Tuesday, April 21, 2009


My home away from home! The MV Explorer has definitely become a place I can call home. I am going to be soo sad when it’s time to leave in 2 and half weeks because I’m soo used to it now. Life on board has been busy busy busy! More busy than I could have imagined, I thought I was going to have all this free-time and that my classes would be a breeze to get through, but no! Whole different story! Probably because I am involved with soo many clubs on board I’m always in a meeting or have somewhere to go. It’s been fun though!

I’m apart of four clubs/organizations which are the Students of Color group, Asian-Pacific Islander American group, LGBTQA, and the Ambassadors Ball. So I am always doing something or got to be some where on the ship. My main club that I am into the most is the Students of Color group, I took on the position of being the Student Coordinator and this group actually meets the most out of the entire shipboard community I think. We are like a family and I am soo glad we have this group here because I seriously needed some space to reflect and find support. So I help a lot with the event planning and coordinating of the meetings, send out emails and remind people when we are meeting. It’s nice to have conversations around identity and how we are affected by the things we experience in port. I am definitely proud of myself for getting involved in all these organizations because at home I would never have done it. I definitely want to get more involved back home now though since I have had such a positive experience from it here on the ship.

So I am usually super tired everyday basically, that’s why I was slacking on my blogs after India lol! It just got really difficult to keep up with everything because we only had 2 days at sea in-between each port traveling through Asia so it was soo hard! To just process everything we saw and to keep up with classes. It was a lot! It’s like school, vacation, school, vacation, but no time to recover from the last pot because your going to be in China the next day, it was like that. I like having at least 4 days in-between, it helps. So if you were wondering why I stopped posting for a while that’s why! I’ve been a busy girl here!

Another interesting thing is that we don’t have weekends on the ship, we have class everyday at sea basically, “A” and “B” days. So I never even know what day it is of the week really, none of us do lol. The time is constantly changing too! If you thought day-light savings was a hassle imagine losing an hour each day for 6 days. It gets a little hectic around here at times because everyone is super tired!!! Our meals on board are at scheduled times for 2 hour periods for each meal, so if you miss it you will probably be hungry… They have a pool bar on the top deck with snacks and a grill open at certain times, but it all adds up onto our shipboard account so I try not to spend too much there. It happens though, because I get hungry! A lot of people ask me how is the food, I mean they are making food 3 times a day for us for over 700 people so it’s not always the best food, but it’s food. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it isn’t, but after visiting these countries you come to realize that at least we have food. So I don’t complain about it, because at least I have something everyday you know.

Classes are not too bad, just one that everybody has to take called Global Studies is the one we all don’t like. Everyday at 9:20 am we are supposed to be in the Union which is a big room that fits like 400 students or we can go in the satellite classrooms since they video tape it they just stream it in there… I have to go to the union otherwise I won’t pay attention. My other classes are alright, some of my professors are chill about things and will let us turn things in late and some are more strict. Just depends on who you have. The thing that kinda sucks though is that if you miss a class you will definitely see your professor later that day at lunch or dinner or just around the ship and they stop and ask where you were haha. I usually only miss class if I’m sick, but yeah… It’s very informal, we call our professors by their first name, and we come to class in PJ’s and sweats most of the time. It doesn’t feel like real school sometimes, but we do have assignments, essays, and tests. Just a different structure to try and accommodate our situation. It gets really rocky at times and it’s funny to see everyone swaying back and forth with the motion of the ship, people lose balance if they are standing sometimes, but it’s not weird to see anymore. I’m used to the movement of it now. I’m going to miss it when I go home actually!

They also plan out different activities on the ship for us. They have movie nights sometimes or like open-mic night. There’s definitely always something to do. I never get bored here! They have pub night on the 7th deck sometimes where you can drink, but there’s no music and it’s just beer and wine, not a fan. It’s limited to like 2 drinks I think too, 2 at dinner and 2 up there… Not sure because I never got a drinking card… Pub-night is definitely not my scene though, some people are just obnoxious honestly and I don’t want to associate myself with them. So I usually will just go up to get a snack or talk with the crew then head back down.

The crew is GREAT on the ship!!! They are like family to me! They take care of everything for us on the ship, they are amazing! We are soo spoiled here. I did not know they would be doing that much for us when I got on board, but they really do earn their $! They clean our rooms and bathrooms for us, make our beds, do our laundry, cook, and pick up our dishes during dinner. I try and take my own plate all the time because I don’t feel comfortable having them do everything! I feel bad… They are all really good people though. Mostly Filipino and Jamaican, but a few from other countries too. I definitely will be keeping in touch with some of them. The thing that makes me mad is they have a no “fraternization” policy between crew and passengers which I think is soo dumb!! They are people too you know, but yeah when we run into each other in port we will have a drink or something. It’s cool. I love one particular crew member from South Africa =) she unfortunately left in Japan, but will definitely have to go back in visit!!! I love the crew though, they look like me more than the students do lol… it’s actually kinda sad that the diversity on the ship is very low.

It was quite disappointing when I first got on the ship to see that it was all white people basically. Only 5% non-white students and like no staff! I mean there’s a few, but less than a handful. Something they need to work on, the students of color group has expressed our concern in that area already to the administration and hopefully they will do something about it in the future.

Back to more on what there is to do here, umm, they also have a gym and cardio machines, weights, and a basketball court!! They have a big net around it so the ball doesn’t go overboard. So in the beginning they had soccer and volleyball, now it’s basketball intramurals. I was playing, but hurt my ankle in Japan, so played once hurt the other one, now I’m done! Don’t want to leave on crutches so I decided to sit out. Yeah other than that everyone is either reading, working on assignments, emailing home, or sleeping if not eating. The days sometimes go by really fast. It gets pretty routine sometimes. I’m trying to do it all though, since time is limited I don’t want to miss anything!! I’m never in my room, just to sleep and shower really.

That’s basically what I do on the ship, nothing too special, but I’m telling you I am always tired! I love it though, miss home definitely too. Ahh it’s almost over, super excited to see you all at home don’t get me wrong! But I’m also going to be really sad to leave all this and just knowing I’m not going to see my friends here anymore is sad. We have become a really close group, and I’m lucky to have them. The whole experience has been great, I love it here. I really have grown to call the ship home.

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