Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Neptune Day!

Whenever I feel homesick I go up to the deck 7 pool bar and buy a bag of popcorn. It is stale and too salty, but it never fails to make me feel better! Tonight I splurged and bought a large bag to eat while looking at the stars. Even with the ship completely lit up the stars here are amazing! Right now we are between Namibia and South Africa preparing for the next adventure. I promise that this post is not about homesickness; instead I plan to write about Neptune Day and my shipboard family! Neptune Day was a whirlwind of fish guts, sunburns and barbeque. Technically we celebrated Neptune Day the day before we crossed the equator, but the sentiment was the same. On February 8 (happy birthday dad!) all “pollywogs”were sent an email requesting their presence before the royal court of Neptune to acknowledge his sovereignty. We woke up on February 9 to the sound of people running up and down the halls screaming and banging on doors and drums. After dragging ourselves from bed my roommate Hannah and I moved up to deck 7 where the festivities began!

In order to be initiated a student had to stand in one of the side pools, have “fish guts”poured over them, kiss a fish, kiss Neptune’s ring, jump into the pool, and then be knighted by our security officer Joe. And so I became a shellback with fish in my hair and water up my nose! I looked a fish in the eye and kissed it right on the lips (I later found out that the fish was fake…). The rest of the day was class free and so I went up to the front of the ship to read and relax. After falling asleep in the sun I woke up with a spectacular sunburn from the bottoms of my feet to my neck! That night was an impromptu barbecue with amazing burgers and corn on the cob! With ice cream for dessert it was a perfect end to a great day.

But wait, there’s more! That same night was my first dinner with my extended family. The ship has a program called “extended family”in which faculty, lifelong learners, and living learning leaders can create a family with several students. The families eat together generally twice a week when at sea and they provide a good outlet for students who need help or are feeling homesick. My family consists of two boys and five girls (not unlike the general male-female proportion on SAS) and our “parents”Fred and Nancy. Fred Levine is an art history professor on SAS and he recently spoke in our general Global Studies course about the cave paintings made by early humans. Our first family dinner was great and I am very glad that I have a family away from home.

Well, I know that this was a kind of slow email, but I promise that my Namibia and South Africa post will be interesting! With any luck I will find a cheap internet café in Cape Town and will be able to put up some safari photos!

1 comment:

Momster said...

You know what? You're not the only one who feels better knowing about the amazing crew on the MV Explorer. You're old momster has a big smile on her face knowing that there are people on the boat that can put a beautiful smile on your beautiful face.