Monday, November 22, 2010

Shanghai, China 11/13/10-11/16/10

Today, we got up at 7:45, got ready, headed to a coffee shop and had breakfast and of course use the wifi. I am like a little wifi freak. I love finding free wifi places and I love using them! We decided to not go to touristy areas and go down streets that looked like everyday Chinese life. This was the best decision! We saw clothes just hanging outside of people’s homes. The people’s underwear and bras were just out in the streets for everyone to see. Sometimes there were clothes on signal lights with no houses around. I guess they must not have had a place to put their laundry. LOL We tried to go to a museum and we followed the signs but it was not a museum like we thought it was going to be. We went to a market and spent some time in there. We also found this cute little girly store on one of the side streets. We were having so much fun going through all of the Chinese toys and trying to see what they were. We walked around Bund Street and were asked repeatedly if we wanted purses, watches and UGGs. We kept telling them no because we already had all of our stuff and we did not need anymore. Today was a relaxing day, we just enjoyed taking in what Shanghai had to offer. We also did some people watching.

Just an interesting thing I noticed. On their motorcycles there are built in gloves that are already gripped around the handles and you jut slip your hands in them and go. I thought it was really cool and I really liked them a lot!

Also, all of the Chinese people just spit everywhere and blow their nose in public. Not in a tissue, just plug one side of the nose and blow and then do the next one. It is so disgusting. Also, you can pee anywhere you would like. I saw three taxi drivers peeing on the freeway in a row. There were always men just peeing anywhere. I would round the corner and a guy was peeing. SO GROSS!!!!! I am glad it is not like that in America. China did smell bad in some of the places, but I think it is from all of the people using outside as a public restroom.

I have also discovered that Americans are the only people that worry about their teeth.

In some of the other countries, when I would cross the street, they would move around me, but in China that is not the case. They continue moving forward and in the same direction they were going and will not veer off their path. So you better watch out or you will be hit!

Traffic was not chaotic here at all. This was very nice. I never felt unsafe and I always felt like they did not mind that I was visiting their country. Unlike some of the other countries, I felt like they did not want us there.

Overall I liked China a lot and wish I would have had more time in all three of the places. It was not enough time at all.  I felt like that for all of the countries except Morocco.

The Bund: This famous waterfront has been Shanghai’s center since the mid 1800’s. It offers a taste of the past with the colonial structures along the promenade and a view of the future across the river in Pudong.

After I got back on the ship for good, I took my laptop upstairs on deck seven and wrote my blog while I was enjoying the glimmering skyscrapers. It was so peaceful, I loved it! I got blisters from last night and they are huge and are on both of my arches and the backs of my heels. They are from my black leather boots I bought and it did not help that I walked around all day. I kept limping around the city! I looked like a fool, but I was in pain. I still cannot walk normally and they are getting bigger, they are going to hurt so bad when they pop! Urgh! I hope they are better when we arrive in Japan in two days! We are in Japan for 5 days and then have 10 days at sea and then we are in Hawaii for four days and have 6 days at sea and on the 7th day we arrive in San Diego!!!! The trip has definitely gone fast at some parts, and slow on others. I am sad we only have one more country and in a week we will be done, but at the same time I am so beyond happy to get home. This is a very long time for me to be away from home. Tomorrow I am getting my roots done for the first time since August! I am so excited! I have almost two inch roots! I have never had that, ever! The next two days are just class days; I will be working on homework and catching up on reading. I keep getting side tracked with my other books and need to be reading my school books. Whoops! Well, I will be writing a blog in a week for Japan!

Hong Kong and Beijing, China 11/11/10-11/13/10

We arrived in Hong Kong on the 11th and I was flying to Bejing on the 12th.  We left the ship at 10:30am for our 2:20pm flight. Natasha and I were excited because we were going to Bejing for many reasons, but mainly to sleep on the Great Wall of China. When I originally decided to do this it never crossed my mind that it would e freezing in November. I took several layers of clothing along with anything and everything I had that might keep me warm.
Once at the airport Natasha and I finished writing some postcards, grabbed lunch and took advantage of the Wifi. I called my parents and Daphne. While we were immersed in our conversations and the writing of our postcards, I heard a crash and Natasha was on the floor. Her chair had broke; I have not laughed that hard in years! Then once we were on the plane, our flight attendant sat in front of us and she kept falling asleep, her head kept bobbing from side to side.  This was the second funniest thing of the day! LOL During our 3 hour flight we were served an unidentifiable meal, so needless to say we did not eat it. Utilizing the small amount of down time I have I read a bit and caught up in my journal.
Before I knew it we had landed at the world’s 2nd busiest airport. This airport was huge. I wish I had been able to spend a few hours exploring it.  The tour I was about to embark upon was hosted by The China Guide, it is an independent tour company, and there were over 250 SAS students signed up. Since we all signed up via the internet, the first thing they wanted us to do was sign our sales slips. So far it seemed a little disorganized.
As I opened the door to head outside to the bus, I stopped in shock. The coldest breeze I had ever felt just blasted me in the face. It was only 6:30pm and I was camping in this weather all night the following night. I had 24 hours to think about how cold I was going to be. LOL We arrived at our hotel for the night, The Red Wall; it looked a bit sketchy from the exterior but improved a little once we were inside.  The China Guides disorganization showed again with the amount of time it took to get our room key. Unfortunately many of the SAS students did not care since they were already drunk! One guy dropped a huge bottle of Vodka on the floor; luckily it just spilled and did not break. People were screaming party foul and cheering; girls were sliding through the spilt alcohol and hugging the guy. We grabbed our key and ran to our room so we could hide from the embarrassment. Our room was okay, not the nicest and the beds were really hard. I brought my lap top and there was a connection in our room so I was able to Skype with my Nanny and Auntie and talked on the phone with my mom and dad real quick.
I awoke feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Heading downstairs I was excited for what the day had in store. That came to a quick end when one of the students yelled over to a tour guide “when are we going to f***?” I could not believe this, where were these kids raised? I looked to the left and he was dry humping the guide, with his pants around his knees. My face turned red from embarrassment. My mouth dropped to the floor and I noticed a table of Semester at Sea students were not paying attention to the guy, but they were watching my reaction. I was just so shocked with this behavior and could not fathom the fact that he was 22 years old.
All of the groups had around thirty students and my group got eighteen, I was so excited. Smaller groups are so much easier in busy places. Our first stop The Forbidden City, this was the Chinese’s Imperial Palace for many years and is located in the center of Beijing. It was huge and very interesting.  We walked underground and back up and ended up in Tiananmen Square. This was the gate to the Forbidden City and was the world’s largest city square. Many important events have taken place here, one in 1989 when soldiers killed 400-800 protestors right where I was standing. Today it is still the world’s largest city square and has huge TV’s, it was quite amazing. After that we headed for lunch. Lunch was at a very nice restaurant and all of the tables had lazy susan’s on them. The servers kept bringing out different assortments of Chinese food. I liked the Kung Pao Chicken, but not the red hot peppers!  We did not get steamed rice we only got fried rice. I did not like anything else that was served and I do not know what any of the dishes were called. After lunch we went to the Silk Market. The Silk Market is really well known and is visited by a lot of tourist. I was in heaven in there and wished I was rich. There was so many knock off designer brand clothes, shoes, wallets, purses, belts, hats, and anything else you could have imagined. I ran across UGGs and I bought two pairs of them. I also bought a pair of black boots! I was so happy about the UGGs. It will be nice to wear them around the ship and I also needed them to keep my feet warm while I slept on the Great Wall. I bought a North Face Jacket and an Abercrombie jacket. I got the Abercrombie jacket for 17 dollars and it had the price tag on from the store that said 120.00 dollars. I am so confused on where they get this stuff and how they do not get in trouble. I was so excited and had to buy a bag so I could get all of this back to Shanghai on the overnight train. I picked up a coach overnight bag and all of my stuff fit very nicely in it. It was time to leave the silk market and head to the Great Wall. It was about a 2 hour and 45 minute bus ride to the side of the wall we were going to. We had dinner at the restaurant at the base of the wall. The food was not good so I filled up on rice. (I am telling you guys all I eat here is carbs, mainly rice!)  All of us went back to our 8 buses and layered up. It was very interesting try to change in a bus with 30 people in it. When we were done it looked liked we gained a few pounds from all of the extra layers we had put on. We headed to a shed/house and there were just piles and piles of sleeping bags in this shed/house thing. The boss of China Guide gave each of us two sleeping bags, one mat, and one flashlight. These were supposed to be the negative degree weather sleeping bags so I was confused why we needed two. We were having fun hiking up the Great Wall and once we got up the steep stairs and inclines the view was amazing. We laid out our sleeping bags and got in them. We laid watching the shooting stars and enjoying the crystal clear sky. I could see the little dipper and it reminded me of home, because when I am in my spa at home I can see the little dipper perfectly. This really helped comfort me. All of a sudden I got freezing cold! And it only got worse from there. I left my UGGs on to keep my feet warm. The two sleeping bags were not warm at all! I tossed and turned all night trying to get warm, but it was not possible at all. Every time I would wake up, I was so happy to know that I was still alive and breathing. I seriously thought I was going to die that night. I did not think it was possible for a human to survive through weather that cold. When I got up in the morning my gloves had ice on them and all of our water bottles were frozen. I could not walk. When I tried to stand up my feet were like bricks, I could not move them!  I thought after I started to walk around they would get better, but they did not. I also had a headache and my back was killing me from the cold, hard ground. I struggled trying to roll up my sleeping bags and mat because my hands were so cold. I finally got them shoved into the bags and started to make my way down the Great Wall. I finally got to the bottom and threw my sleeping stuff in the pile and continued walking slowly to the bathrooms back at the restaurant. My feet were still numb after all of that walking, I do not understand how that can even be possible. About 50 of us decided to stay in the restaurant and not do the three mile hike. I was sad I was so miserable; I really wanted to go so I could get more pictures. I did not get as many pictures of me on the wall as I would had liked to.
        We went to the site of the 2008 Olympics that were held in Beijing. I was really shocked how small the Swimming Cube was. It looked so cool on TV, but in person it did not look as cool as I had thought it would have been. The Birds Nest was very interesting, but I am sad I did not get to go in either of these buildings. We headed to the train station several hours early. They let us board an hour early since we were such a large group. I had been feeling sick all day and went straight to bed. I had not slept much the night before. The overnight sleeper train was nice. It had four beds in each cabin. In my room there were three girls and one guy. I was glad we were all from Semester at Sea and I did not have a random person in there. One of the attendants woke us up at 6:45 trying to collect trash we were like we do not have trash we are just trying to sleep. Then she came back through saying we needed to get up and get ready because we had to be off in three minutes. We quickly jumped out of bed and grabbed all of our luggage and made it off the train in time. It was almost an hour and a half bus ride to Shanghai. We got to the port where the ship was docked and had to wait for the ship to be cleared. It took about 10 minutes then we waited another hour and a half to finally get on the ship. It took that long because there was over 200 of us trying to get on the ship with so many pieces of luggage per person it was crazy! All of the bags were getting checked pretty thoroughly because of everything that had happened and since we had new crew. I was so beyond exhausted I decided to take a quick nap.

Later that day Emma and I tried to get off the ship but her passport still had not returned from being stamped so we had to wait until that was back. People had been waiting since 9am to get theirs back. People were missing trips because of it. We walked around for a bit and then grabbed dinner. I order a chicken dish and fried rice, the chicken came out fried and I bit into it and there were bones. I was not expecting tiny bones in it. I am not sure I was eating chicken, but I do not want to think about it. I mainly ate the rice and had a few more pieces of it. Then walked around the city some more. People were peeing on the side of the street and other people were brushing their teeth in the street. It was very interesting to watch all of this because in America you would not see this. We found Bund Street. It was so pretty at night and there was a lot going on. We found a Starbucks and had a coffee and used there wifi to call our families. Everything started to close because it was late. We decided it was best to start heading back to the ship. We took our time heading back and looking at the beautiful view. The skyline was gorgeous.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11/10/2010 SHIP DAY

I cannot believe it is already November 10th, the time has passed by quickly in some regards; however, I am missing home horribly. It has finally stopped storming but the weather is still gloomy and the waves are pretty big. We have been sitting in the Piano Lounge and enjoy watching people try to walk through the hall. If I did not know better I would think everyone was drunk! Today I was buried in homework and attended 3 of my classes. I am still amazed at the amount of homework I am juggling along with enjoying the ports. I have really been pretty stressed.
Tonight they served Chinese food for dinner. It was a nice change and they tried to make it feel authentic with chopsticks; however, the rice was not sticky enough. Emma and I took some pictures with our favorite crew members since tonight is a lot of their last night on the ship. They are heading home to see their families, I am excited for them.
Pre-port for China was tonight, so we headed to the Union an hour early to ensure good seats, because there was a show after. Now I should be cleaning my room and packing for my Great Wall trip, but as you can tell I am procrastinating. I am nervous about sleeping on the great Wall because we have been told it will be around 19 degrees. I did not pack winter clothes, so we will see.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cambodia 11/6/2010

Cambodia 11/5/2010

Forty-six of us met in the Union this morning to get our itineraries and head to Cambodia. After a 40 minute flight we arrived in Phnom Penh. I was so glad our group was split in half; it is much easier to tour busy cities with smaller groups. As soon as we arrived, we were off to the national museum. It was interesting, but it was a lot of the same statues, just different sizes. After the museum we headed to a sunset cruise on the Mekong River.

This was rather interesting; we were able to see the city, with all the lights, from the water.  We made a big circle and then headed back to where we started. We were starving by this time, I had missed breakfast and we had a boxed lunch from the ship which was disgusting and it was 8:00 at night. We still were going to visit the Palm Tree Orphanage before dinner. This day was a bit random to say the least. I feel like Semester at Sea just wanted to fill the rest of this day up so they picked random things to do. The orphanage was by far my favorite thing that day. Right when we showed up all of the kids instantly grabbed our hands and wanted to be right by us. I loved the fact that they were not shy. They started to give us a tour of the place. These girls took us down this dark alley to get to the entrance of where the bedrooms were. We made it up the several flights of stairs and finally made it to their bedroom. It also made me really sad because I have been to tons of orphanages on this trip and all of the kids have had beds. However, this one did not. It broke my heart when the little girls showed us their rooms and there were no beds in them. 

When I asked them were they slept they showed us the tile floor.  It made me so sad; I could not believe they did not even have a mat or a cot. That would not be that expensive. One of the girls in this group could speak English pretty well. She kept trying to teach me words and phrases. She was getting so frustrated with me because I could not say them. I tried to tell her I had many years of Spanish and still cannot pronounce Spanish words. I am still in shock at what one of the Semester at Sea students said. This girl about 21 yells out, “Why are they all clinging on me?” I thought to myself are you kidding me, all they want is love and to hold your hand. They do not get that ever! It just disgusted me and I wish people like that were not here. The hour we had to visit with the kids went quickly. I would have loved to spend the whole afternoon here, instead of doing the museum and the boat ride. I love spending time with the children.
        We ate at Khmer Surin Restaurant. I am not a fan of Vietnamese food by any means, so I knew this was going to be interesting.  The restaurant had a long table set up for all 46 of us. The food was not good at all and once again I stuck to my bowl of steamed rice. Leah and Ashley had me try some of the food, but I still did not like it. Yes, dog was a choice and of course, you cannot come to Vietnam and not try it.  That is all I am saying about that! After dinner we headed to the Sunwasy hotel and checked in and I went straight to bed.


VIETNAM 11/4/2010

Nothing big was planned for today except calling my mom! Emma left for her service project and I headed to the hotel to use the wi-fi, I wanted to talk to my family really bad. Seeing all the parents on the ship was really bothering me. After my fabulous three hour conversation with my mom, Emma arrived and we headed for lunch. 

We made it quick so we had plenty of time to explore the inside market. I loved the market, so many brand names and they had clothing, shoes, perfume, luggage, and purses. 

I wanted everything in there! After my third trip to the ATM and withdrawing 2 million dong, which is only 100 American, Emma put me on restriction. LOL
It was so much fun shopping here other then how they rush you. I would be trying to think and they are throwing stuff in bags.

I get so flustered and then there is Emma. She does not let it bother her at all. She just takes her time. I find it hilarious! They are trying to bag up purses for her and she is like no, actually I don't think I like that one; hold on I am still thinking. The worker is like no this one is nice you have this one; Emma is like no I do not want that one. This goes on for a good 20 minutes, I love it!
That night I decided I did not want to eat off the ship, so I eat on the ship and then just went to the hotel to do some research for my classes. I came back and started to pack my things for Cambodia. I was leaving in the morning and wanted to be

Vietnam 11/3/2010

We sailed up the Mekong Delta at 5am heading for Vietnam. Emma and I were on the open deck watching as land appeared on both sides of the ship. We were so curious about how deep the Mekong Delta was. It seemed like a narrow, shallow waterway and dirt kept washing up in the waves. This was very different then everywhere else we have been. We could see the Mekong Marketplace and people shopping by boat. It was exciting to watch.
For once I was not rushed to get off the ship, I had a SAS trip at 11:00am, so I was able to stay in my lounge chair and enjoy the scenery. I was still in amazement that a ship as large as ours was allowed up the Mekong Delta. The waves the MV Explorer was making were as tall as the shoreline trees.
My emotions were running crazy for some reason. I think it came down to knowing that other student’s parents were meeting them here and mine were not. This was the destination of the parent trip. As I sat in the dining hall, students were running around talking about seeing their parents and it made me miss my parents more then I had so far. I knew it was better this way because I could not imagine saying good-bye to them again.
Today was my tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels and I was not sure what to expect. It was an hour bus ride before we arrived where we were eating lunch. It was nice because I got to see some of Vietnam.

We were eating in these little huts along the water, it was a great experience however, the food was not good! Well, maybe it was good, but it was not what I would eat. We had no idea what we were being served; they just kept bringing plate after plate of food, with small portions on them. One of them I could identify was frog legs. Finally, the steamed rice arrives. I can live for a couple weeks on just rice, right? Oh wait, you do not just eat the rice, there is a soup to pour over the top. The problem was it had fish eyes in it! The next dish was three tiny pieces of pork on a stick, I used my chop sticks to pull a piece off and put it in my mouth. It was so tough I could not chew it up, let alone swallow it. As we headed back to the bus, crowds of people were trying to sell us things, they sounded just like the nail people in the United States.
Once we arrived at the Cu Chi Tunnels went straight into a bunker that was used as a dining hall in the Vietnam War. OMG! I do not think I have ever been that hot in my life! The decade old fans were only circulating the stagnant air we were producing. We were here to watch a movie about the Vietnam War. With as hot as I was I felt like I was in the war! Everything I have watched on the war was from our perspective; this was based on their perspective which made it interesting. As we climbed out of the bunker I could tell there was fresh air but it was still hot air!  The tour guide showed us a trap that they made to kill the Americans. It was a hole in the ground that had bamboo sticks in the hole with the ends pointing up. The ends that were pointing upward had been sharpened. There were over 50 in each of these traps. Then the Vietnamese placed a spinning top on the top of the hole. They put the grass back on top of it. That way when the Americans were walking through the forest they would not see the trap. They would step on the trap and they would fall into the hole, landing on the bamboo sticks. They would suffer to death in this hole.
It was really sad for me to see all of these different traps they created to kill us, but at the same time it was interesting to be viewing the war from their eyes. The original tunnels were so small! They had to widen them so Americans could fit through them. The tunnels were so small and I could barley move in them and these were the widen ones. They lived in these for months at a time.  At the end of the tour we were able to purchase bullets and shoot guns that were used in the war. I chose to shoot the M-16 3 times. Even if I had shot the exact gun in the United States it would have been a completely different experience. There was no instruction, not even protective earplugs or eyewear. Most definitely not like it would be done in America. There were the shells of the bullets flying all around. I was hiding behind a concrete wall because I was scared I was going to be hit by one of them or even loose an eye. Even with my fear, it was really cool to shoot the gun.
That night Emma, Leah, Ashley, Carren and I got dressed up and headed out to the Rex hotel. We heard there was a really good traditional restaurant.

During our meal there was a show with dancers.  After we finished eating, we headed to the night market. I really enjoyed the night market because there were so many knock offs, I was having a great time! I bought 4 pieces of luggage. I cannot wait to get home and use them.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cambodia 11/7/2010

Today there was an optional sunrise tour offered and of course I decided to go. I ran to make the bus at 4:55am. This is where my lack of sleep keeps coming from. LOL   As I settled in for the drive I thought I would check my phone. I had a text that a student had passed away last night on the ship. I showed it to Leah and Ashley and they were in shock. It was one of their friends. Dean Sue made an announcement since some of us already knew.  Unfortunately, the rest of the day was very emotional. I was a little home sick but now I really just wanted to go home. All that I could think about was how his parent’s were doing, how you would call someone and tell them that kind of news. Ever since that day, I have just been really upset and feel really down. This really showed me how short life really is and you should not risk your life over stupid things.

Thursday, November 4, 2010









SINGAPORE 10/31-11/1

Singapore is a first world country so most of the things I saw seemed normal to me. However Singapore laws are crazy strict! If you are bored one day you should really look up their laws. This country was very orderly, unlike all of the other countries, which were complete chaos.
        I really enjoyed this country. It was a nice break from all of the poverty I have been witnessing.  I really used this as a “ME” port. The first day Emma, Leah, Carren and I went shopping at the mall. It was really cool finding a Forever 21 in Singapore. We decided to eat lunch in the food court; I even found chicken & rice. It was okay, but the chicken was cold and there was not much flavor. After lunch we did so more shopping and then went back to the ship to start getting ready for the Singapore flyer.The Singapore flyer was so amazing, it was huge.

Our friend Celeste had bought tickets before we even got on the ship. She ended up not selling them all. None of the capsules were full. We were supposed to have 10 in ours and it was only us four. The table setting was very elegant and the courses were very nice. They looked to pretty to eat. The view was incredible.

Looking at the city from the ferris wheel was breath taking. I really enjoyed getting dressed up with the girls because for the most part we are in sweats or sweating!

        On November 1st we got up early and got a coffee and then headed to Santosa. Our cab driver did not know what we were talking about when we asked him to take us to the Merlion. I thought this was really funny because all cab drivers have to be born in Singapore and be a Singapore Citizen. We made it to Santosa and he asked the gate guard where the Merlion was. She said take your first right and after two round a bout take a left. He took a left and then went to two round a bouts and too another left. Then he asked a guy for directions and he told him to go back to the gate and keep going straight and then make a left after the second round a bout. He started going off I hate Santosa and I hate this part of town and I hate when people give me wrong directions and on and on and on. It was humorous to me because I thought you had to be from Singapore so the cab driver would know how to get around but unfortunately, that still does not help. He was so mad he got the wrong directions when he got the right directions and he just did not follow them. WHOOPS!

We ended up finding the Merlion but it was closed so we started taking pictures around the area and then headed inside this resort to find a breakfast place. We ended up not finding a resort; it was more like a resort world. There were so many stories and hotels and things to do. There was even a Universal Studios. I think it would be really fun to come here for a family vacation. I did not get to see everything that this country had to offer. I feel you would need a good two weeks to see everything. I also was told that in about a year a water park will be open. We found this candy store and started taking pictures with the life size displays outside.
The kid side of us was coming out. The store finally opened, but the candy was so expensive we decided to pass. We headed back to the Merlion. The Merlion was really cool, we watch a video on how the Merlion came about. We got a lucky coin at the entry gate and deposited it in the lion’s mouth. A lucky ticket came out and I had to redeem my prize at the gift shop. We first went to the Merlions head and looked out from there. We could see our ship and much of the country from it. The beaches looked beautiful. This made me wish we could have stayed longer. We had a service visit so we took the tram back. At this point Emma and Carren were not feeling well and then I started not to feel well. We headed back to the ship and were grabbing our service visit tickets when we realized that all the service visits for the rest of the day had been cancelled. We were sad, but also it was nice because we all three were feeling sick. We decided to grab our computers and go to a Starbucks and get some Wifi. I was so happy I was able to talk to my family and send some pictures. Emma got her Bubble Tea that she loved and we grabbed a few things to spend our left over dollars on and then headed back to the ship.

        This port went by extremely fast and we did not have time to do much. I barely had time to get post cards sent out. So I apologize in advanced for the messy post cards.
        Today was a reading day!!!! It was the best reading day ever!!!!!!! I went to bed at 6:30pm last night and woke up at 11:00am. I had to go meet with my professor real quick to let him know what topic I would like to write about for my fetal development class. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went back to my room to take a quick nap and I did not wake up till 4:30pm. Emma and I did not realize how tired we actually were. We needed this day to recoup. We cleaned our room and got things organized. I got up to start working on homework and I got sea sick all of a sudden. I never get sea sick. It was really weird and I still feel a little blahhh..  I took a shower and did some laundry and started to feel better! I am pleased to announce that I have still done all of my laundry by hand and same with Emma! Thanks to my dad for his amazing clothes line that he needs to patten for the SAS store.

        Tonight we had pre-port. We will be in Viet Nam tomorrow.  Emma and I are getting up at 5:15 to watch the sunrise and also see land on both sides of us as we make it up the Mekong River.
        I will be going to the Cu Chi Tunnels and Cambodia. I am excited but do not know what to expect emotionally. I cannot believe it has only been one day and I am almost going to be docked in Vietnam! This trip blows my mind. We also gained an hour last night so I am now 14 hours ahead of the West Coast.
        I just wanted to mention and ask for your prayers. There is a girl, Genna, which used to live a few doors down from me in my hall.  She has the worst strand of malaria and has been in the ICU in India. Her parents are with her, but almost all of her organs have shut down and then started to work again, but her lungs have shut down and she has to wear a mask that just pushes oxygen in her all the time. There is no TV in her room and she is not a fan of India food. When she was leaving the ship she told Dean Sue I will meet you guys in Vietnam. Unfortunately, that is not the case and it looks like she will not be joining us at all. I ask for your prayers for her and her family, they really need them!
        On a better note, I love you guys all and I will be home in less than 6 weeks! =)