Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Going to See Mr. Atse

Not to jinx it, but if the first day is any indication, Elise is going to be just fine. She was in a fantastic mood all day, and actively engaging in hilarious and spontaneous conversations with random strangers, especially the taxi driver from the airport to the hotel. My favorite exchange of the day was when we asked if what we're doing tomorrow, and she responded, "Going to see Mr. Atse!" At that moment, we realized that by pronouncing "Semester at Sea" to her as "See-mester at Sea", (because of Allan's song that we sing to her), we've accidentally been building up, for the last six months, this life-changing encounter with a certain Mr. Atse, and not an epic voyage visiting nine countries in three continents on a ship.

So we're not sure how to break it to her that Mr. Atse doesn't exist, and to apologize for misleading her this whole time. It's like breaking to your kids that Santa doesn't exist, only worse and at a younger age. I resigned that this will certainly trigger a period of rebellion over a decade ahead of schedule.

The other notable item of the day is that we could see the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster perfectly from the airplane today - all the ships where the platform used to be, a flame that could be seen from over 30,000 ft, and, of course, the oil that glistened completely differently than the water around it in the sunlight of this beautiful day. It makes me really sad knowing that the oil will continue to flowing until we get back, and who knows, maybe we'll sail through part of it? What. A. &#%^. Catastrophe.

(By the way, the first thing this reminds me of is my last voyage - Katrina was hitting the Louisiana coast as we were leaving on the Fall 2005 voyage, only I had NO idea how bad it was until after we got back.)

We're in Fort Lauderdale right now, and board the ship tomorrow. We're exhausted, having moved/finished grading/finished work/packing/finding a home for our cat/saying goodbye to everybody. The worst part, to me, was the moving, because that's more permanent than the 10 weeks we're gone. Such a wonderful place, with such wonderful neighbors, and it kills me that Elise won't remember a single thing about those years there, because those were really great years with really great people

Alright, so off to bed. I can only hope there will be an amazing passenger named Mr. Atse onboard that will live up to Elise's unrealistically high expectations...

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