Ship Happens

when you travel by sea

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bittersweet

the last few days have been hectic with exams/saying goodbyes- so expect to see daily summaries later today!!!!

We are about 45 minutes away from Boston! BITTERSWEET!! I had (and am still having!) THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE! No experience could ever compare to this. I’m sad that it’s all coming to an end, but one of the best things about traveling (maybe even the best) is coming home and sharing stories, photos, experiences, and memories with family and friends- And even more than that, taking what I’ve learned on the voyage as a whole and applying it to the rest of my life.

With the sad goodbyes comes excitement for all the SAS REUNIONS to come! LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!

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THAT’S the steering wheel?

Gaining hours is SOOO much better than losing them.. can I stress that enough?! You can bet I’m well rested! Sam and I have been making breakfast every morning! We’ve become obsessed with the oatmeal- but sadly they don’t serve it everyday- but we think we’ve figured out the schedule for it though!

The third day at sea yet again began with class. In Anthropology we started our final unit on Utopias. It couldn’t help but bring back memories of first year spring when I took a USEM with Mac. We thought a class entitled “In Search of Happiness” would be great- we’d probably meditate, do some yoga, etc. But then, when we finally discovered the course was actually on Italian Utopias I can’t say we were too excited. The Anthropology unit on Utopias is SO much more exciting than that USEM was- then again its definitely just Joel!

After lunch, Sam and I had to get Joselyn to kick Evan out of our room- (no way in hell we are giving him access to our room) so that we could meet up with Susanne and go on the Bridge tour! Naturally, Slam had endless questions for the captain, operating officers, and watchmen (mostly having to do with Spring 2005: storm stories). We learned all about the GPS, engine and lightings on the boat. I was surprised to see that the steering wheel was the size of one of my hands! How is that little thing supposed to maneuver a 590 foot boat? Well I guess they do have three of them- one in the center, and one on each side of the ship that help for docking- so that makes a little bit more sense!

After the bridge tour I was sitting in the computer lab working on a paper and all of the sudden my Drama professor, Mr. Williams, comes up and stands right next to me and doesn’t say a word. All I could think of was that something was wrong with the paper I had just handed into him! I had no idea what was up. I even said “Hi!” and he didn’t budge! He finally told me that the person sitting next to me was typing up our Final Exam! bahhaha he didn’t know if he wanted to tell me or not so he just stood in between me and the guy so that I couldn’t see what he was typing. It was really funny, I was just like oh no worries, I’ll leave! But he felt bad cause it was clear I was in the middle of working on something so he told me it was fine.. i eventually just switched locations because I couldn’t work with him standing right next to me! hahhaha

The auction was the best part of the day! I didn’t end up winning anything but I did bid on a few items!! They had both a silent and a live portion. Sam won TWO things in the silent! An autographed copy of our Global Studies Professor’s book “Santa Claus” (he is an expert on Christmas- no joke) and a beautiful printed picture that the photographer took! I bid on the chance to take a bath on the ship, getting one of my blog posts published on the SAS website and another printed picture taken of the ship in Croatia! Even though I didn’t get anything, probably the best part about this auction was that anything you bought was just charged to your shipboard account- AKA thanks mom and dad!!

At the live auction, the rappers from the Talent Show did a remix! now I REALLY need those lyrics! Buying wise- things got CRAY! The captain’s hat was sold for over $600 and his name tag itself went for around $200! Ooh and the chance to raise the United States flag when we arrive in Boston went for some $700! Some of the things that my friends won: Adam got Alumni Ball seats at the Captain’s table, Luke got Special Dining for four in the Dean’s Suite, Kristen bought 5 days at a place in Colorado for 8 to 10 people, and Josey bought a week in New Orleans in a rooftop condo for 6! CAN YOU SAY REUNION?!!! While the SAS memorabilia went for ridiculous amounts of money, the trips and vacations were a steal! Let’s just put it this way, New Orleans and raising the flag the last day went for practically the same amount! One of the coolest things bought was the chance to raise the flag in Washington, D.C. over the capital in honor of whomever you choose. Drew bought it, and since he served in Afghanistan he has decided to dedicate it to his troop! Pretty cool!

I ended the night with some pub night and then watched (slept through) “The Lorax” with Sammy and WIllie! I swear its like I have narcolepsy on this ship. I can fall asleep in seconds! Ooh and I was apparently sleep talking too hahahah just great!

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last bit of land

The second day at sea we were back to the regular routine of class. We have a total of only FOUR CLASS days for the entire trip home! That being said, everyone is in “finals mode” (eat, study, sleep, repeat). Pub nights are a completely different atmosphere than how they were on the way to Europe! Then, we didn’t have any work… now, we have a ton! People are always in and out.

I have a final exam for every class (4)… and I am SO jealous of Carter who only has one! Why didn’t I sign up for those classes?! Sam and I got our American Studies exam moved so that we don’t have to take three tests in one day. Now we’ll take that test with our Global Studies exam, and then the next day I’ll take Anthropology and Drama.

I was able to crank out two more of my long papers before going to bed. Drew distracted me for a good hour showing me his pictures from the entire trip, but I eventually got all my work done.

Also on the second sea day, we passed the last stretch of land- the Azores Islands owned by Portugal! Now its nothing but sea until August 18th when we arrive in Boston!

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SHARK!

Check out the link- this Professor is the coolest! The other day he gave a seminar on Sharks in the Mediterranean. The lecture ended with a special viewing of “Jaws!”

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oh Nilafur

The first day at sea was a STUDYYY DAYYY- exactly what I needed. I was able to crank out one five page paper and another four page paper. Feeling good! I alternated between working in my room, the library, and the 7th deck- depending on how social I was feeling. 7th deck is prime cause you can also get your tan on! Other than that the morning started off with our 3rd and final life boat drill. This one was unannounced and at 8 a.m. REALLY?!! — We don’t have class, I can finally sleep in a little and they pull a drill on me? I have a feeling it was set up so we’d all be awake to cease the study day.

Normally the drills aren’t so bad- ten minutes tops. But of course, since this one was in the morning people were sleeping… and the heavy sleepers SOMEHOW didn’t hear the obnoxious five short blasts followed by the one long blast over the intercom along with the captain saying in his charming English accent: “Your attention please, your attention please. Please report to your muster stations immediately.” Needless to say all seven hundred of us were in long pants, sweatshirts, closed toe shoes and lifejackets out on deck five in 80 degree weather for some thirty minutes. not cool!

Dinner was a highlight of the day for sure! A huge group of us signed up to do “Special Occasion Dining” on deck five to celebrate the four August birthdays: Bridget, Willie, Luke, and my own! (But especially Bridget’s- it was her actual day!) Special Occasion dining is $30 for a five course meal and champagne. Of course, Adam, Tyler, Jackson, and Evan came in full-fledged track suit and fez hat attire. Sam, Jackson, Haley, Willie and Bridgett are all in this one class together that is taught by this hysterical Indian lady professor. So naturally, she made the invite list.

This was only my second time meeting Nilafur Medora, and let me tell you- she’s a gem. At the beginning of the meal she stood up and gave a toast to the four birthdays- having us repeat after her a traditional portuguese toast that she looked up! The meal was one of the best I’ve had on the ship. In addition to the five courses they came around with hors devours to start: dumblings, kabobs, bruschetta- yum! How the menu worked was you chose your appetizer, main dish, and dessert. Along with that automatically came french onion soup (which was AMAZING) and caesar salad. For my courses I chose this vegetarian pot pie sort of thing, wantons and vegetables as my main dish, and cheesecake for dessert. I wouldn’t usually go all vegetarian but I just don’t always trust the meat on the ship- especially since I couldn’t see beforehand what it looked like!

Everyone had a great time, the pictures prove it! Nilafur fell in love with Adam and Evan who kept the whole crew laughing the entire time. hm.. why didn’t we do special occasion dining before?!

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Auction Catalog

Tonight we have the SAS AUCTION!!! Here is the catalog… the bubble bath is sticking out to me!

Some items from the SUMMER 12 AUCTION CATALOG:

Have your voicemail greeting recorded by Captain Jeremy

Have your voicemail greeting recorded by Craig “The Voice” Ullom

Two seats at the Captain’s table at the Alumni Ball (donor plus guest)

Four seats at the Captain’s table at the Alumni Ball (donor plus 3 guests)

Four seats at the Captain’s table at the Alumni Ball (donor plus 3 guests)

Add Dean Kenn Gaither to your table at the Alumni Ball

Cookies & milk delivered to your cabin by 2 RDs of your choice

Raise the U.S. flag on the last day at sea (with 2 friends)

Be “The Voice” for our last day at sea and say goodbye to the shipboard community - noon and 1800 announcements

Bubble bath in Dean Kenn’s office bathroom

Special dining for four as guests of Dean Gaither and Captain Jeremy on 8/14

A chance to steer the ship

30 minute phone call home on Dean Gaither’s phone

Voyage/ World Map signed by Captain Jeremy and his officers

Reserve a table outside on deck 6 to eat dinner for remainder of voyage

Four lounge chairs reserved on the pool deck for the remainder of the voyage

Special dining for four in Dean Kenn’s office

Croatian Fairytale Bedtime Stories with Professor Mark White and his wife Susie for six in their deck 7 cabin - cookies and milk included!

Customized blog post on official SAS website - winner can either submit their own blog to be posted or have one written about them!

Barf Bag from MV Explorer signed by faculty & staff

Selection of professional voyage photo prints, courtesy of our ship photographer, Russell Bryant

New Orleans Pre-Apocalypse Party - 1 week at Hotel De L’eau Vive, renovated condo in the heart of New Orleans for 6 people, a walk away from Bourbon, Canal, and the French Quarter - Dec 14th-21st. Free wi-fi, rooftop patio

Idaho Ski Vacation for two with Dr. Vince, Cat, Lily and Sophie Serio as your guides & transportation - 3 nights, 2 ski days (passes and lodging included, one at Bogus Basin in Boise, one in McCall with hotel accomodations) Breakfast and dinner included, on a weekend during 2012-2013 winter season

Two nights for up to four people at Manchester Beach KOA campgrounds on the gorgeous Mendocino coast of California (cabin, RU, or tent site)

Friday overnight in a 1942 bungalow in Corvallis, OR to include a Saturday morning local market visit, a lunch of local NW cuisine and a hike through McDonald forest! With Michele Ribeiro and family

One ticket to the Oregon State vs U of Oregon College Basketball game - with Abhijat Ribeiro!

Long winter weekend - Three nights in Golden, Colorado ski country at the home of Pat Larsen - one hour from several major ski resorts. Private lower level with family room and two bedrooms

Four Washington Wizards basketball tickets, midcourt behind bench, game TBA

Two tickets to the Suns vs. Thunder game in Phoenix on February 10th, section 102, row 15 behind Suns bench

GHOE - Greatest Homecoming On Earth - North Carolina A&T traditional HBCU homecoming (where the movie Drumline was filmed), including step show, fashion, and comedy shows AND of course tickets to the game. Oct 23-28 in Greensboro, NC

Two nights for two people at the beautiful Kilauea Lodge Bed & Breakfast in Volcano, Hawaii (Big Island), breakfast included

Four nights at a mountain house in Frisco, Colorado for 8-10 people, 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, can accommodate dates between 2012-2014. Cleaning charge included.

Don’t Yuck My Yums Dinner in Elon, NC with Kenn Gaither, Al Calarco, Tom Mould & Brooke Barnett and Lily & Jack Mould. 5 course, gourmet dinner and lots of fun together!

2 tickets to 2012-2013 season OKC Thunder game with one night hotel accomodations at Courtyard Marriott

Santa Clause biography autographed by Gerry Bowler  

Two jars of peanut butter 

AND SO MUCH MORE…

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tat-boosday

I woke up the last day in port and headed to the hotel to meet up with the Pedersen’s before they headed to the airport to go back to the US. I had such a great time with them! BIG thank you to Mr. Pedersen for putting us up in a great hotel and feeding us so well while in Lisbon- the diet starts immediately!

Sam got a quick mani/pedi while I packed up our things and facetimed my Momma! I got upset when she asked if I was excited to get home… I mean i definitely am- I can’t wait to see everyone, but I just don’t want this trip to ever end! We put our luggage in the lobby and took a cab downtown to meet up with our friends. We found a great little cafe for some day drinking that somehow put up with our- shit we’re not gonna see land for 9 days- rowdy crew. The mixture of vodka and the sadness that our trip was ending landed us in the nearest tattoo parlor. I’m lucky that I have an incredible fear of pain and do not become “fearless” even when I’m tipsy… otherwise, I would definitely be coming home with a permanent mark of SAS remembrance. You’d be shocked how many people i know that ended up getting SAS tattoos- most of them not even drunk decisions! A few girls got a wave on their ankle, others got an anchor and some people got the name of their deck. I know of one guy that got a sea compass, and of another girl that actually got a a globe that says “Semester at Sea Summer 2012” around it. I think my pictures, memories, and this blog itself should be enough for me! But, I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty close to getting my cartilage pierced- Mom and Dad your lucky I considered finding paint and temporary hair dye for the End of the Summer Ball more important!

I’d also like to point out that we weren’t the only group in the parlor, a ton of other SAS kids had the same idea. I guess it’s just an- “I’m abroad, let’s do something I wouldn’t normally do” sorta thing. Maybe not? Maybe just a “I’ve been living on a ship for two months” sorta thing…

With it being our last port, we (of course) waited till the LAST MINUTE to head back to the ship. Definitely one of the funnier cab rides I’ve ever had. Sam, Ellen, and I quickly swung by the hotel to get our things. With literally minutes to get back to the ship we told the driver to step on it. Naturally we turn up the tunes and pass the final bottle of wine around until it’s finished- gotta love Europe! The cab can only get so close to the ship, but when we finally arrived at the port we heard the RD on duty scream “ONE MINUTE till you’re late.” If you’re late- you get dock time at the next port… but since this was our last port, we weren’t really sure what the consequence would be.. but we weren’t willing to take our chances. THANK GOODNESS for Ellen- because Sam was useless! Ellen strapped all FOUR of our bags onto her body while I grabbed Sam. She also somehow managed to take pictures as we all booked it to the ship. PRICELESS!

I got held up in security (I feel like ever since the vodka incident they are triple searching me) but when I got back to the room Sam was already fast asleep on the bed. I had to wake her up though- Adam and Evan’s room was open… perfect opportunity to go for the classic flipping of the mattresses.. along with some love notes in lipstick on their mirror. We haven’t admitted to it yet- but I guess if they read this they’ll know… LOVE YOU BOYS!!

For dinner there was a cookout! As Sam and I headed to the 6th deck, we ran into Josey who gave us the news that one of our friends was getting kicked off the ship. Remember I mentioned that another kid was kicked off and turned in a bunch of people? … well direct result of that. Sidenote: I love how I say “kicked off” (implying the boat) instead of “kicked out” (of the program)… it’s like Survivor or something! i just couldn’t believe that with only a little over a week left that this happened- I mean i couldn’t IMAGINE it happening to me. Granted, it would be so much worse.. not only would I be kicked off the ship, but I would be expelled from UVA… just not worth it to me… not to mention the waste of money, not getting the school credit, and the terrible phone call I would have to make home describing what happened to my parents.

After the cookout, they played “Jaws” in the Union. I went and watched before hanging out with Jon and Sam in our room. We were SOOO happy to find out that we wouldn’t have class our first day at sea- instead it would be a study day. Thank goodness- I need it! With classes wrapping up, I feel like I have soo many papers to write… well that’s because I do… A five page paper for Global, a four page paper for Drama, another four page paper for American studies, and two shorter paper assignments for American Studies. The game plan is to get them all out of the way. There are a ton of fun things planned for our last week at sea and I don’t wanna miss a second!

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thrillerrrr

We woke up to another delicious breakfast before starting our day! We got permission to bring Mr. Pedersen, Margaret, and Diana onto the ship, so we headed to the port to give them the granddd tour! They got badges and everything. They didn’t, however, get the pat down through security… unsure how they dodged that one! They were all shocked to see how nice the ship actually is (my parents were pretty surprised too!) We played some basketball out on the 7th deck, cleaned out the snack bar, and showed them our cozy little 3008. We got some great pictures out on the deck with the beautiful 25th of April Bridge in the background (yup, thats the name of the bridge). It looks a lot like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Probably because they were designed by the same company.

As we left the ship, we ran into J.R, Drew, Sean, John, and Alberto. Sean claims it was so hot that he had to take off his shirt to walk through the streets of Portugal- I think he was just trying to show off his magazine bod to the Pedersens….

With such a big breakfast, we weren’t too hungry for lunch and instead just shopped through the downtown area. We found this great shop that only sells one of everything- the CUTEST sweaters, jackets, and headbands. Needless to say, Sam and I can’t wait for winter! After we shopped till be dropped, we found a Haagen Dazs. This is probably the fanciest Haagan Dazs I’ve ever seen. We sat down, the waiter took our order, and then brought us our gourmet icecream. We need one of these in cville!

We eventually made our way back to the hotel, and with all the walking I just had to pass out for a few hours. When I woke up, I got ready for dinner at “Eleven”. Josey, Bridget, Susanne, Willie and Luke met us there for a delicious meal with Sam and the fam. It was the perfect way to end our last night EVER in port (I can’t believe it). The trip came full circle when Mr. Pedersen had us go around, introduce ourselves, where we were from and our majors. Feels like just yesterday I met everyone for the first time! As always, everyone was raving about the food. I had a lobster dish, Sam had the steak, and Susanne had the cod! We joked that we never saw the cod on Susanne’s plate- she ate it so fast.

After dinner we headed out to the Urban Beach Club. There could not have been a better place to party our last night in port. The club looked out over the harbor with the MV Explorer beautifully lit up only a short distance away! It was the perfect setting to celebrate the end of our travels and the voyage back to the United States. The club itself was packed with 50% locals to 50% SAS kids. MY KIND OF NIGHT! Upon entering you got a card, which is basically how you kept your tab for the night. Before you left you checked out at a cashier. Sounds kind of hectic, but it was GENIUS. Even though there were tons of people at the club i never waited longer than a minute or two to get a drink. SO much better than Italy’s stand in line by a ticket, stand in line get your drink process.

I stayed up till the club forced us out- and Abby and I took a cab back to the ship with Alberto. Boarding the ship when it was practically daylight in last night’s clothes definitely got plenty of looks from security.. but they just let us go through with no problem- hey it was the last night in port.. what do you expect?! Abby and I lingered around the ship for a good amount of time (you know Piano Bar action) before finally calling it a night! Sorry again Kath, LOVE YOU!

With only one full day left in port, I can ONLY IMAGINE what will go down. If its anything like the first day in port, I’m in for a wild ride!

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deja vu

We woke up to a delicious breakfast downstairs at the hotel- CREPES!

Mr. Pedersen, Sam, Marge, Diana and I went for a walk in the morning… the weather here is just so perfect! I think Lisbon is the best possible last port for our voyage. It’s easy to maneuver and it’s just so relaxing!

After lunch at the hotel (which, by the way, Sam ordered a VEGETARIAN club with TURKEY? smooth), Mr. Pedersen arranged for a guide to take us around in the afternoon. First stop was the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. I had MAJOR deja vu when I walked in. My Mom had mentioned to me that there was a museum in Lisbon that she had to drag me out of when I was younger cause I liked it so much (I was thinking- yeah right!). The second I walked in I remembered everything. Carling and Sean were driving my parents nuts dragging their feet around in the museum and begging to leave. I, on the other hand, was playing “favorite daughter, annoying sister” by sticking with Mom and Dad stopping at each work of art and asking a million questions to prolong the visit. I took a picture of the lobby just to see if Carling and Sean would remember it. Pretty sure it ended it tears when my sisters made fun of me for being interested in the museum.

Anyways, the museum really is as incredible as I joked it was when I was little. It showcases some 6,000 pieces collected by only one man. It is considered one of the word’s finest private art collections. Covering various periods of art, from classical to oriental to early twentieth century, the museum also has a collection of jewelry by Rene Latique. Don’t mind it i do- I would have gladly worn any and all of it! We also got to see what is considered the number one pastel in the world. When I learned it was pastel- I was so amazed! It honestly looked like a photograph. Another fun thing that I learned was that back in the day, people who considered themselves to be big deal would have the artists add portraits of them into the classic nativity scene. So in one piece- it’s literally Mary, Joseph, Jesus and Gulbenkian chilling in the manger.

Next stop was the Oceanarium. Right next to it is Europe’s longest bridge! My favorites were the sharks, stingrays, light up fish, and SEA OTTERS!! The set up of the aquarium was really cool.You feel like you are looking at a ton of separate tanks but it is actually just one huge tank! On the way home we passed the Belem tower and Monument to the Discoveries. Carla (the guide) suggested we make reservations for dinner at Darwins- right on the water overlooking the two!

Dinner was DELICIOUS- the service was slow at first (can’t blame Ramadan this time) but no joke- this was the best steak I think I have ever had. It came with a port wine sauce- which I’m pretty sure is what made the meal. Gotta find a way to make that at home! Sam and I got lost on the cab ride home- but when we finally made it back, Mr. Pedersen, Marge, and Diana were waiting for us with a ton of desserts. The dark chocolate and ginger cinnamon icecreams did it for me!

The best part about nightlife in Europe is that it starts late, meaning that we could do all of that and still have plenty of time to go out! We met up with our friends in the same area that the pub crawl was in the night before. The district reminded me of Bourbon Street. Everyone was out and about, there were decorations hung from balcony to balcony and music was blaring- my kind of scene! Josey, Sam and I bought matching floral sunglasses. I ended the night at Ellen’s hotel with everybody. We got word that someone was kicked off of the ship because he was caught with drugs. I didn’t know the guy but we also heard through the grapevine that he turned in a bunch of other people… So, the first day back on the boat should be interesting!

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LisbON all fours
beautifully sunny but with a slight chilly wind (a GREAT change from Marrakech)

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Search All You Want!

Another day at sea! I seriously cannot believe we are en route to our last port! This trip has flown by- And I’m sure these last days will go by in the blink of an eye. Nooooooo!!

Classes are starting to finish up- with a ton of final papers and projects due. I spent yesterday trying to get some things out of the way so the trip home I can spend more time with my friends and less time overwhelmed with school work. I have big papers in Global Studies and Mediterranean Performance and a few shorter papers for American Studies.

Probably the highlight of yesterday was getting our room searched- definitely had to do with the vodka incident. They claim it’s random- yeah right! I’m sure I’ll probably be the next one drug tested too. Anyways, five security people with white gloves on came into our cabin and searched it for maybe five minutes or so while Sam and I waited outside- they found nothing (well there was nothing to find) but for some reason it did make me a little nervous! Cabin life has been a little different without Julius :((( our new cabin steward is Jesse- he seems pretty cool, but we miss our main man!

Jake and Mark came over during the pre-port last night and they finally got to witness Sam doing Beyonce’s World Tour… It really is a sight. Other than that I just exchanged my pictures with Susanne and got Marcela’s pictures from camel trekking! I can’t wait to make a scrapbook/upload them to Facebook!

For our first day in Portugal we have our final field lab- for American Studies! Sam and I love our Professor- Ms. Brickhouse. She is so relaxed and has planned a city orientation for us. It’ll be nice to get the layout of the city and see all of the main tourist attractions with a guide!

I’ve traveled to Lisbon, Portugal before with my family… But I don’t remember it too much (other than this great hotel we stayed in- they had great candy)! I’m excited to see it again and explore! And even better, Sammy’s Dad and sister, Margaret, will be there!

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on my honor!

Our last night in the riad was SOOO much fun, but it made waking up for our early train tough! We packed up our things and headed to the train station. My seat was in a different compartment than the group I was with- but it ended up being fine! When I first walked in it was just this Muslim woman who spoke no English and her baby daughter (who was ADORABLE!) The baby’s name was Rehaub and she kept me entertained the entire ride. She had a baby doll that we played with and she loved turning the pages of the book i was reading- so simple, but she was mesmerized! As the train moved on the compartment slowly filled up. The next to enter was a younger Muslim woman- maybe only five years older than me- but I did notice she was married. She also didn’t speak any English. We communicated with hand signals, body language, and smiles. She was so friendly! She ended up giving me some of this sweet bread she had- from her gestures I was able to makeout that since it was Ramadan she couldn’t eat it so she wanted me to have it- SO NICE- and I was starving because we left before breakfast at the riad and nothing was open before the train left! Both of the woman had intricate henna tattoos on their hands and feet- inspiration for what to do later on in the day!

We arrived back in Casablanca and headed straight to the Souks to get henna tattoos! I got a flowery design on my left hand and a fun one on my foot- a pair of scissors and a dotted line on my webbed toes! (My RD, Joselyn, has webbed toes too- and this as an actual tattoo!) Sam got this cool paisley design and Ellen got a sun! Susanne got the words “Let’s have a Kiki” in arabic!

For lunch we headed to the famous, Rick’s Cafe, a restaurant inspired by the cafe in the movie, Casablanca (can’t wait to watch it again next week in Drama!) The food was American- a nice change of pace to what we have been used to- and DELICIOUS obviously! The service was extremely slow- but i’m going to blame Ramadan- no food = no energy = slow service! The entire cafe was packed with Semester at Sea kids. I honestly recognized everyone there!

In Morocco, you are not allowed to leave the country with any Dirham (Moroccan currency). Also, changing the money to another form of currency is a pain in the butt, so we made sure to not take out too much. With some money leftover after lunch, Ellen, Susanne and I headed back to the Souks to spend our final money on souvenirs. Sam went back to the ship and offered to take my overnight bag with her so I didn’t have to carry it around all day. The second she left I COMPLETELY forgot to tell her I had a bottle of alcohol on top of my bag leftover from the riad. Of course, security stopped her at the gangway.

Once I got back to the ship I immediately went and talked to my RD, Joselyn, just to ask what I should do since it was my bag and not Sam’s. She was actually on duty at the gangway when it happened and said we wouldn’t be in trouble at all since it was literally right on top of my bag making it pretty obvious it was just a mistake and not an attempt to sneak liquor on the ship. (well that- or we are just bad at hiding things- jokes) phewf!

Yet again, they told us to secure our belongings as we pulled out of the port in Casablanca- since it is apparently always choppy. Sam and I escaped our room (the bow of the boat is always the most rocky) and headed up to the top deck aft for the rest of the night before going to bed. Sam, Evan and I all passed out watching a movie in our room. I woke up in the middle of the night and all of the lights were still on!

We lost an hour of sleep last night- I cannot believe we are en route to our LAST PORT, Lisbon, Portugal!

I DON’T want this trip to end- EVER!!!!! It just reminds me how much I love traveling and experiencing new things. I gotta find some way to turn this into a career