Cruising around Asia
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During our tour around Asia, shipboard life was quite hectic. We usually only had 2-3 days in betweeen ports, so things were pretty crazy! Shelley was working a ton taking care of all the initial financial issues and I was pretty busy myself. We started having some fun activities on the ship, which was fun to begin seeing everyone outside of their usual roles. The stories below describes a few of the events that took place.
The ship organized both a basketball and volleyball tournament for the ship, which will be ongoing for the next month or so. Everyone was welcome to participate and so Shell and I jumped at the opportunity to play. For basketball, I joined up with two of the faculty members (Pat McGuire and Michael Pearson) and one of the spouses (Hugh Montgomery) to form the faculty/staff team. I'm the youngest one on the team by 10 years, so we were not sure what was going to happen. While we have the size (all of us are over 6 feet), I think we still lack some of the quickness. Our first game proved to be easier than we thought as we won by a score of 18-2. We'll have to see how the future games turn out! There's a few pictures of the team in action.
For volleyball, Shell and I are on a team with six students, so this time we are the oldest by 10 years! Our team is pretty good as we have a good mix of size and speed. We won our first game with a score of 15-12. Everyone played well and I think we'll only get better!
As I'm sure most of you know, Shelley's 30th birthday was on September 25th. We were in Hong Kong during that time, so you can read about that in the China section. There is a picture of Shell with her birthday decorations (Kathy had decorated her office and our room doors with Happy B-day signs) and her flowers sent from Margie in the pictures section.
Shelley's work-study student, Roy, had a birthday the beginning of October, so Shell and a few other students orgainzed a small surprise party for him. There are a few pictures from the party.
Mr. Semester At Sea
One of the groups on the ship is called Students of Service. Their role is to come up with activities to raise money for charity organizations while on the ship. One of their ideas was to hold a Mr. Semester at Sea competition. Due to the percentage of males and females (only 1/3 male), this appeared to be a good idea! Ten young men challenged each other for the title of Mr. Semester at Sea. Through the formal, talent and yes, swimsuit competition (unfortunately, there was a speedo sighting!) a winner was chosen to wear the crown. The event actually raised over $900 for charity as they charged everyone $2 to get in. The event was not only a great fundraiser, but everyone had a blast! There's a picture of the contestants performing little routines for the audience.
The Memorial Service (Saturday, October 12, 2002)
The evening before we reached China, one of the adult passengers, Barry, passed away. He was 90 years old and it was he and his wifes' (Mae) 18th voyage. He was having health problems since we set sail but things turned pretty bad after we left Japan. After a couple of long nights, he passed away. While it was a very sad time for the shipboard community, we all knew he was where he wanted to be (at sea) when he passed away. As his wife, Mae (who is 91 years old herself!), will remain on the ship through the end of the voyage, a close friend of theirs (Betty) from Colorado Springs will arrive shortly for companionship.
In addition to Barry, a dear woman named Ellen Kovolos (who was an integral part of the Semester at Sea permanent staff) passed away due to cancer in March 2002. Ellen had been the Director of Recruiting for SAS and was based in Boulder. Before she lost her battle with breast cancer, she had said she wanted some of her ashes spread at sea. Her husband, Michael, sailed with us from Malaysia to India for the ceremony. We had been told so many wonderful things about Ellen and Michael from our friend Brian Kasic, that it was very easy talking to Michael on-board. He is a wonderful man with a dear heart. We definitely plan to get in touch with him when we return from our voyage.
In addition, a few students and faculty took part in the ceremony as well as they had lost loved ones back home since we had departed Vancouver. They dropped roses into the ocean during our sunset memorial service to remember their family and friends. Most of the ship attended the ceremony and many people dropped their own flowers into the sea to pay respects to someone special to them that had passed away recently. Shell dropped a flower for her Grandma and Grandpa Lundberg, her Grandmother most recently passed away just last year.
As the primary participants tossed their memorials into the ocean, the ship performed a 360 degree turn and blew its horn, symbolizing remembrance.
So, as I'm sure most of you guessed, Shell and I see many more sunsets than we do sunrises. We plan to take several pictures of these events while at sea. We finally got up early enough one morning on the way to India to catch the beautiful sunrise. There are a few pictures of the sunrise. We'll continue to try and capture some of the better ones.