Location: Da Big Blu Pacific (not yet the color of laundry detergent though)

There are moments that we begin to miss even while they are still unfolding in front of us. Moments that we know are fleeting, whether due to a set deadline or departure or from the haunting feeling that we couldn’t recreate them if we tried. No matter large, like leaving home for the first time, or small, like a laughter-filled dinner with friends, there’s a quality to them that reminds us that any attempt at a re-do will feel awkward and phony. With just nine days left on Vela, these moments are unfolding all around us, along with the knowledge that we can’t possibly recreate them. There’s a strange feeling in the air – one that reminds us that we aren’t just mourning the end of the trip but also the people we are at this time and in this crazy place because we’ll never be quite the same again.

So over these next nine days and three islands, we will dig into this experience as deep as we can, hoping some of it might get stuck under our nails. Surely our time on Vela, from performing various interpretations (ranging from Backstreet Boy to folk song, to dramatic reading and interpretative dance, to relatively monotone) of a Quaker sweet potato biscuit song, to rewriting the Hunger Games with each of us as characters down to storylines and hair and outfits, to creating a CODDIWOMPLE rap and dance, speed pittage and DPM aspirations, has left a mark on us – in ways we know right now, and in ways we might not connect to this experience for years to come.

We can’t spend our lives mourning what we’ve done. We often urge the students to not let this be their greatest adventure. To use their newfound comfort with being uncomfortable to drive them to find adventure in each day, wherever they may be headed next. I can’t wait to hear about all of their tales to come.