Friday, October 2, 2009

Ghana Update for Ms. Elder's Class

Dear Students: My lovely wife tells me that you guys are following her photos on "Shutterfly" which is great although I will gladly answer any questions you might have about the countries we have visited or will be visiting. I'll use this update to share a few comments about the students on board this ship.

We have more than 500 students from over 200 universities and colleges throughout the United States; we also have several students from other countries, including France, Mexico, Spain, and a few other nations. There are slightly more girl students than boys but they are all having the time of their lives. Many of them worked several jobs over the summer and after-school to pay for this educational adventure. While a few of the students have traveled with their families or on their own to other countries the majority of the students have not traveled much and a few have never been out of their home state until now. My hope is that some of you will get the "travel" bug and consider enrolling in a program like this when you attend college; these programs are called "study abroad" and they are perhaps the most exciting way to see and learn about the world.

The students on the ship take from four to five classes and the classes range from theater to business to astronomy and geology. The students generally share rooms and have between two and three roommates and they seem to get along pretty good considering that they are all new to each other. Since we all live together on this ship we are always bumping into each other so they call this a "living-learning" community. It's very neat to see and talk with students both in and out of class as we share different ideas when we are outside of the classroom.

The students split their time between taking classes on this ship (in fact, every day we are at sea) and then doing field trips. Some of the field trips are adventurous, such as taking a canopy walk in the Ghanaian jungle almost 75 feet off the ground (see the photo). In Morocco, several of them camped out under the stars in the mountains and rode camels. Others took the trains to remote cities and others visited rural villages to learn about the way the Moroccan people live.

I am teaching three classes, including one called Sustainable Development, which looks at how we currently live on this planet and what we should be doing to ensure that there is a good planet for all of you to live on tomorrow and into the future. I love this class as the students all care about the planet and want to learn how to preserve the planet so that you can enjoy it when your time comes to help take care of it.

I know you are all pretty busy in Ms. Elder's class but send me a note if you have any question. Professor Dan


  1. Hi Dan how are you?I was wondering how come you didn't shave your head? So far my favorite holiday on the ship is Neptune day! I liked your pictures very much, and I hope that you've been having lots of fun on your new adventures. It's really cool that you get to experience different things everyday, the traditions, the cultures and new food recipes :)
    -Jasmine Bustamante

  2. Hi Dan ,How did you like going into the frezzing water? Why didn't you shave your head? Did you kiss a frozen fish? If you do the Semester At Sea i would like to go there to all the fun places that you went to.I would shave my head because I never seen my selg bold.Hope you write back.:) love ,Victor Cazares

  3. Hi Dan how are doing? What was it like at Ghana? Did you particapate by shaving your head? I seen the pictures that you have send us. I would like to visit Ghana some day with my best friend.:)love Alexis Robles

  4. How fun was it over there , and why didn't you shave your head? write back as soon as you read this Love Kimberly Hernandez,

  5. hi i am dayra and i like what you write to us and i have a ? for you Why dint you cut your hair? -Dayra