Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mailing Addresses! (just in case..)

mportant Reminder: Mail to those aboard ship should be addressed as follows:
MV-Explorer - Fall 2010 Voyage
ATTN: Name of Recipient 
Port Agent Address (from list below)

Currently the U.S. Post Office recommends sending international mail at least two weeks in advance. Please keep in mind that mail service in other countries may vary. Letters should be sent Airmail only. Please do not send any mail to the Institute for Shipboard Education or to the University of Virginia to be forwarded. Do not enclose currency in the mail.
Please do not send packages to the ship - Excessive duty is charged in some countries. In many instances, packages are not delivered to the ship. Packages may be held in customs, or at a local post office, and the recipient aboard ship is never notified. If you send packages, you do so at your own risk.
Please note: The agents listed below are not contracted by the Institute for Shipboard Education, but by the ship's management company. Therefore, the Institute cannot assume liability for the actions, or lack thereof, taken by those listed below regarding receipt and delivery of mail and faxes.
When sending mail please mark "MV Explorer - Fall 2010 Voyage" on the first line and "Attn: Participant's Name" on the second line. The Port Agent's Address (from the list below) should be written on the subsequent lines.
Cadiz, SPAIN 
Phone: 34 956 276 112
Fax: 34 956 276 766
Perez Y CIA S.L. 
C/ Ecuador, 2
11007 Cadiz, SPAIN
August 21
Casablanca, MOROCCO 
Phone: 212 61 29 8894 
Fax: 212 22 48 4793
30 Avenue des Far 
20000 Casablanca, MAROC
August 27
Takoradi, GHANA 
Phone: 233 22 300 894 / 5
Fax: 233 22 202 989
Seatec House / PO Box CO 214
Akosombo Road
September 8
Phone: 27 21 419 8660
Fax: 27 21 413 0290
19th FLOOR
No.1 Thibault Square
8001 Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
September 20
Port Louis, MAURITIUS 
Phone: 230 202 7399
Fax: 230 208 5814
Ireland Blyth Limited
Shipping Operations Department
No 8 Dr Ferriere Street
Sept 30 
Chennai, INDIA 
Phone: 91 44 252 12032 
Fax: 91 44 252 43813
3rd Floor, Clive Battery Complex 
4 & 4A, Rajaji Salai 
Chennai 600 001, INDIA
October 8
Singapore, SINGAPORE 
Phone: 65 6885 0510 
Fax: 65 6272 3850 
SINGAPORE V.SHIPS HANSEN                        
10 Hoe Chiang Road # 24-01 
Keppel Towers 
Singapore 089315, SINGAPORE            
October 18
Ho Chi Minh City, VIET NAM 
Phone: 84 8 6261 9602
Fax: 84 8 6261 9603
55 Le Quoc Hung street
Ward 12, District 4     
October 20
Phone: 852 2786 1155 
Fax: 852 2744 3240
Units 1802-1805, 18th Floor
NÂș 3 Lockhart Road 
Wanchai, Hong Kong - CHINA
October 28
Shanghai, CHINA 
Phone: 86 21 6323 1350 
Fax: 86 21 6329 1519
3/F 13 Zhong Shan Road (E 1) 
Shanghai 200002, P.R. CHINA
November 1
Kobe, JAPAN 
Phone: 81 78 391 3046 
Fax: 81 78 391 3105
Kenryu Bldg, Room 502
6, Kaigan-dori, Chuo-ku                                 
KOBE 650-0024, JAPAN
November 5
Yokohama, JAPAN 
Phone: 81 45 201 6991 
Fax: 81 45 212 1614
2F Asahi Seimei Yokohama Honcho Bldg 
36, 4-Chome Honcho, Naka-ku
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-005, JAPAN
November 8
Honolulu, HAWAII 
Phone: 1 808 599 8604 
Fax: 1 808 599 1950
521 Ala Moana Blvd
Suite 256 
Honolulu, HI 96813
November 19
Phone: 1 808 599 8604 
Fax: 1 808 599 1950
521 Ala Moana Blvd
Suite 256 
Honolulu, HI 96813
November 22

Shipping and handling.

I just worked out on the ship for the first time. The machines are so popular that you have to sign up at 6 pm for a time slot on the following day, and there is a line so you’re lucky if there’s a time for you in between classes. When running on the treadmill, it’s hard to keep balance.. the boat rocks no matter where you are and it is easy to trip over yourself. I bought a green water bottle (so I can be cool like Kaleigh at the gym). They don’t have cold drinking water anywhere on this ship in between meal times… so the water bottle is essential. Especially with the dry-mouth symptoms from anti-nausea medicine. I feel lucky not to have gotten sick, most of my friends have been ill for days. I fell this morning when trying to stand from a lounge chair on the top deck, knocking over like 8 other chairs… so graceful. At least that’s the worst of it!
The seas are high and rolling today. We are planning to sail alongside several hurricanes, tonight is supposed to be kind of crazy so we’ll see what happens. I keep thinking about how they filmed the tilting of the ship in Titanic as I sit in the dining hall, with the liquids inside glasses shifting with chandeliers, etc. and how accurate that all was. Well done, James.
Classes started today too. Sociology at 800 hours and Global Studies at 920 hours.
Classes were interesting. Sociology is small and intimate with maybe 12-15 people. My professor holds the same seat that Jefferson held in the (Legistlature?)… I forget, but it’s important, and he’s a politician. I’ll correct myself when I verify my facts. He is a sociologist who has practiced law now for almost 30 years. I have a feeling I will learn a lot about the issues we face in America now, but pertaining to each country we visit among others (health care, unemployment rates, general happiness scales, military presence.. etc.).
Global studies will highlight much of the same thing, with a focus on the politics and intercultural relations around the world. I signed up for intermural soccer, Spanish conversation club, art teacher for kids ages 2-5 on the boat (28 kids total), Jewish club because the high holiday are coming up, photography club and intend to start a scrabble club once I get my hands on a board. Hopefully this will keep me busy – outside of class, studying and planning – there’s not much else to do. I suppose that’s all for now J

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Ocean

The boat is incredible. There is a room or cabin for everything, a FULL spa complete with massages, sauna/steam rooms and a salon for hair care and mani/pedi’s. The food is great but will be exhausting soon – consisting only of pasta, rice, vegetables, salad bar and some sort of fish or chicken. Waving to Halifax as we pulled away was incredible emotionally but the freedom and independence were completely invigorating.
A day later, we are surrounded by the ocean in every direction. There is a thick marine layer off in the distance, and a peer suggested earlier that it was land.. though as we are cruising through the Atlantic, it is most certainly not. I spotted dolphins today in the middle of the big blue, which was a delightful and extremely unexpected treat!
The day started with a meeting after about 9 hours asleep and still not getting enough. We were told today to start using military time. We were taught lingo such as starboard, portside, aft and forward – and a point was made to call our vessel a ship rather than a boat. The rocking is incessant, everyone is still struggling to gain their sea legs (including me) and frequently fall over on the stairs or into walls of hallways. Many passengers have gotten very ill. They make an anti-nausea patch that has been helping me out, but the drowsy side effects are not ideal! Either way, the rocking is nice when trying to fall asleep and sooths like a rocking chair.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu made a guest appearance in a lecture today! I thanked him later for speaking, and he told me that if it weren’t for his complexion, I’d be able to see him blushing! In addition to his glowing presence, there are over 20 kids under the age of 10 on board, which is really neat too.
I made a new friend named Kelly. We get along really well and I’m excited to have met someone I’m finally comfortable around (other than Corey, my OSU friend). I introduced myself to each of my teachers who are incredibly interesting and well educated people; I feel blessed to have them as my instructors.
This day was full of meetings, in which most students fell asleep. We sang “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean” as a big group of 600+ and had to stand up on every “B.” They’re good at keeping us engaged like that around here.
The resources are phenomenal, I planned the details of my trip to Spain today (thanks, Jon!) from advice, books and maps. Functioning without the internet is incredibly refreshing. I’ve gained a few friends for the Spain leg of the trip, which is exciting that people want to jump on board with me for something I want to do. It’s easy to feel lonely when you’re surrounded by strangers, but I suppose it takes time to grow from these things. Spending 24/7 with everyone will hopefully change this.
The involvement fair is tonight. I plan on joining the Sunset Club, which sits on the top deck in the evenings to watch sunsets, the Photography Club for obvious reasons, a Conversational Spanish Club, and would really like to start a Scrabble Club. I’ve already got some takers!!
Until next time…

Friday, August 27, 2010

Canada, oh...

Am leaving now for the boat! I can't wait to find out who I'm living with.. Last night was a blast. Once I finally got everything done from summer quarter at Ohio State, I was able to meet up with a friend from OSU at a pub called Maxwell Plum. From there we went to a night club that reminded me a bit of Westwood Brew Company, but much more crazy and much more busy. There were a lot of sailors in uniform, and a lot of people standing around with beers in their hand saying "Semester At Sea?" at people as they walked by, hoping to meet more more more of us. 
So far I've met some great people and I'm very excited for my first day onboard. Got a full 5 hours of sleep last night and am ready to go spend an hour in line checking in. MV Explorer, here I come; au revoir Canada!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh, Canada!

I am sitting in my room at the Westin in Canada with Kristen Forde, who is taking a nap. Finishing up the last of my work from Ohio State so that I am ready to dive into my work on the boat tomorrow. 
Halifax is grey. There are trees everywhere and it is deeply wooded, but this made for a beautiful drive from the airport. I don't think I have ever seen a place this thick with greenery in person, and felt like I was flying over the Amazon as we arrived. I keep trying to compare this city to one I've seen, but am at a loss. The architecture is very similar to American architecture, though much more eclectic and with much more variety from building to building. Downtown Halifax is right on the water, and it was neat to see the ship in the distance as we pull over the bridge into the city. There is some french language on signs here and there, which is neat to be able to understand. Otherwise, I'd say Canada is a wannabe America.
I met several girls at the airport. One girl, Megan, had to be on the boat this morning, but missed her connection and stayed in New York overnight. She was late on the boat and arrived with no luggage other than what was on her back. This made me realize how lucky I am to have had things work out for me up until this point. She is from Minnesota, and we're going to have some rivalry on our hands come football season!
Our cab driver gave a quick tour of the town as we drove through, though we could barely understand him. He spoke of his son, who he called his "Little Furler," which is apparently Canadian for "Fellow." We thought he was saying brother and.. this got confusing. 
There is a meet and greet tonight, and I can't wait to make more friends. It's a trip to imagine that these people are going to be the people that I can't imagine my life without in just a few short months - there's no telling what's in store. This is only just the beginning..

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Excitedly, waiting.

Semester At Sea is my life. It's all I eat, breathe, think and talk about. Nothing else exists to me anymore. The anticipation and anxiety are slowly eating away at me.