October 4th, 2005

I hope you all enjoyed my obscenely lengthy South Africa entry! Just a note about my journal: this is really my only record of my voyage as I don’t have time to keep a paper journal in addition to this one. Therefore, my writing may seem harsh, spontaneous, crude, uncensored, etc. at times. I honestly don’t mean to be judgmental or overly opinionated but I just type as it comes to me. I truly apologize if I have offended anyone in any way. Ok, now on with the journaling!

Mom- “lol” means “laughing out loud”, it’s just a shortened version that we use for some strange reason. Just thought I would put that in here in case anybody else was wondering. It’s part of my typing vocabulary now so I tend to use it often. Sorry!

Chris- SORRY for not calling you!! I didn’t have your number with me at the moment. Sorry sorry sorry.

Leaving South Africa was more emotional than I ever thought it would be. Somehow we all became very attached to the country and its people in a short span of 7 days. Maybe it was because we were there longer or maybe it was the fact that there was no language barrier….I don’t know but this is the first port where I’ve seen tears fall as we were departing. It took me awhile to get acclimated to being out in the ocean again, I put on my wristbands right away in hopes that they would prevent seasickness. It’s funny because I know that the effect of the wristbands is purely psychological on me but it still works even though I know it’s just mind games. I tried to do some work at night but the ship was rocking too much so I just went to sleep.

Our class scheduled was revised a bit so we started yesterday with B Day. Luckily I only have two classes on B Day and I am done by 12pm. After lunch Natalie and I went to Lindsay and Drea’s room to exchange pictures and all that. Somehow we wound up spending the WHOLE day in the room- journaling, organizing pictures, and just talking. It was fun but not academically productive at all! haha After dinner Shane and I went up to the piano bar to actually do some work. We found a nice little nook in the corner (where the classroom usually is) so we sat there and studied. It was a good place because you could see everyone walking by and they could see you but it was too far in to walk over and start talking. haha study tactics on the ship. I actually got A LOT of reading for Global Studies done so it was successful. After study time me, Kyle, Lyn, Jess, Rafi, and Fernanda played Trivial Pursuit. I love playing that game because I like learning all those random facts but it makes me feel so stupid at the same time. I realized that my knowledge of pop culture is pathetic. I guess it’s because we never had cable or were big on entertainment in general. I only knew random things and most of them were about India; where the Rajneeshee cult poisoned people with salmonella (Oregon), what company was responsible for the disaster in Bhopal (Union Carbide), what holiday was protested by the Indian government (Valentine’s Day). Those were all questions from yesterday’s game but none of them directed at me unfortunately.

So that was yesterday. Today is A Day so I had an 8am class…no good. I have Phil. and Film in 30 minutes so I guess I should do my reading. To be continued! Ooh, today was Taco Day!! Everyone’s favorite day…seriously you should have seen the line!

October 5th, 2005

No class today!! I think this is our only day off for a WHILE. It was so nice to sleep in this morning. Last night was fun even though hip hop classes was canceled because it was pub night so there weren’t enough people. We went and watched Napoleon Dynamite in the Union for awhile and then I unsuccessfully tried to do some work. Lindsay, Shane, and I ended up watching a movie on TV instead. We started it in the middle of it and then we waited until it looped so we could watch from the beginning. It was called Nowhere in Africa and I really liked it. It was about a German Jewish family who escaped to Kenya right before WWII started. They worked on a farm there for awhile but were interned by the British (Kenya was still a British colony at the time) because they were “enemy aliens. It was interesting because I didn’t even realize that happened. Anyways, good movie.

Heat Wave -www.moderndayclassics.com – the movie Pete is in, just a note for me to look it up later. I could write it down on a piece of paper but I’ll probably lose it. http://www.rootsofpeace.org just something else i have to look up that Mischa told me about

Anyways, didn’t get much work done today. I finished reading for Global Studies and now I’m just going over my lecture notes. It was GORGEOUS outside today- the weather was perfect, it was sunny and not too windy. We were sitting out there for awhile until I realized that I wasn’t being very productive. BBQ dinner today on Deck 7, it was pretty good. Their Gardenburgers are excellent and they had potato skins today. I met with Chris, David (Global Nomads), and Liz to try and get stuff organized for India. We’re frantically trying to get people…it’s hard because most people have big trips planned already. Today was a run-around kind of day and I don’t even know why. Our phone rings off the hook and half the time the calls aren’t even for us but for people who are usually in our room. It’s funny that our room has become like the hub of excitement…everyone just kind of gravitates to it. It makes me happy. πŸ™‚ It also makes me more motivated to keep my room clean. Shane and Lindsay are in my room right now watching Shark’s Tale and I’m transcribing my global studies notes…good times.

I love my roommate. I think I have just been blessed with great roommates and the streak seems to be continuing. I don’t know if I can deal with Jess next semester though…haha JUST KIDDDDDING.

We watched a documentary in Global Studies today called Left Behind. It was done by this guy who went to Nairobi and volunteered at an AIDS clinic. But he also delved deep into the roots of the HIV/AIDS problem in the slums. Besides being interesting, it was emotionally painful as well. These young kids, most of them born infected have to live with it without the support of parents or even their community. They showed the graveyard full of the coffins of all these children. One of the more educated boys even said that they believed condoms were infected with HIV/ AIDS on purpose so they didn’t use them. Ah I can’t even explain. You should have seen everyones reaction after it was over. We were just sitting there dumb-founded. Some people were crying and some were just sitting there crying on the inside like me. We all walked out of there so quietly and completely lost in our own thoughts. The worst thing is that we have to continue on with our day with this feeling of helplessness. Not only in the fight against AIDS but everything. We learn about all these things on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Part of me wants to be frustrated but another part of me realizes that awareness is the first step in the fight. Maybe this trip will serve as a catalyst for change. We can only hope. It seems futile to write about how amazing it was to sit outside on deck today but I guess it puts things in perspective. That’s how this voyage is going. Learn about atrocities, go sit out on deck and reflect on it, write in your journal and go on with the voyage. As frustrated as I sound in my journal sometimes, I assure you I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. What’s that quote? Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present. I honestly wake up happy every morning. Waking up is still hard to do (especially when you lose an hour every night) but I feel like it’s easier on the ship because I have something to look forward to. Not that there’s nothing to look forward to at home, it’s just different. I definitely miss home but not enough to want to come home.

Christof Putzel is the guy who did the documentary.

So, here’s the new ship gossip. Some people got sent home from South Africa for a variety of things; testing positive for drugs, alcohol infractions, pregnancy. I’m not sure what the whole story is so I don’t want to say anymore. Ok I really have to stop getting distracted and write my film paper.

Quite an unproductive day after all. I went up to Deck 7 and ended up talking to David (GN) instead of doing work. We met for Vicarious Voyage and it was dinner time before we knew it. After dinner we met for a Global Nomads blogging picture (www.gng.org and just look for a group picture and click somewhere near there) and I tried to do some work before Encore. Encore tonight was actually pretty interesting. We went to the Myanmar session and Dean Tymitz and Prof. Easemen basically had a question and answer session about whatever we wanted to know. I’m so excited to go to Myanmar. I’ve always been curious about Burma ever since I read The Glass Palace (good book, read it). What’s even more exciting is that we are the first SAS voyage to go there! Dean Tymitz kept emphasizing that we are on an educational trip and that is our purpose for visiting Burma. We are there to learn all we can about the country and take back what we wish.

” Wherever you go, you will receive impressions of the places you see and the people you meet. Do not forget that those people will receive impressions of you.” – Broughton Waddy and Ralph Townley- quote from today’s Dean’s memo

October 8th, 2005

Yesterday was crazy. It was A Day so I had an 8am…ugh. I woke up in time though and actually got through Global Studies without nodding off. Global Studies was pretty interesting today because we had a couple different speakers so it was easier to pay attention. We learned a little bit about Mauritius from Prof. Sernau so that was good. Ok so here’s where the real fun starts. A few days ago I sat and read through all the Global Issues and Port to Port (our two texts for the class) articles and took notes on my laptop. The next day I transcribed all of my lecture notes on to the same document because I learn by repetition and merely reading over my notes doesn’t do me any good. I have to actively do something with them, whether it be to simply type them up like I did or re-write them. I know it’s strange but that’s honestly how I learn. Anyways, so I typed up ALL of my lecture notes from every Global Studies lecture from Brazil to yesterday and put them in the same document with my article notes. It was a 14 page document single spaced and I was going to print it out to study from so I put it on the public folder UNDER MY NAME and went up to the computer lab to print it (don’t worry I printed it double-sided so it was only 7 pages). I didn’t even think twice about putting it on the public folder because 1) it was in a folder called Aparna and 2) I just put it up there so i could print it out. People put up their documents all the time so they an print them from the lab. Ok so I go to Film class (which, keep in mind is from 3:45pm to 7:00pm) and Kyle and Daniel both come in and say something about my notes. Daniel even showed me a piece of paper that some girl had given him with the location of the document (public folder–> student work files –> Aparna). It was really weird but class was staring so I didn’t even have time to think about it. I guess I should have taken it more seriously because when we got out of class at 7:00pm my notes were ALL OVER the ship. No joke. I bet about 300 + people (Jess thinks more than that because a LOT of people had it on their computers instead of on paper) had them at that time. The computer lab RAN OUT OF PAPER because of me. The worst part is that it was 95% my fault for naively leaving it up on the public folder. In my defense, however, it was under my name and they were obviously MY notes that nobody had a right to print out and use for their benefit. People honestly think that I put them up their for everyone to use and were thanking me. I didn’t even know how to respond. I was so upset though. I went to the lab to take it off the public folder but I couldn’t because it would only open a Read-Only copy because even if one person had it open on their computer I wouldn’t be able to delete it. The public folders are accessible from all over the ship. Also, people had copied the document on to their own computers, some of the computers in the lab, and even other folders on the intranet. It was all so ridiculous. Then the rumors started. Multiple people came up to me and told me that Prof. Murphy was furious. I started feeling even worse and went on a frantic search for him to talk to him before review session. I couldn’t find him so I was incredibly stressed out and worried that I had done something wrong. It didn’t help that everywhere I went people were giving me looks, thanking me for my notes, etc. Someone even came up to me and asked me if I could clarify something for them. Ridiculous. I can’t even think of a better word. I can’t believe it blew up like it did. The way news travels on this ship is incredible. I was honestly running around trying to find him but I found Dean Bev instead and told her what happened. She told me that I had no reason to feel bad and the only people who should feel guilty are the ones who printed it out. That kind of put my mind at ease but not really. Jed, Shane, and I finally went to the 6th floor dining room and sat in a little corner away from all the people. They were like my bodyguards last night! haha I know as I am explaining this it seems petty and stupid but it was honestly a big deal on the ship last night. We went to Review Session early so I could catch Prof. Murphy before it started. The room started filling up and he wasn’t there yet. I didn’t want to talk to him in front of everyone but that’s what I ended up doing because he came in late. I went up there to talk to him and apparently he had NO IDEA. Rumors rumors rumors. He seemed kind of confused when I told him and he asked me how widespread they were dispersed. I didn’t know at the moment but a second later someone shouted my name and the whole Union did the wave. Don’t make me say ridiculous again. Aaahhh. Well at least I wasn’t in trouble. I don’t see how I could have been. Serves me right for being too trusting. The rest of the night was just a mess. I was too stressed out to study. You know what else? My notes aren’t even that good. It’s just becaues they were typed up and looked nice that people got excited. My lecture notes were actually pretty pathetic. I truly feel like I did the whole Global Studies class a disservice because my guess is the majority of the people who printed them out were the ones who never came to class and didn’t have plans to study in the first place. I still feel terrible about it. I definitely learned my lesson though. I know I didn’t do too well on the exam today because yesterday was so stressful and concentrating on studying was IMPOSSIBLE. It ended up hurting me the most. Ugh. What a bad situation. Pete and Jess wanted to do a story on it for SeaTV and interview me so I could explain to people that I didn’t mean to put those up there. I kind of wanted to end it last night though and not let it go any further. Apparently people were still talking about it today. Mandy told me at lunch that she even heard people complaining about my notes. She said she set them straight though. Someone even told me yesterday that I should charge people for using them!

Possible results of this fiasco:
1) People think I’m a big nerd.
2) People think I’m stupid because I didn’t proofread my notes before I put them up and some of the shorthand only makes sense to me.
3) I will make a lot of new friends. Random people came up to me last night and said they would buy me drinks at the next pub night. I hope by drinks they mean a smoothie…haha.
4) The average score on this exam will be higher than the first exam. This could be for various reasons and it’s definitely a stretch. My notes were honestly not that great.

To be continued…study time before a BUSY night.
Meet with Global Nomads, Spectrum mtg, Bering Sea dinner, Feminsts @ Sea mtg, Pre-port, Bering Sea Olympic meeting, salsa lessons
HAHAH that sounds like one of my away messages back at school.

Great day today. Global Studies exam went well- I got a 90%. Better than my 88% from last time :-). Anthro. of Food today was interesting because Prof. Michalak explained and demonstrated wine tasting to us. When he went to spit out the wine into a cup he ended up getting it all over his shirt! After that, I just laid outside with Lyn and Shane because it was gorgeous. A little too hot though and for some reason it wasn’t windy at all! After lunch I did a little bit of work and a lot of cleaning. I wanted to clean up my room before port because in port we tend to just throw things around. Bering Sea dinner today was fun- met new people in my sea so that was good. After dinner we stood outside and watched the sunset in hopes of seeing the “green flash” (I’ll explain some other time). No luck. Tried to study before pre-port but failed miserable. I went to the Feminists @ Sea meeting instead because Jess was telling me about it today in class. They are trying to plan this event called “Take Back the Night” which is kind of a march, speak-out, informational event for victims and allies of domestic and/or sexual abuse. I really want to help out with it because I think it will be great to have something like that on the ship. We talked about a lot more than that but I’m too tired right now to type. Pre-port was OK, I was so exhausted so I started dozing off. oops. After pre-port we had our Bering Sea meeting to sign up for Olympic Events. The Sea Olympics is a competition between the different seas on the boat and the winner gets to disembark the ship FIRST in San Diego. That is an amazing prize- well for us at least. πŸ™‚ There was some slacking in the event sign-up so Grover (one of our sea reps and my across the hall neighbor) made me sign up for more. As of now I am doing Musical Chairs, Academy Bee, and Women’s 2 on 2 Basketball. The only thing I might be good at is Musical Chairs. Even with that I don’t think I’m aggressive enough. Aah! It’ll be fun though I guess. Caitlin and I are going to get coached by the boys for basketball and I don’t even know what I’m going to do for the Academy Bee. It’s actually Glenn’s fault that I’m signed up for that. He yelled out in the middle of the meeting “Who thinks Aparna should sign up? C’mon guys don’t pretend like you didn’t benefit from her notes yesterday.” Great. haha Anyways, after the meeting I went to salsa lessons. I love it. Too bad I have really bad balance- not just on this ship but in general. Oh well, all in good fun. πŸ™‚ After salsa I just cleaned some more, talked to Shane for a looooong time and now I’m going to post this and go to sleep. I would wait to post this but I don’t want to put it with my Mauritius journal because then it will really be too long.

Love to all. I will definitely try and call from Mauritius…I hope it’s cheaper than calling from South Africa!


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