I will start by saying that, even at day four of one hundred, this is, by far, the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Even though that’s probably stating the obvious, it needed to be said. And now, I will list the highlights thus far… The cast off from the Bahamas My roommate and her stunning sense of humor Stepping into the Caribbean Sea after a hike around San Juan The sunrise over the first port Saying “Good Morning” to Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the way to said sunrise The crazy cab ride home from Senor Frog’s in a pimped out cab with four ship crew members The cup of coffee from Nadia’s Café The hilarious busboys on the ship and their deadly fruit punch Spanglish Café The refreshing dip by a rainforest waterfall Sleeping very little and living a dream
Imagine living in a Ritz that takes you to unique destinations around the world with 702 college students that travel alongside you. Also imagine knowing for sure that the best moments of your life are approaching in days, hours, or seconds. The world that I study from the map on my wall is accessible at the end of the gangway.
The most unnerving experience so far has been trying to adjust to the slow rocking of the ship and then readjusting to the land multiple times per day. Once we gain our sea legs and learn to balance on the water, we get back on steady ground, where we continue to feel the swaying. I fell off the sidewalk yesterday. Speaking of sidewalks, I stumbled across a water meter in Old San Juan that read “Ford Meter Box Wabash, In,” which I immediately photographed. Even on a voyage around the world, I cannot get away from my hometown.
I am amazed that upon boarding the ship and at cast off, I met people that would get me even more enthused about this program and all it offers. When blisters and sunburns are the most of your worries, you know for sure that life is wonderful. All this perfection will screech to a halt when I get my first glimpse of the third world and its inhabitants. My worries will shift when I give a child a homemade bracelet, knowing that won’t guarantee them a happy or plentiful life.
On this voyage, days of the week won’t matter and the only time you care about is shipboard time (so you don’t get left behind). The skyline of San Juan glitters my vista as I enjoy a surprisingly tasty cup of “Joe.” I no longer smell the ocean air as it is probably my new scent…Eau du Salt & Fish. Along with the worry of these velvet waves swelling gigantically and swallowing us whole, I fear that a day will go by when I won’t appreciate this opportunity and wish I were somewhere else. In hopes of making that thought impossible, I am living by these rules:
1. Be decisive and do something.
2. Don’t sleep…keep going strong.
3. I hear; I forget. I see; I remember. I do; I understand.