Jeff Warner PHOTOGRAPHIC, Golden, Colorado, USA

Thursday, September 22, 2011

9/22/11: Heidi’s first pre-port

After another clear day at sea, tonight was the Logistical Pre-Port Lecture on Cape Town, South Africa, for once not dwelling on the rather hideous nature of Traveler’s Diarrhea. Don’t get me wrong, they indeed covered it, but it’s not expected to be too much of an issue. What does seem to be the primary issue is, however, physical safety, both recreational and sociologic. First, there are plenty of fun things to do, including such things as skydiving and shark diving (yeah!). Secondly, partying. Although you can be robbed or hijacked at any given time, such people tend to prey upon people at night, typically in areas where there are bars, etc. HIV rates in the entire country of South Africa are the highest in the world at 15%, with some specific communities being near 30%. All the speakers spent at least a bit of time discussing these threats, trying to instill a sense of personal safety and vigilance in the students.

Heidi’s part of the lecture concentrated upon aspects like sand fleas, sea urchin and jellyfish stings, personal safety and HIV transmission, and the ongoing shipborn illnesses. She did great, and the students gave her a big round of applause afterward.

Tomorrow we arrive in Cape Town!

Heidi at the lectern in The Union, speaking to 450 college students and faculty/staff about the inherent hazards of kissing fish.

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