„A lot”, was the answer to the question “which expectations do you have of Classroom under sail?“, by many new KUSis. It was Friday the seventeenth of October, when all parents visited the ship to see how their children were going to live during the next six months. They went through the ship to see the kitchen and the small bathrooms in which their children would brush their teeth for the next time. During the evening our captain, all adult members and the students presented themselves. After the emotional evening, many KUSis had a last dinner with their families and slept in a bed that doesn’t move because of the waves for the last time.
On Saturday the big journey began! There was breakfast at half past six for all students who had slept on the Thor Heyerdahl. Then at nine o’clock all students had to arrive at the harbor to prepare the ship for leaving. The last food had to be stored under our beds and we put everything which we wouldn’t need during our journey in the storeroom ashore. After everything was ready we got more and more excited as the moment of leaving went closer. The ceremony started at 10 o‘ clock with several speeches. Detlef and Ruth said some words about the KUS-project. Ben, a student of the last KUS-journey wished us and the parents a good time with new experiences and hoped for us that we would have better weather and wind then they had had. Between the speeches our choir sang some songs and our parents prepared a surprise: they sang a song which they had composed specially for our journey. For some students the songs of the parents was very emotional and some even started to cry.
In the next ten minutes all students had the possibility to say farewell to their family and friends with many tears and hugs of every family member. Farewell presents were given to the new KUS-members by their families and the first letters for the long journey were exchanged.
When all students were on board again they took a photo with all crew members. After that it was time to practice signal K and all students had to come on board with their life jackets on and line up in the new assigned watches.
After the signal it was time to leave and everybody knew that now it really was time to say “Farewell and Adieu”, like in one of the songs the students sang.
Even though we all knew that it was the last time to see our parents, we all looked forward to the journey and were happy to start.
While we left the harbor with all sails set, we had to do so many things that it wasn’t too difficult to forget the saying farewell.