Semester at Sea Fall 2006 Voyage banner

Smoochable Migration

Explore Around a Bit:

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

For the past three months my "ranch" has been mobile.  We have been constantly moving since we set sails in Ensenada, Mexico and to the point of disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  This semester has entered me into the surrealism of a Salvador Dali painting, lost and in awe, fascinated by the unknown and bizarre.  Surrealism is:
  • To fall asleep with your mind in the United States and wake up to the sights and smells of a Japanese port
  • To lose a day out of the year crossing over the International date line
  • To spend a week in Burma and then one day later be in India
  • To make such strong connections and relationships in such a short time out of sheer necessity
  • To be traipsing about lands overflowing with peace that were once torn with war - wars in some cases that the United States was a part of or even caused
  • To learn to communicate with people of other cultures without having to share a language
  • To never get a chance to put your brain in order before the three months flies by...
The list could go on.

Many lessons found me through the fog of surrealism.  Migration is everywhere.  I was intruding into these lands as a temporary migrant, flashing my status as I broke tides onboard this monster vessel and whipping out my American passport - my ticket to vacation and exploration, while I was sharing meals and conversations with men and women dreaming of my out-of-reach passport and visa of freedom.  Inequality is everywhere.  This webpage is the manifestation of my response to those interactions.  The accounts of each country are all mere snippets of the big picture, none accomplish any large feats; they only pose the introductory questions that lead into larger ethnographic searches for answers.  But knowing that the questions exist is the first step, and I feel as if this trip helped me to leap right past that first baby step.  The doors are opened now, and not knowing what's next is exciting. 
Will my future goals bring me to diving in to one of these questions? 

Thank you for giving this conglomeration a chance, and feel free to click around at will and in any order.  I would love to be contacted with questions, suggestions, ideas, debates, pure oppositions, pats on the backs...anything! 

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