"Its a miricale"....Neptune Day!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2009
Trip End May 06, 2009

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Monday, February 9, 2009

Today is Neptune Day (even though we are technically crossing the equator tomorrow) and it has been a great day!   This morning everyone was awoken to crew members bringing in the day.  They had drums, cymbals, and any noisemakers they could find which they used to wake us all up.  The crew was dressed in tinfoil and they went from deck to deck making noise for over an hour.  I got up after their first go round and went to breakfast.  This is rather unusual for me because usually I am sleeping right up till time for global studies.  On many occasions my room steward, Jess, has come in to clean the room and just finds me sleeping.  My roommate Rachel has 8am classes so I am always the last one out.  Today though, Rachel decided to sleep in and I got up.  When I left the room our room steward Jess was outside in the hall and when he saw me he was like "It's a miracle!"  I just laughed because he knows me too well already!  We all gathered on deck seven where the pool and snack bar is to watch and participate in the Neptune Day ceremonies.  The captain painted himself totally green!  The initiation consisted of first getting fish guts and goo poured on your head then moving on to kissing a fish, then kissing King Neptune's ring, followed by jumping in the slim pool, kissing another fish on your way out of the pool area and finally getting your head shaved!  The last part was optional and I decided against it but participated in all the other initiation rituals.  Over fifteen girls shaved their heads though!  They are a lot braver than me!  After taking a shower to get the stink off I headed back to the seventh deck to lay out with Ashley, Steph, and Heather.  I put on a lot of sunscreen and didn't get burned except for on my upper thighs and arm pits and my freckles on my face are starting to come out again.  I went and ran 2.5 miles in the late afternoon at the gym.  I checked the schedule last night and for the first time and I found a spot to sign up for the elliptical.  I really like running on it so much more than the treadmill!  After a second shower of the day I went with Ashley to watch Heather's team play some volleyball.  I'm going to try and get on a team during the next sign ups which are after South Africa.  It was a really good match that went into a tie breaker which Heather's team won.  After the game we had a huge cookout on the seventh deck with hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, and ice cream for dessert.  It was delicious!  I went t an explorer's seminar (evening program held every night at sea) which was being given by Desmond Tutu's personal assistant, Lavina.  She was his personal assistant for twenty four years and is now traveling on this voyage with her husband as a lifelong learner.  Desmond Tutu traveled on one of the 2007 voyages for some time and is a huge supporter of Semester at Sea.  Unfortunately he will not be in Cape Town when we are there but if he was he would come on board as our guest lecturer as he has in the past.  She told us many stories about the archbishop and all the situations and causes that he has been a part of including his close friendship with the Dali Lama.  She said they often joke around like little school boys when they are together.  Her most memorable moment with Tutu was when Nelson Mandela was released from jail.  She said that she was preparing the house that they would be staying in when she heard a knock on the door.  When she opened it she was face to face with Nelson Mandela and his wife!  She got to bring him into his first living place after getting out of jail and she said she was so honored.  Also throughout the night she was answering the phone as many leaders from all over the world were calling to congratulate Mr. Mandela about being released.  After the explorer's seminar I played cards with Liz and some new friends and then ended the night chatting with Ashley.
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