November 2nd, 2016
Living in the ocean has been one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in my life.
Although there are many similarities to college life, nothing beats a glance at the sunrise from the ocean while on my way to my 8am classes.
The opportunity to live and interact with your professors daily is by far the greatest academic experience yet.
We begin to develop our own communities, our own friends, families, partners, people who we feel most comfortable with spending our time in an enclosed space.
As one of the few persons of color on the ship, I have a big appreciation for the Latinx Student Union, the Black Student Union, the International Student Club, and the Diversity and Inclusion clubs on the ship. These spaces have allowed me to express myself and practice my culture in safe and inclusive environments.
The International Student Club hosted an International Student Showcase where they invited people to perform something significant to their culture. Me and a few others, decided to bring Dia De Los Muertos to the ship by performing a song that includes singing and dancing. We built an altar on stage, we played a slideshow of people’s deceased loved ones in the background, and we invited children and anyone in the audience to dance on stage while some of us had our faces painted with calacas, the day of the Dead skulls. It was a great performance and I am glad we were able to bring a little bit of our culture to the Shipboard community.
I also survived Neptune Day, also known as Equator day! Neptune day is celebrated when you sail through the Equator. In order for Neptune to bless you with smooth waters, you have to prove yourself worthy. You are dumped in fishy smelly green slime, then you have to swim through the infested pool, and once you cross, you kiss two fish. The more extreme task is having your head shaved, something optional for us. Most of the ship participated in the activities, including the shaving of their heads. A lot of girls shaved the back of their hair, while fewer ones did the side, and some brave ones shaved it all off! I decided to participate and shaved a little bit of the side! This was also a very unique experience, one that will be harder to explain to my mom.
It was very powerful to see all of the shipboard community come together for events like the cultural show, Neptune Day, and even the Halloween dance. Children from 3 years old to the older people including grandparents and lifelong learners, all come together and form the MV World Odyssey.