On the morning we were to arrive in San Diego, CA (our home) we awoke to Neil Diamond's "Coming to America" being played throughout the entire ship at 6:30am. It was so exciting! We both immediately jumped out of bed... well, I did... and threw open the blinds to see CALIFORNIA greeting us. We quickly dressed and ran up to Deck 7 where everyone was gathering. It was a PERFECT day; not a cloud in the sky. As the sun rose over the mountains the whole ship cheered. It took us about 1 ½ hours to make it all the way into the harbor. Some of the parents of our students were following us in their own boats and had painted big signs like the "Aloha Connor" that you will see in the photo album. It was really cool to see the parents in boats following along with us.
At about 10:30am the faculty and staff were called down to disembark. There were lots of tears and hugs in the hallway but it seemed like everyone really got down to business once we got off the ship. As we left, we stood in line for a porter to help us carry our bags out; that took about 30 minutes. Then he helped us out to the loading area where our friends Allison and Michael had graciously offered to pick us (and our HUGE bags) up. It all happened so fast. We hopped in the car and headed home with only a brief look back at the ship and a stop at the gate to pick up a directory of our new SAS family.
There was a lot of talk on the ship about "what happens now?" That is such a great question. After you have been around the world and experienced the cultures, the poverty, the smells, the sparkling cities, the languages, the religions, the beauty, the pollution, the welcoming, the irritated and overwhelmed locals, the bargaining, the love, the sorrow of loss, the famous sights, the memorials,the clothing, the hunger... the world, what do we do with this? I don't think we are sure yet but we know we are changed and there are things we want to change and there are things we can change.
Archbishop Tutu reminded us at commencement that God says "I have no one." He says "I have no one... except you" and he cries out to us: "HELP ME... please, help me." Well, I guess we better get started!
**Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog. We feel like you have traveled with us during this voyage and I know this will make our conversations about our experiences so much richer. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to share this experience with us!**