Thursday, January 22, 2015

Three Weeks at Sea - Shipboard Life

I am currently writing to you from the middle of the Pacific. We have traveled over 2,800 nautical miles since leaving Hawaii (plus a few thousand if you want to count since San Diego), and I haven't posted yet, which is terrible! Anyways, here are the updates, in a few short lists:

WHY LIFE ON A BOAT IS WEIRD:
1. There is no dirt whatsoever. Even if I tried to find dirt, there is none. The only slightly "dirty" thing are the tables after the salt water gets on them and then dries, leaving this salty residue, but even then, it's white. There is no dirt.
2. We haven't stopped moving in nine days. Please take a moment to think about that - for the last nine days, I have not once been still - not even for a single moment.
3. Sometimes, you realize that there are five kilometers of water beneath us, and a heck of a lot of life in that water. This is weird because we can't see any of it.
4. We have monthly lifeboat drills. The chance that it's going to sink is minuscule, but it's strange to be living somewhere that could potentially fall to the bottom of oblivion.

WHY LIFE ON A BOAT IS WONDERFUL:
1. There are no cell phones. This is not an issue for me, but it's fantastic to have not a single person checking their text messages - ever.
2. Board games are making a comeback. With all the time that we have to burn, we've reverted to doing things that we're too embarassed to do in our real lives - but on the ship, we don't care anymore. Hide and Seek, anyone?
3. Meals are loooooooong. This is also a result of having nothing else to do, so we just sit and talk for hours.
4. SiSwati lessons - I've started teaching siSwati to people, which is hilarious and wonderful all at once. It's making me so much less homesick for Swaziland to be able to walk down the hallway and have random people greet me in (wonderfully terrible) siSwati.

WHY I'M READY TO GET OFF THE BOAT IN JAPAN:
1. I miss mountains. I need to walk uphill.
2. We are 800 students living all together, and while everyone is great, I need some new faces.
3. DUDE, WE'RE GOING TO JAPAN! How could I not be excited?

I'm sure at some point I'll write some more about living on a ship, but hopefully that's a bit of a start. Right now, I'm about to go on a tour of the bridge to see a little bit more about how the ship functions, so expect some of that at a later date, and then I'll try to write a bit more about how life really works on-board, but for now, I'll leave you with one last list -

SEA CREATURES I'VE SEEN SINCE LIVING ON THE SHIP:
1. Dolphins
2. Humpback whales
3. Seagulls
4. Flying fish

Bye!

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