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Point Of View: Setting off on a semester at sea

Now, it is just two weeks before I set sail on a 109-day voyage around the world to 11 different countries in 14 different ports. I will be majoring in anthropology with the hopes of one day becoming a humanitarian worker to help the hungry and sick around the world. I knew if I did not take this opportunity now, I might never have the chance to ever again. My family has been such a big help in this process. I am the youngest of four girls and my sister who lives the farthest away is still only 10 miles from home.

My family will be driving me 13 hours to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I will board the MV Explorer to live with 721 other students.

Once we leave Halifax on Aug. 28, we will be on our way to Cadiz, Spain, where I am already scheduled to go for a city orientation followed by taking the white town route from Arcos de la Frontera through Ronda following the Tajo River. The next day I will be visiting Seville, learning about its history in religion and architecture.

After Spain we will travel to Casablanca, Morocco, where I will also go to a city orientation, with the following days spent at a service visit to learn about the SOS Children's village. Then off to learn about Rabat, a 1,000-year-old town. On the last day in Morocco, I will spend an evening with a Moroccan family.

The next couple of destinations I will be choosing field programs while I am on the ship porting in Accra Ghana, Cape Town, South Africa, where I hope to learn more about apartheid and the history of Robben Island. Then it's off to Port Louis in Mauritius (which is in the middle of the Indian Ocean); Chennai, India; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and two destinations in China porting in Hong Kong and Shanghai. After China, we visit Yokohama and Kobe, Japan, where I will be spending the night with a host family in Kobe and participate in the daily routines.After Japan we will traveling to a couple of U.S destinations in Honolulu and Hilo, Hawaii, with our departure destination in San Diego on Dec. 14.

Even though the application process was hard and took up most of my time during the last semester at school, I still would do it again knowing in a short couple of weeks I will be seeing those places that many only dream of visiting. In the middle of my voyage I will be writing another article that will focus on the people and cultures I will be introduced to.""

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