Lauren's journal notes


Journal entry:  Sunday, September 12 1999


Before we went to the airport, my dad called and said he couldn't find our boat!  We went to one dock and they said "this boat is a cruise ship", so we went to another dock and that was our boat! So we unpacked the taxi van and found our room. Finally, we went on a tour of the boat.  When we got back in our room, I went on the top bunk.

            My pen pal, Elizabeth, is on the boat but sleeping.  So that's why I'm telling you this. So, back to the point.  I have a bulletin board, and an over head reading light.  Breakfast is from 7 AM to 8:30 AM.


P.S. We don’t leave until Tuesday.


Journal entry:  Monday, September 13, 1999


When I woke up on Monday, September 13, we went to breakfast and met Elizabeth and Daniel.  After breakfast, we played legos, computer games, flashlight tag, and then we explored the ship.  My favorite part of the boat is my room.


Journal entry:  Tuesday, September 14, 1999


We left Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada.  We are headed to the Pacific Ocean.  We watched a movie, I decorated my wall and we explored the ship.


Journal entry:  Wednesday, September 15, 1999


We started Kid Core today. We learned that people in Japan have 3 different ways to write.  I got seasick (crackers help.)  We dressed up like girls and walked through the halls!


Journal entry:  Thursday, September 16, 1999


We played hall soccer and legos.  We can write in Japanese.  I learned how to write eyes, see, person, heaven, Japan, Nippon in Kanji writing. 


P.S. The food is getting worse.

P.P.S The water is rough.


Journal entry:  September 17, 1999


We set traps for Elizabeth and Daniel.  I feel OK right now.  Today the waves are 25 to 30 feet high.  It is hard to concentrate.  We played hall soccer.


Journal entry: September 18, 1999


I learned the Konji picture for "friend" and how to count from 1-5 (ichi, ni, san shi, go) in Japanese. in Kid Core.  We played Jeopardy with Japan facts. I made bead animals with Emily.  At our safety meeting, they spelled safety "safty"!


Journal entry: Sunday, September 19, 1999


We passed the Aleutian Islands.  We did Haiku in Kid Core.  We finished reading "The Cat Who Went to Heaven". It was about an artist who painted about the death of Buddha. My favorite part was when the miracle happened and the cat moved to the front of the painting and Buddha had his hand down in a blessing.


Journal entry:  Monday, September 20, 1999


I went to the Bridge (cockpit) on the ship's tour. 

I played soccer in the hallway.  I ate dinner with Gena, Nickey, and Chrissy.  I had a lot of fun! After dinner, I went to an ice cream social and adopted 7 students. 

We have traveled 2, 2228 miles.


Journal entry: Tuesday, September 21, 1999


We started to read "Meiko and the Fifth Treasure" today in Kid Core.


Journal entry: September 22, 1999

NO DAY because we crossed the International Date Line!


Journal entry: September 23, 1999


We have traveled 3,479 nautical miles and have 1043 miles left to Japan.  We had two "un-birthday" parties for Nate. His birthday was on September 22!



Journal entry: September 24, 1999


I made a goose out of Tangrams.  I hung it in the Hamilton Dining room.

We had some rough weather.


Journal entry:  September 25, 1999


Only 644 nautical miles to go!  The ocean today is 17, 300 feet deep

I learned "exit" and "entrance" in Kanji writing today.


Journal entry:  September 26, 1999


I was inducted into the Order of the Golden Dragon.  That means I have crossed the 180 degree meridian from West to East. 

I was teaching lots of college students how to make paper cranes.  If I remember, I'll teach you, too!  They are going to take the cranes to the Peace Monument in Hiroshima.  I've enjoyed reading "Sadako and the Paper Cranes", how about you?

Today I'm going to sleep out on the deck of the ship with my friends. Tomorrow we land in Kobe, Japan! I am excited to get to something that actually doesn't move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Journal entry:  September 27, 1999

We are finally in Japan!  There was a band to greet us and a boat squirting water like a fountain.  We took a train into the city and had a Sushi lunch at a restaurant called Meguro Tei.  The lunch was yummy, delicious, excellent, and awesome!  We came back to the ship for a welcome reception with Japanese students.  We're planning to go back into the city for dinner.  Catch you later!  Lauren



9-27-99 to 10-01-99

In Japan, money is called yen. Every thing is very expensive!

Nara and Kyoto:

We visited lots of Temples. There were two days of lots of walking.  My feet hurt for three days!  I stayed in a Ryokan one night. A ryokan is a Japanese Inn.  The dinner that night was really delicious. It was Sukiyaki. I took a Japanese bath.  It was very hot water! Two things that surprised me most were that the kimono and the futon (the mat you sleep on) were very comfy.




We got lost for an hour! When we finally found out where we were, we went to the Floating Observatory.  It had the BEST view. It was at least 38 stories high, which is a lot if you compare it to the size of a real person!  Whenever I looked at it, I thought that two diagonal poles were there to keep it steady. When I got up to the 7th floor, we bought our tickets and got on the escalator.  That's when I realized the poles were the escalators leading to Observatory!   If you looked down, the escalator, it looked like you would fall 3stories! 


Next we went to Panasonic Square. We saw the coolest electric harp, with no strings. It had laser strings! There were video games in English and I saw a dinosaur movie in Japanese. There were cool capsules that you could go inside of and listen to English music.  The songs were by Ricky Martin, InSync ,Back Street Boys, All Saints and lots of other good groups!  We made cards on the computer and printed them. What surprised me most was that they came out in card sized paper that you didn't have to fold. Its really cute, I'll bring one back for you to see.



We went to a moving sushi bar!  My favorite food at the sushi bar was tomago. I discovered a new candy in Japan. Its called Toppo.  It has a pretzel on the outside and chocolate on the inside.  I'll try to save a box so you can try it.



I saw lots of different kinds of transportation while I was in Japan.  Taxis, subways, trains, bikes, and feet!  Most of us walked, took trains and the subway. Bikes are one main thing to look out for. You need eyes in the back of your head They are everywhere! They need a bike path! 


Last Day:

I went to a pet store with Elizabeth.  There was a really cute Golden Retriever. I have pictures. It will probably be big by the time I get back home.  There was the cutest tiniest cat, It was brown and black and it could fit in the palm of your hand. We went to Nunobiki Herb garden.  The best thing I liked was the smells! We went on a gondola. We got on right before the "cool shot". The cool shot is a bunch of bendable tubes attached to a machine that blows into the gondola to cool you off before carrying you to the top,  On the way down, it’s the BEST view. You get to see the whole city, they have nets beneath your car in case it falls. I thought they looked like fishing nets


Well, that's all for now.  Don't forget to check out our web site at to see some pictures!


I'll see you in a couple of months!


Your friend,



Lauren's notes from China October 5 -9, 1999


Hong Kong


We had one day in Hong Kong before Beijing, and one day after. There were lots of things to do!


There was the Star Ferry that took you from Kowloon Peninsula to Hong Kong Island.  We took a tram to the top of the mountain and got ice cream at Victoria's Peak. There was a very good view at Victoria's peak!


My dad went to a free Internet café and there was a long line.




We flew to Beijing. We met Monica and Amy.  They were our tour guides. When we got there we ate lunch, checked into the hotel and got a tour of Peking University. There is a beautiful view of Peking University.  I have an interesting picture to show you of a water tower that looks like a pagoda.


On the second day, we went to a Cloisonné factory.  We watched the stages of a pot being made. They used tiny pieces of metal to make the design.  My favorite design was a panda bear. I'll show you the video when I get back.


In the afternoon, we hiked up the Great Wall and I counted all the steps.  There were 2,100!


We had a big party with the Chinese students.  We played musical chairs, danced the hokey pokey, sang Karaoke and danced. 


On our last day in Beijing we went to the airport and I gave farewell gifts to Monica and Amy.  We took a picture of Monica, Amy and me. I hope that they will come and visit me!


Lauren's notes from Vietnam (October 12-16,1999)



Motorcycles were the most popular kind of transportation in Vietnam but we used our feet and a taxivan most of the time.  I rode a cyclo. It's a cart that a bike pushes from behind.  I also rode a motor cycle and no bugs got in my eyes or mouth. The ferryboat and sampan were interesting kinds of transportation.  Two people rowed the sampan, one in the front and one in the back of the boat.


Food I ate:


Sweet corn soup is my favorite soup in Vietnam.  The Hue Spring Rolls were wonderful but I ate too many!

Coconuts.  Yum! They can be brown, green or red but brown are the best and the sweetest!  You cut off the top and stick a straw in it.  Coconut water is the cleanest water you can get.  No one has ever touched it because it's inside the coconut. Coconuts are very nutritious! You use a piece of the shell as a spoon and eat the meat inside. 

Snails…Yuck!!!!! Never eat a snail but you should try dragon fruit! If you like kiwi or watermelon you'll love dragon fruit! It looks sort of like a strawberry on the inside because of all the seeds in it. The outside is a bright pink color and it’s a little bigger than a pear.


Places I visited


The Cu chi tunnels were dug during the Vietnam War or as they call it "the American War". They are pretty hot inside. I saw four bats. They're very cute when they're small.  I was the only person in my family who climbed through all the tunnels!


My First Cyclo Ride

                                        By Lauren Galletta


I took my first cyclo ride in Vietnam.  Getting more specific, it was in Ho Chi Minh City on a busy street.


A cyclo is a cart attached to the front of a bicycle. The cyclo driver lowers down the cart and you hop in to the seat.  Next he raises the cart and off you go!


I felt excited because it was my first cyclo ride Then I got scared when a motorcycle went right in front of the cyclo. It looked like it was going to hit us.  It was only about 4 inches away!


The cyclo reminded me of a ride through the woods in my friend's wagon.


Notes from Malaysia October 21-24, 1999


Day 1:  We had lunch at a food stall and we ate noodle soup (it was OK). We went shopping and I bought Batik pants.  About 7pm we went to a welcome reception at the University and they did a shadow puppet show (it was not in English).  After the puppet show there was a party with food that was not so great but I had a plate full.  After we ate we did a difficult folk dance.

Day 2:  Today we rode an incline to the top of Penang Hill.  I had chicken nuggets!  We visited an orphanage and I played ball with the kids.  We drove to the hotel. Christy, Elizabeth and I got room service (chicken with peanut sauce) while our parents went to a Chinese restaurant.

Day 3:  Today I went to the pool and it had a water slide.  When I was done I went to the beach.  We went to a butterfly farm and I held a cat lizard. We went to a Batik factory and I bought a puppet.

Day 4:  We had lunch at the Komtar and ate Chinese food.  We leave for India tonight!


October 25, 1999

The seas were very rough!  I did Science with my tutor. In KidCore we reviewed Malaysian studies. We looked at a map of India. I noticed that China borders India. Tonight we will hear Indonesian music by Balinese musicians.


October 26, 1999

Today we drew pictures of the things we saw in Malaysia. We colored flags of India and heard the story of "The Man and the Walnut". 

We learned about how the Himalayas were formed and how India became part of Asia.

We had a Halloween party.  We went trick or treating and I got 138 pieces of candy!


October 27, 1999

Today we studied about religion in India and a man named Gandhi.


October 28, 1999

Today it was very hot!  We are in India!

Elizabeth's family and my family went to the Post Office and then Liz (Elizabeth) and I went back to the ship and ate lunch.  After that we went to an orphanage for a couple of hours (the babies were cute). 

Welcome Reception  - We got sprinkled with rose water and got necklaces made of flower buds and got a yellow and red dot called a kum kum.  I got a few henna tattoos.


October 29, 1999

Today, when I got off the ship with Elizabeth and her family, tons of people were touching us (Yuck!)! Then we were rescued by an auto-rickshaw driver and he pushed the people away and drove away quickly.


October 30, 1999

Today at 11:00 we went to the student union and met our Rotary family.  We went to their huge house and had a great meal!


October 31, 1999

Today, we visited the temples carved of rock.  The Rotary meeting had candy with silver! 


November 1, 1999

We went shopping with our hosts. I bought a peacock spread.  The money in India is called rupees. 

We went back to the ship and sailed for Egypt!


November 2, 1999

In Kid Core we played the Un-Game with questions about India. My favorite food in India was chicken tandoori!


November 3, 1999

Today, after Kid Core I went swimming with friends. The waves were huge!!!!!


November 4, 1999

As Daniel and I stepped off the elevator, we noticed the life boat drill alarm going off, so we ran up several flights of stairs. 

I was in a bathing suit and opened toed shoes.  You have to wear a sweatshirt, and long jeans and sneakers. Finally, my dad found me and everything was fine.


November 5, 1999

In Kid Core we studied Egyptian writing.

The seas look like Capri-Sun (a drink.) In other words, very, very calm!


November 6, 1999

Now we are more than 1/2 way around the world!  Today, I had juggling lessons. I went to my math tutor, and I went swimming for about an hour.


November 7, 1999

Olympics…NO SCHOOL! Our team was …The Faculty Brat C. 

Our logo was…Olympks (it supposed to be misspelled) You'd better let us win because our parents can fail you!


November 8, 1999

Today, I made noodles with Christy, and we stayed up very late reading "The Egypt Game".


November 9, 1999

Tonight we went stargazing and I found 7 sisters, Orion, and the Milky Way! They turned out the lights on the top deck of the ship so we could see better!


November 10, 1999

Last night my mom came in and said… "We need to go to our life boat station." We had to be counted because there was a man overboard!  He got back on safely.


November 11, 1999

Today I built an ancient Egyptian city with Elizabeth and her Legos.  We made lots…(deep breath)..a pharaoh, a pyramid, traps, a tomb, a throne, the Nile, boats and tomb robbers!


November 12, 1999

Today in Kid Core I made an A to Z book on Egypt. Tomorrow we will be in Egypt!


November 13/14, 1999



Today we arrived at the Suez Canal.  We rode tenders to land instead of docking. Than we took a 3 hour bus ride to Cairo.  We had an Egyptian lunch at 4:00 PM. We watched a laser light show at the Pyramids. We had dinner at 10:00 PM.

We woke up at 4:30 AM to watch the sun rise over the pyramids. I climbed inside of a Pyramid and saw a queens' chamber with nothing in it except holes in the walls.


We went to a museum and saw King Tut's jewels and sarcophagus (coffin). We saw a mummified monkey. We drank lemon juice with Dina at the University. We had a very long bus ride to Port Said to catch the boat!


November 17, 1999

We're in Turkey!!

Today we walked across the Galata Bridge and took a tram up to the Blue Mosque.  We walked through markets to get to the pensione (hotel) that Elizabeth was staying at (there were lots of stairs).

Then we headed to the largest covered bazaar in the world called the Kapali Carsi. I found a silver chain for my cartouche. I hope it is real silver!


November 18, 1999

We visited an orphanage on the Asian side. Even though we couldn't speak the language, we could play a variety of games with a ball like…(deep breath) copy cat, monkey in the middle, basketball and volleyball. 


November 19, 1999


Today I visited a school that had kindergarten -11th grade. Next, we heard a few of the students in a concert. A music teacher played the violin.  I miss my violin.

We walked in the rain to the pensione and got really, really wet! We met some Americans that were travelling the world with their dog, Go-Go.  We ate dinner at the Cennet and wore Turkish hats.


November 20, 1999


Today, I experienced smells that are good and smells that are bad.  For instance, the spice market (good) and Fish Market (bad).

I took a "Taksi" (that's Taxi in Turkish) to the largest mall in Europe and real Legos!


November 21, 1999


Today we walked around the city and took the Tunel (pronounced toonel). In the evening we went to a farewell banquet.


November 22, 1999


We are in the Mediterranean Sea on our way to Croatia in the Adriatic Sea.  Today in Kid Core we played the Un-game. One of the things I said was that my favorite food in Turkey was the Suleyman soup.


November 24, 1999


We are in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  There is a long walk from the ship to the terminal buildings.  We walked through the market to get to a bread store.


We took a bus to old Dubrovnik to walk around on top of the city walls.  We saw a cat that looked like my cat Tigger, except his tail was broken in the wrong place and his head wasn't tilted.  The person who owned the cat gave us grapes from her grapevine and they were sweet.


November 24, 1999


Today, Elizabeth and I went to an aquarium with her dad.  For lunch we each ordered a cheeseburger. We only at half because it was HUGE! HUGE! HUGE!! I fed the rest to a dog.


That afternoon we visited Osojnik, a mountain village. We roasted little squares of bacon over an open fire. It was GREAT!


November 26, 1999


Today we went to Medugorje in Bosnia and went to Mass.  We climbed up a steep mountain side to get to a cross.


November 27, 1999


Today we went to old town to rent a boat.  We went to the island of Lokrum for a picnic under a fig tree.  We saw a tide pool.  I saw two crabs and 8 sea urchins.


November 28, 1999


Today in Kid Core we drew lying on our back like Michelangelo did in the Sistine Chapel.

We had Cait's 16th birthday party.


November 29, 1999


We're on our way to Italy. In Kid Core we are learning about Michelangelo's statue of David.


November 30, 1999


We're in Civitivecchia! Today we are on a bus to Rome. We saw St. Peter's Basilica, the Coliseum and the Trevi Fountain (it was under restoration.)


At St. Peter's Basilica there were swallows flying around in certain formations that looked like spirits. (I thought that since it was a holy place that they were spirits.)


December 1, 1999


Today we went to the Vatican Museum and saw the Sistine Chapel. It was AMAZING!  Standing below it, the people looked life sized!!  It is a fresco painting.


We also saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  After Pisa, we went to Florence.


December 2, 1999


Today we went to see the Academie Museum and saw Michelangelo's statue of David.  The detail was great!  That night we went to Teatro Verdi to see Sister Act. It was all in ENGLISH! (Except for the guy that sang)


December 3, 1999


Today we found a shopping market. It was near St Mary's of the Flowers Cathedral. I got a statue of David. We took a bus back to the ship.


December 4, 1999


Today we took a train to Rome to meet Father Brian at the Trevi Fountain.  Father Brian took us on a walking tour to a Precipio (manger scene) and to see a Mosaic of Sts. Peter and Paul and the 12 lambs.  We had Mass with him. Then we had a great lunch.


We went shopping. Next we took a train to Civitivecchia and had McDonald's.

The Gelato is great! Gelato means ice cream.


December 5, 1999


Today there is a force 9 gale wind up to 88 miles an hour and waves up to 28 feet! It sprayed our highest deck.  It was a "wave" day not a snow day!  Dishes were crashing everywhere! I only left Elizabeth's room if I was going to eat or to get more crackers!


December 6, 1999


Today we finished our soap carvings. Mine was David's head on a bottle. We leaned about Leonardo da Vinci.


We had a Christmas party. We decorated cookies and finger painted.