so hawaii has been pretty damn cool. we stayed at this place called the park shore, which was nice. right across the street from the beach on waikiki. monday night was just for relaxing. a ton of semester at sea kids all just hung out at different bars and hotel rooms. i think everyone just needed to get off the boat and do some relaxing. i met a lot of new kids due to the fact that we were not doing the same routine that we have been in for the previous two weeks. once you find a small group on the boat, you stick with it i guess, so you dont end up eating dinner by yourself or sitting by yourself in core. so all of these groups finally met in the wonderful setting of hawaii.
on tuesday, semester at sea provided a luou (i think thats how you spell it) for us, i think as an appology for whats happened. this was a lot of fun. they had a pig roasting under ground on banana or palm leaves. they had traditional polynesian dancers dancing for us during the meal. at the end there was a fire guy who was really amazing. he has this stick with both ends burning that he twirled around. i mean, this simple explination does it no justice, it was really cool. the bus ride home was really funny too. the bus driver had us cracking up the entire time. he started off with,"OK, there is one bus in front of us... do you know what that means?" we all answered,"what?" and he said, "wave!" and turned on the lights and sped past the first bus. then he had us all singing these funy songs... it was a good time.
wednesday was just a beach day, nothing really exciting.
thursday we drove up to the north shore. beautiful drive, took about an hour. when we got there, we got lunch and watched the pipeline beach waves. they were huge. like big 15 footers with people surfing them, it looked like one of those surfing videos that they have been showing us in almost every restaurant that we eat in. the hiked up igutu or wasuati or something like that falls. the were a bunch of peacocks which were gorgeous but pretty stuck up. i think they know they are hot. they falls were really pouring down because of the recent weather. very nice. then we went on a gliding tour. this is the plane with no engine glider, not hang gliding. they have a plane tow you up to about 1000 feet, and then you just glide around. the wind was awesome that day, and our pilot was very excited about that, so he hooked us up and gave us more than twice the amount of time that we paid for. he took us up to 2000 feet within the first couple minutes. we flew over the mountains and over the ocean and saw whales. very pretty.
friday i went to the zoo for a class. all of our teachers give us 20% of our grade based on things that we do in each port. so for my primate behavior class (monkeys!) i went to the zoo with my teacher. it was really great because we got to go back to where the zoo keepers go and feed the different monkeys. they were all very cute and having a great time chasing each other around in the trees that the zoo set up for them. after that i was supposed to observe 2 different monkeys in the same troop for 30 mins each. but it started raining so they just sat underneath the covered area, so that part was boring.
saturday was the first day that it was really hawaii weather. so i did what just about everyone else did which was get burnt. like fried. its nice though because living in southern california for the last 2 years has allowed me to not get as burned as i once would have as a little kid. and all the michigan and pitt kids have not had this luxury so they are in a little more pain than i am at the moment. we had to be back on the boat that night for the first time, and we didnt go out after they let us go again, i just stayed and caught up on some much needed sleep. plus i was exhausted from the sun.
sunday (yesterday as i am writing this), i was doing the same thing im assuming all of you did. except i got to do it sitting by a pool getting some more sun. when it got too hot, there were some big screens set up downstairs in the hotel (this was all in the marriot by the way, and luckily they didnt care if you were a guest to hang out). so that was a lot of fun. i treated myself to some sushi last night and had fun just chilling on the beach with some friends.
and today... class again. i know, how much does it suck that i actually have to go to class for school, haha. so its back to doing a little catch-up and inform all of you guys what i have been up to so you can vicariously live this amazing experience with me. i dont think im going to get off the boat, but you never know what someone will talk me into.
so here is the deal with the program from now on after the wave day damages. the boat will not be ready to sail, and even if it was it would mean us missing shanghai and hong kong. so they are flying us there in three waves on the 10th, 11th, and 12th. this is all depending on what you are going to do once you get there, so i think all the people that were planning on doing independent travel get kinda screwed. they are going to put us up in hotels and i believe they are going to be really nice. so when were were supposed to be leaving for vietnam, we are staying for two extra days and having class in the hotels. then the same deal in viet nam. fly us there, put us up in hotels and let us do what we would normally do. we will also have some class here, but at the end, the ship should be there to pick us up and continue the voyage as normal. this is, we realized, why it took so much time for them to figure out plans for us. so thats that... semester at air and sea is born.
ok, i think thats it for now. hope everyone is well. next update from china!!!