We have had a very unfortunate event happen on our ship. One of our students, Andre Ramadan, passed away in his cabin on Saturday evening. Geno and I returned home from our Hanoi/Ha Long Bay trip on Saturday evening to find that the fire doors on our hallway were closed. These doors enclose about 15-20 cabins in different sections throughout the ship in the case of a fire. We didn't think anything of it and opened the fire door and went in our cabin. Several moments later we heard a knock at the door and it was the Living Learning Coordinator (like a RA but not a student). She informed us that 2 hours ago they had found Andre unresponsive in his cabin and they had not been able to help him. We were shocked of course and very sad for his family, friends and our entire shipboard community.
The administrative team called a meeting that night to inform the community about the news. Most of the students had already heard because our community is so small. The students were devastated and it has been a very heavy couple of days.
Today, we had a memorial service for him and his friends shared stories about their time with him and the Archbishop made some very nice remarks. The most beautiful thing was the Traditional Sea Memorial. As we left the auditorium, each person received a flower and processed silently to the aft (rear) of the ship. One by one, as we passed by, we each said a prayer or sent up a good thought and threw our flower into the sea. It was really moving. Now the healing begins. Our classes were rearranged today so that we would have a Reading Day and begin to sort through these emotions.