Sunday, October 17, 2010

More at Sea Days.....10/18/10

Three more days until I am in Chennai, India! 
Tonight I will be going to an Explorer Seminar: “Human Sex Trafficking in India.” I will also be trying to get caught up and packed  for my trip to the Taj Mahal. The trip is for 4 days and 3 nights. The first day I am in India I am doing the New Delhi work project. I have the last day free, so I will be able to do whatever  I did not get to do. After India I have a reading day and two days of class then I will be in Singapore. I cannot believe how fast this next month is going to go. We will not have that long of days at sea until we are leaving Yokohama, then it will be 10 LONG days at sea! It is going to be so miserable, I am going to be ready to be home!


On the 13th We decided since midterms were over we wanted to have a yogurt on the seventh deck and then play cards. It was really fun sitting outside and relaxing. We went to pre-port, I was really upset with the presentation they gave us. They flat out told us that this was our “SPRING BREAK”. They told us what bars to go to and what beers to order. They never spoke about what food to try or great places to visit. I am getting very disappointed with Semester at Sea. They promote drinking so much more than I ever thought they would. What professor gets up in front and tells the entire ship board community what the best beer is in Mauritius! Hello....we are in a different country to see the beautiful culture it has to offer, not buy the best beer they serve on the island. This makes me  just a little confused, we took an alcohol class prior to boarding the ship and students have been expelled because of drinking, but they are going to direct us on where to get good alcohol. WOW!!  I am so glad that my friends are not into the whole party thing and I am able to see the cultural aspects of the countries we are visiting. I am able to have an amazing time and have a drink on the beach! There is a balance and spending your time in port drunk is not it.

The next day we arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius at 7am. I did not watch the sunrise, it was already up by the time I made it to deck seven. I expected the view coming into the port to be breathtaking. Unfortunately, it was not like that. Yes, it was pretty, but I thought there was going to be miles and miles of beaches. That was not the case. It just looked like every other port. I was very disappointed. Everyone was telling me this was the prettiest place in the world. I would have to argue with that! I do not want to sound like the beaches were not nice, because they were extremely nice, just not what I thought it was going to be like.

We ate breakfast, then waited for the announcement to say, “The ship has been cleared.” It only took an hour and a half to clear the ship. We were so thankful since we only had the first day to explore and see the island, since the second day, we had an orphanage visit. When we got off the ship, we turned to the left and tons of water taxi were there waiting for us. We had to go down about 6 stairs to get to the dock. The stairs were extremely shaky and two guys were holding on to the stairs so they would not move away from the dock. I walked a few more feet and was in front of the water taxi. These boats were not easy to get on and off of. They were very uneven. After the gentlemen helped me get on the boat, I found a seat. It was so crowded, they had shoved about 15 of us on this tiny boat, we barley could move. This guy began to maneuver his way through the crowd, he was stepped on my back like I was a stepping stone. I had to ask Emma if I had shoe prints on my back. I did not just in case you were wondering. =)  The water was crystal blue, it was beautiful and peaceful. The water taxi took about 10 minutes to get to the center of town. The Island is much more developed then I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to have tons of beaches and 5 star resorts all over the island, and in the middle I thought it would be trees and sand.  I was completely wrong, there were so many cars, people, and buildings everywhere! Traffic was also a huge probable here. It takes a long time to get to your destination because of all of the traffic. The island is small and the population is 1.3 million. I also think the roads are not as well developed as the untied states and that contributes to the traffic problems.
This is a closed currency country so finding an ATM was first on our list. We found an ATM that looked like a reliable one and withdrew money.
A guy had us follow him to the market, it was really unique.
It was inside a building. We all three bought sun hats and these huge beach bags. We all looked so cute; we had our sun hats, beach bags, beach towels, and huge sunglasses. We looked like we should of been filming a movie. Emma and Carren were laughing at me because everything I was wearing was pink! My swimsuit, towel, hat, sunglasses, and bag were all pink! They said I definitely looked like a California girl! Oh how I love my color pink. LOL  We were walking passed a homeless girl and her son sitting on the side of the road in a corner, we felt so bad. We saw a food cart up ahead on the left. We decided not to give her money, instead we bought them food and water. Carren took it to them and Emma and I stayed back. We did not want to overwhelm her or her son. Carren said it looked like she was tearing up when she gave her the bag of food and drinks.
        A taxi driver approached us and asked if we wanted a taxi, at first we said no and then we decided we wanted one. He said he would take us to the beach and on the way there he would show us the Jummah Mosque, other important things in Mauritius, the post office, and then the beach for ten dollars each. We thought that sounded good. He grabbed his taxi and we jumped in.
Jummah Mosque was our first stop, before we stepped inside we told him we did not feel that we were wearing was appropriate to go inside. He insisted that we were fine, and proceeded on leading us in. Everyone inside was starring at us, we felt so uncomfortable. When I asked if I could take a few pictures he said that was fine. The people began to glare at us even more! For some reason, I do not think pictures were aloud and I know for a fact we were not dressed appropriately. We were so glad once we got out of that awkward situation. The taxi driver took us to a few other important places and then he took us to the post office. After we waited about 15 minutes, he was like lets go, we have waited to long! We were the next people to be helped, but we listen to him and jumped back into the taxi. He drove us to the beach area and there was also a post office there, so we got our post cards and post stamps and then we were finally off to the beach. He brought us to the first one, but it was kind of small, and not what we were looking for. So he said he would take us to another beach down the street. This beach was still not as big as we thought, but it was very pretty and the water was light blue.

There were food stands and ice cream stands all around. We decided to eat at this one restaurant that faced towards the ocean. It was a Chinese restaurant. I got chicken and rice! It was so delicious!  We also got alcohol beverages! They were very good as well. After we finished up with our meal, we went down to the beach and laid out. It was so peaceful. We wrote on our post cards, in our journals, and read. I could have fallen asleep, it was that peaceful. Emma and I went swimming in the ocean, then sat on the beach and let the water keep splashing us, it was so nice. We found a cab and asked if he could take us to a resort, but he did not understand what we were saying. We decided to go back down on the beach and watch the sunset. After the sunset we headed back to the waterfront. Emma and Carren love Indian food so they wanted to eat at an Indian restaurant. I have never tried Indian food and I was very nervous! Emma told me what type of chicken I should order. The meal ended up being extremely good. We called our parents and then head back to the ship. We were off to the water taxi but a taxi driver said he would take us to the ship for only 5 US dollars. This was cheaper then the water taxi, so we said sure. Once we were in the car, he told us not to tell anyone, even the other taxi drivers that he gave us a ride for 5 US dollars. We asked him why, and he said because he would get in trouble. He also said that he just really needs the money so he could go to the pharmacy and buy medicine because him and his wife are sick. Emma and I were in the back seat about to cry, it broke our hearts. We decided to give him 20 US dollars. He was so grateful.
        The next day we had the Children's Terre De Paix visit. We went and visited a children's shelter. They are in charge of removing children from abusive families and placing them in foster care, kind of like CPS but they are not government foster care. They have set up this program to teach the children life skills. They have physical education, arts, agriculture, writing, math, and a variety of other life skills. We got the chance to go around to some of these groups and interact with the children, it was a very cool experience. It was much harder to interact with the children here, because they did not speak English. One of the groups taught us how to say a saying. Which means without other people I am not a person. Si Pena ou Pena nou, Si Pena nou Pena ou, Se nou nou se ou,ou ou ou, nou nou nou. I thought it was really cool they were able to teach us.
        Then we went to another building so they could show us what the EU (European Union) donated. EU donated 140,000 dollars to go to the children of ages 0-7 years old. This place looks like it belonged in the United States! It was outstanding!

Words will not even begin to explain it. I will have to post pictures so you can see and understand what I mean by this. It did not fit into the community, it stuck out so much, it was a phenomenal building.
        It was time to head back to the waterfront. We stopped at the mall and bought a few last minute things, had lunch, and went to the grocery store to buy food to stock up. After we were back on the ship, we took a nap, then went upstairs for a BBQ. The food was okay but still not amazing.
        On ship time has passed and over 100 people got dock time for being late and about 250 people boarded the ship drunk. I am in amazement. These Students paid a fortune to be here and they are wasting their time in port drinking! IDK, but it is beginning to get really annoying. Enough rambling on about drunk people!
        In 5 days I will be in Chennai India. I am excited about having a reading day before we arrive in port. Reading days are days when we do not have class. They are catch up days. Most of us use them to catch up on sleep. We lack sleep and are always so tired, however, this reading day is not a normal reading day, it is the Sea Olympics! This is when all of the different halls on the ship compete in different varieties of games. The winners get off the ship first in San Diego. I normally am not competitive, but  this time I definitely will be! I want to be the first one off!!! I am the Baltic sea and we are going to win!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

At Sea 10/13/10

Time at sea has been okay but not the best. The last 5 days I spent a lot of time working on homework, writing papers, and studying for mid terms. The first day back at sea was a reading day. I spent a lot of time catching up on sleep and working on homework assignments. Mid terms went well and I am all caught up on work and most important sleep! I also started a second book and am already finished with it. I only have one other book I bought in South Africa, I did not realize I was going to read through two books so fast!  I normally hate to read. But, I have feel in love with the serious of L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad. Now I have to wait till I get home in December to buy the third book because it does not come out until sometime this month and I will not be in anymore ports that would have an English copy. Hopefully, I can get it in Hawaii and read it on the beach!
After dinner a group of friends and I walked outside to watch the breathtaking sunset. OH MY it was so beautiful!!! The sky was filled with a hot pinkish reddish color from the sun. It was gorgeous. Then we headed up to the 7th deck and right when I stepped up on the last step I looked to the left and I saw land!!!! We were passing Reunion Island, as I type this blog we will be able to see an active volcano.
Tomorrow we will be docking at 8:00am! This is our "Spring Break"!!!! We are all so excited! We cannot wait! We have been looking at pictures and oh my it is gorgeous. If you guys have time you guys should look up some pictures! I am off to finish listening to pre- port, finish my amazing book and then off to bed to get some good rest.  I am sure we will not be sleeping much while we are in Mauritius, since we are only here for two days! :(

10/7 & 10/8

Today is October 7th and I got up at 6:30 had breakfast and headed over to the mall to upload more pictures and try to Skype some people, but nobody answered =(
I felt so loved, NOT JK! I am heading to the orphanage at1:00. I bought some more little toys, clay, markers, paper, and candy for them!

Today is not what I had hoped and expected. Well..... The SAS field program today was HORRIBLE! I do not know what I paid 73 dollars for and why I wasted my second to last day doing this field program! I will be complaining to the field office. I am very disappointed. I am really really mad that I wasted 73 dollars but the fact that I could have went shark diving or went and saw the penguin colony or done a day safari, was a bigger deal to me. I just wanted to interact with the kids. That is all I wanted to do. The orphanage was 45 minutes away. That would not have been a problem if we would have had more time, but the trips hours were from1:30 to 5:45. We spent 30 minutes at the orphanage and that was it. We barley were able to interact with the children.
The Orphanage itself had a great set up. There were these houses and they called them Clusters. There was one worker per cluster. They call her the mom. The moms would each have 9 kids. It was a really cozy feeling. There was a sitting area, a kitchen, and two to three bedrooms. The infant center had over 30 babies in it with only three workers. There were pack n plays all lined up in the bedrooms with babies laying in them. It kind of reminded me of a nursery in the hospital back in the day. Then we headed over to this field were I thought we would play soccer with kids...there were no kids, it was just other SAS students...... it was so stupid. Then we headed for the bikes and all of the bikes were to big for me so I couldn't even ride a bike. The people that did ride the bikes said they did not even go through the township.
I am not going to continue boring you with my horrible day. Tomorrow I have an operation hunger ticket but I decided not to go because I have heard that it was a waste of time and we did not even feed kids. I have decided to go to the green market and hang around town and have a more relaxing day! I will be getting a good nights rest tonight! I need it. I have had a really really busy week. I also need to start working on homework tomorrow. I will probably get on the ship way before on ship time so I can take a nap before I start my homework. I will talk to you guys soon. Sorry to bore you with a disappointing blog!

Today is the last day in Cape Town, South Africa. I am sad to leave this port but not as sad as I was leaving Ghana. I still think Ghana has my heart in a very special way, but the thing is, each of these ports have captured my heart in different ways. I will never be able to say such and such was my favorite country. I am glad I will not be able to say that. So please don't ask me what my favorite country was, because the answer will be all of them!
Emma and I slept in till 8:00. This was not intentional, I originally set my alarm for 7:15, but I kept pushing the snooze button. The funny thing is, the only reason we got out of bed at 8:00 was because we wanted to make breakfast. When I got up, I was itching like crazy all over my body! My legs, stomach, arms, and feet it was crazy. I looked down on my legs and there were bumps everywhere. They kept on appearing while we were eating breakfast. I decided to take some Benadryl and put itching cream on them. I thought it would be smart to go talk to one of the nurses. They said, “they just look like some type of bug bite and to do exactly what I had already done and come back to see them if they get worse or if they are not gone in 48 hours. We threw on sweats and headed up to deck 5 to grab a quick bit to eat.  We grabbed a cab for 60 rand and went to the Green Market and Long Street. The Green Market was cool. It was a lot of the same stuff that all the other markets sell. There was this neckless that is made out of recycled paper. It was really unique. We decided we wanted to walk back to the Waterfront because it was such a gorgeous day. It was not to cold and not to hot and there was this perfect breeze. We went through the craft market again and then got back on the ship. We waited for Emma's computer to charge. We wanted to come to the mall and work on homework and grab our last lunch and coffee in South Africa before we boarded the ship for good. Today’s on ship time is 6:00pm. I have so much homework and studying to do I am going to head back to the ship around 3:30. I also want to buy a book from the book store because I am almost finished with mine. I think I have began to enjoy reading! I love to go through bookstores now! So strange, me liking to read? Weird.
We are going to spend our last few rands at the grocery store to stock up on some snacky foods!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10/6-Homestay South Africa

Well, my home-stay was great. It was located 20 minutes outside of the port! Semester at Sea definitely brought us to a nicer township then we had previously visited. The township was called Tambo. Tambo had some parts of it where the houses were not houses. They were tin walls and no windows. Most of the ownship mamas had the nicer houses. Emmas mama had a flat screen TV in her house! This is a business for them and by allowing people to come into their homes, they have been able to change their lives.
The house I was in was very small, but it was clean. It was a two bedroom house, there were four boys and a mom and dad. The two older boys lived in the back and had their own house. I also had another Semester at Sea student stay with me, her name was Wong, she was from China. We played outside with the kids from the township, there were so many of them. When I walked outside, one of the girls grab the upper part of my arm and squeezed both sides of it. I looked down at my arm and looked at her very weird. She looked up to me and said, “Why are you so fat?” I was dumbfounded. I just starred at her for a few seconds and was trying to come up with something to say. Just as I was about to open my mouth she said, “You like to eat? You like to eat a lot of meat?” I said, “Yes, I like meat and some Americans are fat.” This did not hurt me, I was just  extremely confused because almost all African women are bigger ladies. My Mama cooked me and Wong an amazing dinner! It was my favorite food to begin with, chicken, broccoli, and rice. I was so happy when she sat it in front of me, however, I was shocked how much food was on my plate! People say Americans eat too large of portions! I have never ate that much food in my life, I was forcing myself to finish it because I was told it was rude to not finish it. The food had so much flavor and it made my mouth water just looking at it. She continued pouring us juice, I do not drink juice, milk, or anything other then water. So I was trying to drink as much juice as I could, but it was burning my throat. Thank goodness Wong loved it and drank mine for me too!
I am so glad I said something about one of the guys shirts. I asked him what his shirt was for, he said it was his work shirt. It is called Metro Kids Africa. I was able to learn about this non-profit organization that has an impact on children and communities of Cape Town. Metro Kids Africa encourages the youth toward positive behavior and ultimately, community transformation. I asked how many people they have supporting this non-profit organization. He said they only have about 150 people doing the One by One program and they take care of over 600 kids. The One by One program is a pen pal program that helps you exchange letters with and encourage one child. The money you give each month to participate in the program goes to the running of the sidewalk site(an outdoor children's club) the child attends. He has such a passion for children and helping them out. One of the participants sent money for him to go and buy clothes for the child and he had the bag by the front door ready to bring to the child the next day.
I have asked him if I could come back and stay for a few weeks and he said yes. That they love to have visitors. I also want to talk to Becca, in the field office, and see if I could get it set up so Semester at Sea could go there. Then all of the money that they charge could go to Metro Kids Africa and hopefully then other SAS students will do the One by One program.
I did not sleep well that night and only got a few hours of sleep. Once I got back from the home-stay I showered real quick and then I headed to the red city tour bus with a few friends. We bought a ticket for the red line bus and took that route to Table Mountain. It was cheaper than a taxi plus we got to see the entire city. We were worried that the Table Mountain cars were not working because it was cloudy, but we decided to try anyway. I am so glad we did because, we were able to go up the mountain and see the beautiful view! It was so amazing and gorgeous. We decided to have a slice of cheesecake on the top of the Mountain. To bad it was not that good of cheesecake. However, it was still really cool to say I ate a slice of cheesecake on top of  Table Mountain! We headed back down and went through a market and ended up not buying anything.  A tough task for me!! We had a great dinner at an Italian restaurant and had a drink. By the time we finished our dinner I was so tired, I went back to the ship, took a shower, and went to bed.

Monday, October 4, 2010


6:00am my alarm goes off,  I am extremely tired and thought to myself, I just want to go back to sleep. I was like oh wait I am in SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!! Get your butt out of bed and go build a house for a family. I will continue the rest later......

Today was Habitat for Humanities and I was extremely excited. We were on the bus and on our way, 30 minutes later we are in the middle of a very rich area and a mall. Our bus driver pulls to the left and says its right behind the buildings. We said, there is no way we are in the right spot. He insisted that this was the address. It turned out SAS had given the wrong address to the bus driver.Once we finally arrived we knew we were at the correct place, there was nothing built on the site. It just had piles of cement blocks. In my mind I thought they would just have us hammer a few things here and there and the "professionals" would do all the work. I found out quickly we were the "professionals". So, we put on our yellow hard hats and were handed gloves and sent off to start building this house. They had us bring them three wheelbarrows full of sand and someone else got the hose and someone else opened up the bag of cement and poured it all on top of each other. We were all handed shovels and were told to start mixing. It was so beyond hard. They made it look so easy. My back was on fire within three minutes of mixing it. We needed the cement blocks closer to where we were going to be building the house, so we mad a line of 7 people and one person would stand on the fence so they could reach the pile of cement blocks and hand it to me. Then I would bend my knees and swing the block from the left side of me to the right side of me. We used this swinging method because they said it was less wear on our bodies and back. I could not have imagined doing it the other way because every bone in my body hurts between skydiving and building a house. Haha, it is well worth the pain! As we started to build up the walls I was taking the cement and patching the holes. I also was handed a two liter soda container that had been cut in half with some type of finish in it and was told to paint the windows. After that we decided to all write our names on a piece of paper and we put it in between the cement blocks so my name will always be in that house. It was pretty exciting. I felt kind of important. =) When I returned from painting the windows they had already put two windows in the house. We were told to take the paper from the cement bag and roll them up and stick it in the holes to protect the family from bugs and spiders. I wonder if in America we use paper from a cement bag to do this or do we have some expensive method? I will go with the expensive method. LOL
It was now tea time. The lady, that we were building the house for, made us some bread, jam and tea. I did not have any tea but the bread and jam were delicious. Our break was now over, it was time to continue to build this house. We got 8 layers done with wiring in the house and windows. We continued moving cement blocks and mixing cement. Lunch came quickly, we gave the three works some of our lunch because they were not going to eat. After lunch we were all pretty dead and very sore by now. We continued finishing what we were suppose to get done. Semester at Sea has 4 other groups that are going to finish the house. I have asked the guy to send me a picture when it is all done. I am so excited, we built it from the ground up. It was amazing leaving there with four walls and windows and a door. When I was looking at what we had accomplished, I noticed a huge problem! So I got the site manager and asked if the right side was missing a window? Sure enough I was right! The lounge room did not have a window we messed up! So a different group is going to have to tear down that part of the wall and put the window in! That would have been one dark lounge room if I would not of notice that! Everyone was like great call! Thank goodness you were here.

We headed back to the ship and I jumped in the shower and then headed over to the mall to get internet and buy a few things I have been needing. It was the best feeling ever sitting in the mall!

Today is October 5th and I woke up at 6am, got ready and went up for breakfast. I wanted to head back over to the mall and call Daphne on skype and talk to my aunt and mom. I also wanted to upload more pictures for everyone since I heard everyone was asking my mom about pictures. It is now 9am and I need to head back to the ship and get ready for the aquarium. Emma will be back at 10 from her home stay, I have my home stay tonight! I will be updating you guys as soon as I am able to write a blog. Love you guys!

 The aquarium was extremely cool. I saw tons of different types of animals that are normally not at an aquarium. I did not realize how much I adore penguins! They can swim so fast, I thought they swam really slow! I guess you learn something new everyday. I got all of the stickers I need and postcard for my scrapbook. I am all done with shopping for South Africa. I am about to leave for my home stay! Emma had an amazing time, but I am nervous because she says it is rude not to finish your food. So she told me not to eat to much before I go. I am really nervous because I am an extremely picky eater. I think I can stomach anything but fish!!!!! I cannot do that =/  Wish me luck!  


We have arrived in Capetown, South Africa. Emma and I stumbled up the stairs with our eye half closed because we only got a few hours of sleep. We were headed to the 7th deck to watch us pull into the port. I cannot even begin to explain how gorgeous the view was.

Lions Head and Table Top Mountain were to the right. The sun was rising from behind the mountains. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! I was shocked at what I was witnessing. It looked like we were in San Francisco. It looked like a first world country, but I knew we were really in a third world country. I am still puzzled out how this area is so beyond nice, with Apple,Guess, and MAC stores in the mall. (I'm in heaven...LOL)  Then you drive 20 minutes and you are in the township homes. When I got off the ship and looked around EVERYONE was white. I did not understand if I was in South Africa why did I see so many whites. I did not think this was right since South Africa is only 11% white. Whites rule here. Whites are the superior ones. There are tons of racial conflicts that still are happening here. Whites are still very rude to the Africans. I never imagined that people were still treated like this.

Before we were aloud to get off the ship we had to go to a meeting. This is where the ambassadors come on and talk about the city we are in. The speaker scared the living begezers out of us. We were so scared to even step foot off the ship. He ways saying things like you will get raped. “This may look like a first world country but after you scrap the first layer off you will see this is a third world country”. He had nothing positive to say. He also said, “ I am sure you will be using the ATMs... he giggled and then continued and said you are stupid to. You will get ripped off without a doubt. Do not walk off the ship with any cell phones, cameras, laptops, money, jewelry, or anything. This is a dangerous country and you will become a victim.” I can continue on for hours on what he said. I was thinking to myself why are you saying this, shouldn't you talk positive about your country. Yes, I am extremely careful when I get off the ship and I do not walk around with things I do not need, but it is nothing like he said. Even the Dean was like okay.... that is enough...they are not going to step one foot off the ship if you continue.

The announcement came on overhead and said, “The ship has now been cleared you may get off.”  Emma and I looked at each other and we were like are we sure we want to do this?  hahaha. We headed up to deck five starboard side to get off the ship. We headed straight into the mall which is literally 3 minutes away. We stopped at the bank and got money out. Then we ran into a book store and a coffee shop. We grabbed a coffee and looked at a few books. We were trying to kill time because we were meeting our tour guide at the aquarium to head off to SKYDIVING! It was now 10:20 we thought we should start to find the aquarium.
We found it with no problem and sat on the bench and waited. We decided we should go use a pay phone and call the company and make sure the weather was okay. Sure enough they said the weather is perfect and our driver should be there in about 15 min. We headed back to our bench and sat and waited. We would keep turning to eachother and saying, “I cannot believe we are going to be jumping out of a plane in an hour!” It was so beyond crazy. It really never sunk in until after.
We arrived at the place and I was not even that nervous. They got us all ready and geared up. A guy told us to follow him. He took us out to the runway where our plane had just landed from a previous skydive. They re-checked our gear and opened the door of the plane. OMG! I cannot even tell you how small this plane was inside! Six of us had to fit in there and the pilot. It looked like a 3 person plane max. There was only one seat, and it was for the pilot. My guy crawled in next to the pilot and then he waved to me to get in and pointed in between his legs. He was wanting me to sit there. I thought to myself, are you serious?  I was excepting a small plane, but a small plane with seats! Haha Next thing I knew all seven of us were in this plane and we were taking off. MY heart began to race and I could barley hear anything and my guy was talking into my left ear.

I just kept nodding my head and saying yes yes I had no idea what he was saying. Then I heard him say something like, “ Stand up so I can buckle you to me, then sit on my lap. But do not grab....”and pointed to the pilots seat. I did not know what he meant. First of all there was no room to move, let alone stand. The pilot says, "do you want to drive?” I said, “drive the plane?” He replay, “yes.” Mind you my back was toward the front of the plane. I grabbed the steering wheel with my hand and drove the plane without seeing where I was going. Then he yelled, “take us back home.” I turned the plane instantly and we almost flipped. He was like whooa pull back. All of a sudden I felt my guy give me a shove. He was trying to tell me it was time to stand up. The first thing I did was grab the pilots seat whoops. He ways like “no, grab here.” I looked up and Emma's camera guy was holding on outside of the plane. Waiting for Emma and her guy to get to the doorway. Then seconds later Emma was gone and so was the camera guy. My guy yells out lift up your legs! I thought to myself, I am sitting on this guys lap who is my size and my height, how is he going to scoot us over to the door. But sure enough, after a few scoots, my feet were dangling outside of the plane and my camera guy was hanging on the side of the plane like in movies. I heard someone yell, feet curl under the plane and head back on my shoulder. The guy began to rock forward then backward I thought here we go....... But no he went froward and then backward again. Next thing I knew I was tumbling in the open air. 

My eyes began to water and It never crossed my mind that I was free falling until the parachute opened up and jerked us back up 10 feet. OMG! did that hurt. For one, I was not expecting that and two I thought our parachute was already out. After it came out I was able to view the scenery. We did flips and circled around. He also loosened my gear and loosened my goggles. He was trying to make it more comfortable but the leg straps and stomach strap was extremely tight. I could feel my skin being pushed everywhere and my face was so numb, I could not even feel my nose and eyes running. My guy talked to me the entire time and pointed out Table Top Mountain and Robbins Island and all of the cool spots. We were headed straight toward a building. I was like ohhh nooooo, but then we turned around and started heading toward the sand. I watched Emma land. Then he said pull up your knees don't put them down till we land. Well, as the cheerleader I am, I drove my knees quickly to my chest and bam I fell to the ground. I almost made us flip. It was crazy insane. After I was on the ground it still had not hit me that I just jumped out of a plane.

Emma and I headed back inside the warehouse and sat on the couch. We were waiting for our video to be made. We both watched the video and it finally hit me that I just jumped out of a plane. This experience was amazing and I would definitely do it one more time so I could really enjoy it. Maybe I will do it in Hawaii....

We went and grabbed lunch at the food court in the mall and ate outside. We headed back to the ship so we could hurry up and get ready for church, we had 15 minutes. We threw on some nicer clothes and brushed out our tangled hair. We meet on deck 5 and waited till everyone got there. It took us 30 minutes walking to get to the Hill Song Church. The church was in the Cape Town Convention Center. I was really shocked, I was excepting a gorgeous building. After the service started, they played a video and it was to announce to the church community that they were finally able to raise enough money to sign a rental agreement for 5 years. This church has had service in the movie theaters, schools, parks, you name it, they have probably held a service there. There were also 14 people that got baptized.

We stopped at a very elegant restaurant and had pizza and some pasta. Emma and I decided to order a drink. We felt we deserved it. We had an amazing girls night out and headed back to the ship.

This port is by far, completely different then the other ports, but I still love all the other ports for different reasons.

6:00am my alarm goes off I am extremely tired and thought to myself I just want to go back to sleep. I was like oh wait I am in SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!! Get your butt out of bed and go build a house for a family. I will continue the rest later

Today was habitat for humanities and I was extremely excited. We were on the bus and on our way 30 minutes later we are in the middle of a very rich area and a mall. OUr bus driver pulls to the left and says its right behind the buildings. We said, there is no way we are in the right spot. He said no this is the address. It turned out SAS had given the wrong address to the bus driver.


Seems hard to believe I was in Ghana 7 days ago.

Tonight we had our pre-port meeting, where we get all of our information about the upcoming port. We were warned that this is the second highest rated crime area in the world. I could not believe they would ring 700 college students to a place with such a high crime rate. By the end of the meeting I pretty much narrowed it down to, do not drink! Locals prey on drunk people and rob them. So, I will not be drinking and I will be staying with someone all the time.

On a good note, I hear that the wifi is pretty good!!!

I have several things planned while I am here:

October 3rd:

Arrive in Cape town at 6:00am
Get off ship at 8:00am or asap
Skydiving 11:00am at aquarium
Back no later than 3:00pm
Hill Song Church at 4:30pm

October 4th:
Habitat for Humanity 8:00am-4:00pm

October 5th:
Table Top Mountain for lunch 11:00am
 Township Home stay 4:30pm (staying overnight with a family)

October 6th:
Back from township home stay at 10:00am
??????Shark Diving?????

October 7th:
Orphanage and Township 1:30-5:45

October 8th:

Operation hunger 9:00am to 6:00pm