Change of Plans

September 2, 2014

As you know, the Ebola outbreak is spreading at a rapid pace in many countries throughout Africa. My original voyage itinerary included three countries in that unique continent: Morocco, Senegal, and Ghana.

Semester at Sea has been closely monitoring the outbreak and also working with the World Health Organization to ensure the safety of our voyage. Since western Africa is the main area for the disease, my itinerary has changed and I will unfortunately not be traveling to Senegal or Ghana. Morocco is still on the schedule thus far since it lies on the northern part of the country.

I was a little disappointed about not going to those two countries, but when the two replacement ports were announced last night, all was well with the world.

The whole shipboard community gathered in one room to hear the most-anticipated announcement of the voyage. We sat shaking and wondering what places would be added to our trip of a lifetime when there was a sea of endless possibilities to choose from. All we were told for the last three days was that the two south Africas were out and two Europes were in. Rumors had been flying. Finally the time had come.

With a smile, the dean announced to us all, “In lieu of the missing Senegal and Ghana ports, we will be docking in… Che… Civech… Chai. Sorry, my Italian is not so good.”

Well the ship did everything but sink. People went wild. The dean finally got out that we were docking in Civitavecchia, Italy.

That’s not far from Rome! I’ve had this weird desire to go to Rome since I was little and I think I may have had a small heart attack when she said those words. I’ve never been more excited. She then said that the other port would be Barcelona, Spain. We already had Cadiz, Spain on the itinerary, but it’s Spain – I’m totally stoked to experience another part of it, especially if it’s Barcelona.

Senegal and Ghana would have been unforgettable, and I am in no means thankful for the Ebola outbreak, but I am like a kid on Christmas Eve right now, and all I want for Christmas is legitimate pizza and gelato.

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