131 Days Later

It’s official: we’ve just arrived back in the U.S. of A. In some ways it’s hard to believe that we really have been all the way around the world. It would have been really tough to do this without the support and encouragement of so many of our fabulous friends and family back home, and we’re very grateful. Thanks for sticking with us, caring for our pets, and sending so many thoughtful e-mails, notes, cards, blog comments and other little goodies as we sailed for 131 days from Norfolk to Canada to Europe and through the Prime Meridian and the Equator simultaneously on our way down the coast of Africa to India to East Asia to Hawaii to San Diego to Latin America and through the Panama Canal ending in Fort Lauderdale for a grand total of 29,338 nautical miles. We don’t yet know how this experience will ultimately impact our lives, but finding out will be our next great adventure, and we’re excited about it.

Between Vietnam and the end of our semester voyage, many of you noticed that our blogging fell a little behind. This happened, in part, because right after our visit to China, Sam was invited to give an address at the S@S commencement/convocation ceremony to take place on December 12–the day before we arrived in San Diego–the day before the students and most of the staff and faculty said goodbye and disembarked. The emotional time leading up to that day was filled with Japan, final exams, end-of-semester events, and a whirlwind of activities and responsibilities, so all spare time we would have spent blogging was instead spent pondering and preparing what to say. We really do write these entries as a team, and it’s difficult for either one of us to keep things going when one of us gets too busy to help. So, the blog suffered. Thanks for not unsubscribing, and thanks for encouraging us to get caught back up.

So it happened that on 12/12/10, Sam was honored to address the shipboard community along with a hilariously poignant and insightful student named Aaron Kalb, a righteously intelligent and witty poet and faculty member named Steve Cushman, and member of the Elders and inspiration to all, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Our friend Holly captured Sam’s speech on her flip video camera. Better than anything else we could post here, it encompasses our thoughts and feelings about the voyage and the phenomenal people we met, so we’ve decided to close out our F10 S@S blog posts with it. Thanks again for your support and encouragement as we lived the dream for a few months’ time. Many great poets and songwriters remind us that beginnings are born from endings. We are excited for the new beginning that awaits us on land, but thanks to thehollyroo82’s video skillz, we can always remember our Semester at Sea ending just like this:

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