Less Than 2 Days from Chennai, India

I’m not sure what to write this time. As I think I’ve said before, the pace we keep is quite rigorous. Sure, we only have classes between ports but the time spent in each country is quite exhaustive mentally, physically, and emotionally. And it will only be more emotionally draining in India. To compensate for the constant traveling and the tiredness we all feel, we got to gain an extra hour last night and we get another hour and a half tonight! It’s such a treat!

Another bonus would be my friends. Though the first month or so was rough because it seemed like so many people were making friends left and right while I was still spending much of my time alone, through day trips and classes, meetings and chance encounters I have developed a pretty great group of friends. In some sense, it’s a new situation to me. I am not quick to make friends and I was scared to be tossed in with 600 other people in a closed environment. But the proximity and shared experiences we’ve had have certainly made a community out of us. I’m really enjoying it!

I got my trip selections the other day for the remainder of the semester. I pretty much got everything I wanted minus a small trip in Kenya that I can do independently without too much trouble. I still have my two-day safari planned for the end of October in Kenya, ¬†our executive dean is trying to arrange some sort of meeting with Desmond Tutu who will be in Cape Town when we’re there. I signed up for a trip to cycle through the winelands of South Africa but a friend of mine didn’t get into the trip so I’m going to sell off my ticket so we can do something else. I’m going to be going to see Bahia by night in Brazil. There, we will see some dance demonstrations and other entertainment. And, finally, I’m going to be visiting some colonial fortresses in Havana. To fill the rest of my time I am planning on seeing a lot of different things independently where possible. I think there is still a group that is going to try to do a trip into the forest canopy in S. Africa. I know some people are going sky diving there but I’m thinking that I’ll opt out of that one. I’m thinking of using Brazil as a time to relax for at least part of the time. And depending on his schedule, we might get to see Castro in Cuba. So, even though we are past the halfway point for ports and quickly coming to the 50-day mark of our 100-day voyage there is still much to see and do and I’m eagerly awaiting it all.

Though this is all great fun, I do miss you all. I miss going to a regular service and all of the programs at Marsh. I’m actually listening to the “Sending Forth” tape I was given last May – Thank You Hope! I miss all of the great friendships that have formed over the past 3 years in Boston and those that I’ve formed elsewhere throughout my comings and goings. I carry all of you with me as I continue on around the world. I know that there will be much to share when I return. But until then, I hope you are all having as much fun as I am and that you find as many blessings as I have.

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