Rhody Postcards: Ana Barraza ’94, M.S. ’04

Ana at the Great Wall of China

Ana Barraza ’94, M.S. ’04 recently voyaged around the world as a Living Learning Coordinator for Semester at Sea. It was the 100th voyage for this unique program, and Ana was thrilled to participate, noting that two of the 600 students on the voyage were from URI. Her voyage left the U.S. in September, 2009, stopping at ports in Canada, Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Throughout the voyage, Ana blogged about her experience, reflecting on everything from confiscating curling irons and the side effects of anti-malaria medications to the nature of forgiveness and the experience of walking in the footsteps of African slaves. Visit Ana’s blog.

Ana’s postcard is an excerpt from her blog. Here, she describes her first morning in the South African port of Cape Town:

We watched the South African mountain range bathed in bright hues of orange and red and then as the sun started to peak from its resting place behind the mountain there was an audible gasp.

Cape Town Harbour

We were amazed and for the next few minutes captivated in silence as the sun ascended into its rightful place in the sky. Blinding and brighter than I had ever seen it, on this voyage it seems I am more aware of the sun ascending and descending from the heavens, I’m usually most reflective at these times and today was no different. As the ship continued on its path into Cape Town we noticed to our left a quiet distant island, Robben Island; once a prison which held many anti Apartheid fighters including Nelson Mandela and then on the right the amazing site that is Table Mountain. As the sun lightened up the sky the brand new 68,000 seat World Cup Soccer Stadium came into full view. We were all so captivated by the beauty that the Cape Town harbour was revealing to us as the morning grew brighter. We screeched in delight as we realized there were harbor seals swimming and frolicking alongside the ship, it was as if they were coming out to welcome us to the Cape Town Harbour.

Ana, an alumna, is also a former URI staff member, currently working as a senior student affairs coordinator for Brown University’s Office of Continuing Education.