August 5, 2011: Yikes! Only 3 weeks to prepare for epic journey...

 

Just 21 days until I board the MV Explorer for my one month voyage to Morocco, Ghana and South Africa. This is my third voyage with Semester At Sea but I'm just as excited this time as the first. I love their educational program, the shipboard community and of course, the ports of call.

The MV Explorer decked out in immaculate red, white and blue is not a regular cruise ship. Far from it. Rather, imagine a floating college campus with classrooms, a lecture hall, dining rooms and students and professors all living under one roof (so to speak). I love walking through the ship in the evening, passing through the lounge and seeing students working on one of their assignments and continuing through to the dining hall where groups of people (young and older) are sitting and chatting or playing a no-holds barred tough game of monopoly. And all the time this is going on, we're sailing to our next destination where we'll be docked and our ship will become our own private floating hotel. Fabulous!

But back to my preparations. My clothes are all ready. It will be hot, hot, hot in Africa so loose fitting cotton or linen is my wardrobe fabric of choice. And to be sure that I'm culturally correct in Africa I'm including tops that cover my arms and skirts that are long enough to cover my legs. I always carry a light scarf incase my head needs to be covered in a house of worship. Footwear? I'm packing one pair of walking shoes, one pair of sandals and then, one pair of flipflops for the ship. Dress code aboard the Explorer is informal (jeans, shorts, sundresses) the same as you'd wear to university classes or to the mall.

I have two important things to cross off my 'to do' list over the next few days. (1) Get my visa for Ghana (2) Just realized that my yellow fever immunization has expired (good only for ten years) and I can't board the ship without it. (3) When I visit the travel clinic for that shot I'll get a prescription for anti-malaria pills, as well. Much as I don't like taking them, I don't want to take chances. I believe the precaution is of utmost importance.

Do you have any questions about Semester At Sea you'd like me to answer? Simply leave them in this comment box and I'll do my best to get you an answer.

 

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