Nassau to Puerto Rico: Life, Boats, Lifeboats


Parents wave bon voyage!, originally uploaded by funchilde.

Nassau was a blur, well the part that I got to see was interesting but training for the round the world (RTW) gig has been amazing because I’m loving the people. Unfortunately I got to get up close and personal with this Starbucks (not a huge fan) but didn’t get up close or even close to ATLANTIS, that disneyland for grownups with all kinds of sexy fun to be had…or so I hear.

Everyone is working hard and between training, lifeboat drills and studying the crisis management manual (what to do if there’s a 1) kidnapping, 2) man overboard, 3) we run out of libations in the faculty lounge….page 37)…there’s been no time to chillax. I did however make an emergency supply run for some “grown-up juice” before the students boarded and we set off.

 So, the students have indeed arrived. All 701 of them. I’m used to working with 17 year olds with the LEAD Program and the average age of my MBA students is 26, so I am recalibrating to build relationships with this group (average age 20-mostly college juniors and seniors). They come from 271 different universities and are an amazing group of budding scholars with a fantastic average GPA and generally great attitudes. We got them boarded and they waved goodbye to their parents before turning their tears into mischevious smiles and shouts of joy when their parents were no longer in sight.

I am excited that the students are on board because it means the training wheels come off and we can get this party started. It also brings home the awesome responsibility we have to the student’s safety and academic health. I guess that was something I didn’t figure in when I dreamed about this journey. I’m a leader here in ways that really could be life or death.  Fortunately, I think the rest of the team is amazing, no one person counts more than any other and we continue to grow in our affection for each other daily. This experience is intense, we spend 18 hours a day together, we live, eat and work together and there really aren’t any weekends or days off.  

We are under way, a $30 million dollar floating city, headed eastward around the world, at 20 mph.



7 thoughts on “Nassau to Puerto Rico: Life, Boats, Lifeboats”

  1. You were born for such a feat! You’ve been a grown-up for quite some time, so you aren’t threading on uncharted waters. Being the eldest of your siblings leadership has been commonplace in your life and you have managed always to be at the top of your game. Being so good with people is a character flaw you can’t avoid or deny.

    So, I bid you smooth sailing, however, working seven days a week, ugh!

    Love, You Dad…

  2. Those parents look pretty joyful to be sending their kids away.

    I have a towel that I stole from Atlantis (I wasn’t even staying there) in 1995 (spring break, 12th grade). That towel has held up pretty well.

    I love how colorful everything is in the Caribbean (and Mexico).

    These kids are going to remember you for the rest of their lives. Use your powers for good, not for evil!

  3. You are a fantastic person, constantly learning as well as teaching in your everyday life. I have no doubt that this is going to be a FANTASTIC experience for all involved.

    Lead on Captain…er…First Mate…uh…you (yeah that’s it)!

    love ya.

  4. AHOY Dia. I’m filled with joy just thinking about the voyage ahead of you. You are blessed and living in the core of your dreams. You’ve reached into yourself and pulled out a new reality time after time. Whatever challenges this journey brings, know that your are equipped to face them head on, able to wrestle them to the ground into submission.

    I’m glad to know you.

    Don’t forget to do your daily devotion in the Word!

    Just a shameless plug for my Master 🙂

    Love you lots (me and little potatoe)

  5. I am so excited about reading about your journey! I send study abroad students on SaS every semester, but I don’t know much about the day-to-day on board, because all of the evaluations we get at the end are along the lines of “It was really good. I learned a lot. You should tell future students to bring more money.” It’ll also be nice to see the grown-up perspective!

    (Here via Swirlspice)

  6. LOL at Erica’s comment. I was thinking the same thing. The parents do look pretty darn chipper. Keep on blogging and thanks for swinging by my space even with the high cost of internet. Your words were much appreciated.

  7. Your Dad’s comment is so sweet. 🙂 Wow, that IS a lot of responsibility…and one you’ll no doubt handle beautifully. Looking forward to reading about your grand adventure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.