it was within walking distance), but the person at the desk just looked at my bags and laughed. Apparently it wasn’t within walking distance, so she called me a cab. As I was waiting, a lady came up to me and asked if I needed a ride; they had just dropped their daughter off at the ship and said they knew how much saving every penny mattered. They were really sweet!

When I got in line this girl immediately came up to me and said she was my roommate. I like her a lot and think we will get along well!

It took FOREVER to get through the line and security and everything, but I was soo excited as I walked up the gangway. I just couldn’t stop smiling!

I got to my room (actually my ‘cabin’…they don’t like when you use the wrong words…like it’s a ‘ship’ not a ‘boat’,‘aft’ not ‘backward’,  ‘voyage’ not a ‘cruise’, ‘deck’ not ‘floor’, etc.  haha), and I was shocked to see how tiny it is! I didn’t know where I would be able to fit all of my stuff but I finally unpacked and it worked out.

My roommate Ariel and I went to the top deck as we set sail. We waved to the parents who were there and freaked out a little when we realized where we were and what we were doing. It’s still a little hard to believe!

We ate dinner and went to the meetings where they introduced all of the faculty and staff. By the end I was so exhausted I just went to bed. I slept really well; the rocking of the ship is good at night but I guess not during the day because I couldn’t stay awake at orientation today...  It was realllly boring. At the end though Archbishop Desmond Tutu (he will be sailing with us the whole time) was introduced and it was really cool; it’s like there is a real celebrity on board. Haha. Even in his opening speech he was inspiring, so I’m looking forward to talking to him. It was funny too because when asked how we should address him, he said by ‘Father’ or ‘Arch’.

Classes start tomorrow and I’m really excited for that. First of all because I think my classes will be interesting, but also because I want to meet everyone. Ariel and I are about to go to dinner and then maybe I’ll watch the sunset and look for the green flash!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A good first night

So I don't have long to write this because I need to go down to the port soon,
but I thought I would while I have a chance.

Yesterday was realllly long, but a lot of fun too. In the Newark airport I met
a bunch of other SASers. A lot of us were staying at the same hotel so we
planned to meet up after the flight and take the shuttle together.

The flight itself was miserable. We sat on the plane for over an hour before we
even left the gate because the plane was overweight and they had to rearrange
all of the bags. Then there were two kids behind me who screamed the entire
flight. Also, they had really smelly diapers…I think I could have dealt with
the screaming if I hadn't had to smell them. Ugh Anyway we finally got to
Halifax and went through customs and everything. We had to wait about 30
minutes for the shuttle so we all just talked and tried to remember each
other's names. They were all super nice, and I was just excited/relieved to
have met my first SASers. We got to the hotel (it was past midnight by this
point), put our bags down (they said they had to "balance their inventory" so I
got an upgraded room and it's HUGE. haha), and decided to check out downtown
Halifax. We walked around and whatnot and ended up meeting this Canadian guy.
He was really nice too and told us that we needed to get some legit "street
meat". He took us to this place (I think it was called Donair's?) and basically
they have these gyro/pizza sandwich things. It wasn't my thing but all the guys
acted like it was the best food they'd ever had. Mr. Nova Scotia (his real name
was Adam) wanted to show us the casino, but since some of the people had to
board the ship at 8am, we decided to head back to our hotels. We chatted for a
little bit, and then I went to my room. I was surprised to see the sun was
coming up! I had pretty much been up for 24 hours, and I was exhausted. I took
a quick picture of the sunrise (it was soo pretty) and then went to bed…it was
more like a nap though. Haha. It made me realize that if this was only the
first night, I'm going to need a lot of caffeine to get through this semester!

Just the beginning...

What a morning it has been! I'm at DFW right now waiting for my flight at 10am…I
was supposed to be on the 630am flight, but obviously that didn't happen.

I'll start with yesterday…it was the perfect last day in the U S of A. Kristina
and I spent most of the morning at the Shops at Legacy, and then I finished up
some last minute things in the afternoon. I was completely packed so I skyped
with Megan, went to dinner with my parents, and then went home and skyped with
Nicole. Kristina came over again and we said our goodbyes, and then I skyped
with Heather in Australia (I was so happy to be able to see some of my Purdue
family one last time before I left!).

Like I said, my flight was at 630 this morning. My mom and I planned to leave
around 330 so we could go to ihop and make sure I was here in plenty of time. By
the time I was done skyping Heather, it was about 130am. I thought about just
staying up, but I decided instead to set my alarm at for 3 and try to get a
little sleep. I definitely got a little sleep though because my mom woke me up
at 530! I FREAKED out…all I could do for a few minutes was stand in my room in
shock. My mom checked me in online, and I threw on my clothes and loaded up the
car (thank goodness I was all packed and had everything ready to go). We rushed
to the airport and parked in the first spot we saw. I guess we picked the wrong
spot though because my gate was E10 and we parked at E18. After dragging my bags
on the 10 minute hike, I was pretty much in shambles when I got to desk (I
figured there wouldn't be another flight out before tomorrow…who else actually
goes to Halifax, Nova Scotia? haha)...the only words I could get out were, "My
flight is at 630…" The lady was really nice and immediately told me she would
get me on other flight. She got me on the 10am flight (I'm getting into Halifax
at 945pm instead of 3pm but at least I'll get there today), and she must have
taken pity on me because she ignored the fact that one of my bags was 60lbs. She
also gave my mom a special pass to go behind security with me. We got some
coffee and took a minute to breathe before saying goodbye.

Needless to say, it's been a stressful morning, but I'm thankful that I got on
another flight and everything should work out. I just hope this is the worst
thing I encounter this semester!