Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Board the Queen Mary 2

I loved crossing the Atlantic Ocean on this beautifully built passenger ship, coming home using a means of travel that feels timeless. Luckily, the seas were calm all the way across. It was wonderful to be on the water and to be outside on deck even though the North Atlantic chill made it hard to stay out for long.

I had expected to experience some serious reverse culture shock on board. But it didn't happen. I had not left Tanzania for more than three years but there was a part of me that never lost connection with the U.S. thanks mostly to the Internet. The shipboard environment had an immediate familiarity to it.

Like most passengers I right off got into overeating at the endless endless endless buffet of food. Besides stuffing my face (after five days of which my gut started to rebel), I spent time studying software materials and Swahili, reading a novel, attending a few talks and performances, and napping a lot.

I spent time gazing at the ocean, physically and emotionally leaving behind the places, the people, and the home that my life had encompassed.

A couple of weeks ago I was enjoying chipsi mayai at a totally dumpy eatery on a side street in Dar es Salaam. Our last night on the ship I had a club sandwich in our stateroom, compliments of room service on the Queen Mary 2 luxury liner. -Earl

[ Diane looking at the Statue of Liberty as we arrive home ]

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