The Study Abroad Newsletter

Life Changing Event

Cody Pacheco

Environmental Studies major
Semester at Sea

On September 9th, 2018 I embarked on a voyage with the program called Semester at Sea which is quite literally a “floating campus”. Some 450 students and 200 faculty, staff, and crew traveled to 11 different countries, on four different continents, while living together on one ship. Throughout the voyage there were countless memories and stories made all of which I could go on and on about but for right now in this very moment one specific moment stands out.

On the very last day of my stay in the West African country of Ghana I found myself overlooking a small fishing village on the coast of Ghana. As I stood in the sweltering African sun amongst the other 25 students and faculty I found myself speechless as I ate my lunch in silence next to my best friend and an a faculty member whom I would now call a friend. The location in which they had brought us to eat lunch was a slave castle which rests on the highest hill overlooking a small fishing village below. About 100 years ago this very location was used a port to transport slaves out of Africa and into various other regions of the world. Now this castle stands as a symbol for the harsh history that Africans have dealt with. Reflecting back on this memory I can still remember listening to the sounds of laughter as kids played in the village below. They may have very little in regards to tangible objects but laughter and happiness can be found in all corners of this Earth no matter the circumstances people may find themselves in.

Cody with some children in Ghana