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[转帖](Yixin Liu)在SEA的海上学期

jlinwhoi 发表于 2013-2-13 04:13:21 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 jlinwhoi 于 2013-2-13 04:36 编辑

作者:Yixin Liu

SEA海上学期名称:S245 Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems(波利尼西亚岛屿文化和生态系统的可持续性)
时间:Sunday 10 February 2013
地点:Position: 13° 53’ S x 143° 00’ W

The sea was so rough when we first left the dock in Papeete that more than ten students were seasick. Even when we were suffering from vomiting and headaches, we had to stand watch for four or six hours under the blazing sun in the morning and the torrential rain at night. At school, we probably would have asked for leave because we were feeling so unwell. On the ship, this was not an option.

Today is our eleventh day at sea. After three days exploring in Fakarava, we finally have come back to our routine path on Seamans. We are sailing towards the Northeast in the Pacific Ocean for six days without any stops, and so far, no one is seasick. However, we are still encountering challenges both physical and psychological.

Life at sea is significantly different from our life at home. We have a strict daily schedule, including but not limited to set times for waking up, working, eating, and going to class. For example, nobody is supposed to start eating until the ring is belled. Punctuality is respectful to others and to the boat.

Our job on boat can be categorized into four types: deck, science lab, galley (kitchen), and engine room. In addition to our practical work on the boat, academic studies for SPICE are challenging at the same time. We have group projects, individual projects, scientific studies, and computer operations. Up to now, I am still struggling to figure out the definition of “sustainability,” and from whose point of view are we defining it? Is Polynesia unsustainable for the native people, or only those Europeans who colonized that land and stayed there?

There are also some trivial things to which I need adapt to on the boat. On shore, we can escape from the crowds if we need time to be alone. In such an enclosed small space, rarely do we have any private space. Furthermore, even though we have an awesome cook who can make a diverse range of delicious food, we do have a few picky eaters in our class (of course including myself). There are people who cannot stand breadfruits, seafood, vegetables, beans, red meats, cheese and milk.  In addition, it is worth mentioning that cutting off connection with the outside world was tough at the beginning. Having no Internet and phone connections drove some of us to spend a considerable amount of money to buy them in Tahiti. We are not able to attach to our familiar figures anymore. No supports and suggestions from family and old friends certainly made me uncomfortable to a certain extent.

On no account should we ignore that challenges are something new, exciting, and difficult which requires great effort and determination if we are going to succeed.  I am learning so much by stepping out of my comfortable zone.

At sea, we are together a family. Seldom do we have a chance to stick together with the same people throughout the entire two months. All “others”(our professors and mates on the boat) and our watch officers are amiable, considerate, and willing to help. SEA provides us the opportunities to experience every single working role on the boat. Helping out in the galley for only one short day makes me fully appreciate the way our boat operates. Getting up at 0400 every single day, preparing three big meals for two seatings, making three snacks for 39 people, this is the fundamental workload for our steward Sayzie, and usually there are a bunch of other issues coming up unpredictably.

My name, Yixin Liu, obviously reveals my Chinese identity. I am from Beijing, China. Growing up in a culture founded on traditional Confucianism, family means a lot to me. Today is the lunar Chinese New Year, known as Spring Festival as well. I was really frustrated by not being able to celebrate our most important festival with my family. However, perhaps it was meant to be. I was assigned to help out in the galley in the New Year day, which supposed to be filled with joy of food, smiling faces, and loving hearts. Sayzie fully supported me making spring rolls for today’s afternoon snack, no matter how much efforts we need to spend on. By the time people were having spring rolls and saying “Happy New Year” to me, I realized that home is wherever love exists and my heart resides.

Here are some small things I enjoyed the most on Seamans so far: double rainbows, sunrise and sunset, sea waves lapping against the sides of the boat, seagulls hovering over the surging waves and catching fish, light sound from the engine, fresh breezes puffed across the hanging clothes on the drying string, and of course, blogging under the sky which is studded with twinkling stars during the night as I am doing now.

Challenges push us to become stronger inside and enhance our ability to adapt to different environments. We have five more weeks to go, and we are willing to accept the challenges of the unknown. Just like our every single meal, we are not able to know what we will have until it is the exact time to eat. Why do you want to know what is going to happen next? Please simply enjoy whatever food is presented to you. For most of the time, surprising events give us more excitements and joyfulness. Life is good at sea. Speaking as a Chinese, who come from the other side of the earth with a twelve hours time difference, sunrise in the Atlantic Ocean represents sunset in the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, no matter where we are, there is always a sun rising on the earth. Life is good at SEA. If you will, wouldyou wish me a Happy New Year in addition to our Bon Voyage please?

Yixin Liu
小露 发表于 2013-2-13 08:20:38 | 显示全部楼层
No matter where we are there is always a sun rising on earth~~
Happy New Year, Yixin.
ocean1 发表于 2013-2-17 23:53:57 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 ocean1 于 2013-2-17 23:54 编辑

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