Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.: Are Those Gold Teeth?

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I feel like I’ve been saying goodbye for weeks now. The “Bon Voyage” party that one of my client’s threw for me was hilarious and touching. We had everything from moosemeat eggrolls (really, I’m not making that up) to the lovely cake (pictured) made by one of my colleagues. People keep asking me if I’m excited and the answer is yes, but I haven’t had any time to really process what I’m about to do.

My parents have been fantastic, letting me spread everything all over their house the last week and never complaining at my odd hours or frequent requests for coffee. I worked right down to the wire on Saturday. I had a 4:20pm train to catch and I didn’t take a shower and zip up my bags until 3:20pm (really, I’m not making that up either!). Fortunately my Mom drives like a bat-out-of-hell, a carryover from her years of driving on Germany’s autobahn. We made it to the station at 4:16pm and I could only laugh as I watched my Mom jog next to the train doing her “princess” wave, while my Dad and nephew took pictures and shook their heads.

Unfortunately I couldn’t catch up with friends in NC and GA, but I made it to Tampa and was a bit startled at how chilly it was. I was also startled by the toddler that cried for 45 minutes (hurray for earplugs!) and the Jamaican senior citizen who screamed into his cell phone for an hour. I was totally entranced by the caucasian teenagers with a mouthful of gold teeth, and the only starbucks on the planet that isn’t a wi-fi hotspot (suck it!)

I needed to see my brother before I left on this trip, to hug him hard before he gets married this weekend in Jamaica. It hit me that I’m actually going to miss my baby brother’s wedding, and he is still happy for me, as I am for him. My whole family is crazy about his wife-to-be. They welcomed me to their home with caviar and martinis! They demonstrated their love and affection with some dance moves, and some wrestling moves. Yeah, this union is a match made in heaven.

I finally had a chance to think during the 4 hour drive to Ft. Lauderdale. I have to admit that I’m nervous, a bit anxious, and yes, very excited. This trip is unlike any other I’ve taken, I’ll be working for one, and I am a bit of a workaholic already, will I be able to balance work and still have a transformative experience? I have a deep fear of open water and a fear of heights and a vessel of this size combines the worst of the two! How will I deal with the 8 day voyage with no land in sight, no escape from the ship – from Salvador, Brazil to Cape Town, So. Africa?

I’m also not sure how I’ll feel about traveling fast and shallow versus slow and deep. During my 3.5 months in Mexico I got into the culture, hung out with the locals, sought out the food, music, arts and entertainment native to the cities/towns I was visiting, but on this voyage I’ll see so much more of the world, but with the constraints of someone else’s timetable. We are traveling with almost 900 people, 700 of which are students and things happen. I wonder if we’ll all return together, if we’ll all return alive (people have perished). Because I’m a dork, I also wonder about things like: did I pack enough Orbit gum? Will I be able to download new episodes of 30 Rock? Will Desmond Tutu become my new best friend? So I guess it all balances out.

I can’t believe I’m actually traveling again, the sensation of movement away from and towards feels so good.

10 thoughts on “Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.: Are Those Gold Teeth?”

  1. Dia… why? Why do you tempt me like this?

    I’m also not sure how I’ll feel about traveling fast and shallow versus slow and deep.

    Okay… pretending that i didn’t see that….

    Lovely post. [giggle] No, really.

  2. Ok, I spent a bunch of time examining that cake for gold teeth before scrolling down and reading the post… am I the only one?

    Make sure you find out where the lifejackets are immediately. (I am serious!)

  3. make it your business to get outside, for just a few minutes to avoid the closed quarters of being inside of a ship or at least to a window to see the outside. everyday. I recommend it after you have enjoyed your meal. Also to avoid the fear of falling off that thing, one tip is evident “don’t stand too close to the edge!”

    By the way it isn’t your mother wondering what happened to the zip locks, its your Dad!

    You need to show me that neat trick you with the boxes labeling the items separately in you photo’s. What book is that explained in , “photo’s for dummies”

    Love U…Dad

  4. Hi girl! So excited to read your posts. So sorry we missed each other last week. I love you and am living vicariously through you! You will do great.
    Love, BA

  5. Great. Your parents read your blog? I’m so embarrassed.

    Sorry, Mom & Pop (Funchilde).

    OMG…and I made a dildo joke the other day. I could just shit.

    Die! I mean DIE!

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