Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Young Girl and the Sea

I will commence the writing of the first entry of this blog with an advisory:
First, i should address the fact that I am generally neglectful when given tasks such as this "blogging," and will apologize now for my future remissness.
Second, my peculiar position-- seaborne and more or less internet-less-- may lead to the potential abandonment of this blog altogether, but I will do everything in my power, given I have the power, to maintain a steady flow of correspondence with my readers (are there any?) through this blog, hand-written letters/postcards, or a flare gun.

And now for the purpose of this blog.

I'mma goin abroad! The program's called Semester at Sea, which is exactly what it sounds like, a semester (that's four months for those of you who have been out of college a while, or never got there) at sea (the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian, to be exact). And because the world is not so advanced that a ship can have its own private address- for shame!- though I, in my room or skipping around the cafeteria, will be mostly stationary, I will not have a permanent address for the next four months given the migrant nature of ships and the sea.

Though I like to consider myself a kind of modern nomad, it is not until now that I will actually have to desert-- somewhat against my will and far beyond my comfort level-- all intimate connections with people at "home," wherever that may be, a stable address, and - oh my!- the right to hang out with my internet twenty-four hours a day, if that is what I, as a free person, want to do.

[Sidenote: I do not understand why the people of Semester at Sea have alotted us, the passengers, only two hours of internet for the next four months, as it is 2008 and internet should be accessible (and free) everywhere, and we can also not forget the overwhelming philanthropy of my grandfather who would send a child on every trip the program offered if only he had enough. (thanks g-pa!)]

Here is the itinerary for the voyage:
8/27- flying from Monterey (at 4am! and if I wake up on time, hopefully I will make it) to the Bahamas
8/29- assuming Hurricane Gustav is behaving, depart for Salvador, Brazil
From hereon, I will list only the place and dates during which I will be in each country-
9/7- 9/11- Salvador, Brazil
9/19-9/23- Walvis Bay, Namibia
9/26-10/2- Cape Town, South Africa
10/14-10/18- Chennai, India
10/22-10/26- Penang, Malaysia
10/30-11/4- Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
116-11/11- Hong Kong/Shanghai, China
11/14-11/18- Kobe/Yokohama, Japan
11/27- Honolulu, Hawaii
10/7-10/9- Puntarenas, Costa Rica
10/14- Florida
10/15- Monterey

For now, it is terribly late and I am stifled by the thought that I won't wake up in time for my flight tomorrow and all of this will have been in vain. And so, I will leave you with this, you lucky readers: a website provided by the program complete with addresses and postmark-by-this-date dates, so no one can use ignorance as an excuse for not writing me.

Here it is:

And lastly, goodbye to everyone. I've got to get this packing thing done to go to the Bahamas and commence the globetrotting, not to return until Christmas, and then, only for presents.

But I will still be here, hidden between these electronic words, so please stay tuned for updates. I promise you there will be something, eventually.