Posted by Amanda
We have safely arrived in the Bahamas and aboard the ship. Our flights from Los Angeles to Philadelphia and then to Nassau were uneventful. Our luggage made it without too much damage. Apparently, there is a Wal-Mart in San Juan we can hit if we realize we forgot something. We'll need magnets as the nice bottle cap/photo ones I made aren't strong enough to hold things to the walls.
We met most of the other Resident Directors at the airport and took a cab to the harbor all together. The driver managed to fit all of our bags in the van, but we did get knocked in the head a few times when he stopped short and the pile of bags behind us shifted. We passed a large funeral procession along the way. Apparently a very popular boy was killed in a car accident las week. Everyone at the school was mourning him. A bit of a grim start to the trip, but it felt like a small glimpse into the culture.
The MV Explorer will be our home for the next 100 days as we sail around the world. We had repeatedly heard how small the cabins were, but I think somehow ours is smaller than the average. We can't put the beds together which means many solitary nights. One of my co-workers brought his wife and two young children along. They are in two bunk beds in their cabins. I guess our situation is better than that. Everyone jokes about the showers. They are probably the tiniest showers outside of a motor home. Somehow we managed to get everything to fit in our cabins.
We've been in training each day. We've just now started to break up into teams to get more into the nitty gritty of our jobs. The Student Life team seems great. We did our duty schedule for the semester and it was truly painless. I had been nervous about this as Noah and I have planned a number of overnight trips off the ship when we are in port. I was afraid that I would leave the other RDs with so many more days of duty because I wasn't there. It worked out perfectly.
I'm getting more and more excited about all of this. Yes, the alcohol will be a problem as I'm sure many students will try to smuggle it onboard or have too much in various places. But, from the way things are described, there are so many other positives that will outweigh the bad.
We did go into Nassau the other night. It was probably around 5:30 or 6:00pm. It was a bit overcast and drizzling. Everything was dead; not a thing was open. Apparently the town is so dominated by the tourist industry, in particular the cruise industry, that once the ships leave at 5ish, the town closes. The students are all over at the Atlantis for $200 a night. I'm sure it is lovely, but realistically, how great can it be? They're getting the same rain and wind that we are. I had hoped to get more time in town but it seems unlikely.