Thursday, September 27, 2007

O Keri, Where Art Thou? And if you can dodge writing your blog, you can dodge a ball.

Well, hello, loyal readers. As many who have followed my past blogs know, they are sporadic, at best. But I do feel a bit more guilty this time around, because I know that Antarctica is fun and I want to share it with you! So my apologies. I am going to repay you in pictures. LOTS of pictures of what I have been up to the last several days. Some adventures have been censored, as Big Brother is always watching, but let me tell you Big Brother, I have done nothing at all illegal and am a perfectly good angel at all times.

That said, let's get to it!

Tonight -- dodge ball! Yes, if you can dodge a penguin, you can dodge a ball. I played tonight on team housing. We came in third! Yay! There were only four teams. Still yay! Because we came in third! Below, you can see a picture of me moving in for the kill. Somehow, I was the last woman standing twice, which may be because I'm pretty good at dodging. I did not win the matches, however, because I am pretty lousy at throwing. I do believe we won that game, however.

We are playing in the big gym, which has taken down many a McMurdo-ite this year. Knee injuries, black eyes, bloody noses ... the death toll is growing. In fact, I believe the very player you see in the photo actually hurt his knee tonight. So it's dangerous out there. But fun.

There are a lot of great ways to get exercise here. I've taken up yoga, for instance, and learned that while I have formidable flexibility, I have almost zero sense of balance. Who knew? Certainly not me. I guess my future as a tightrope walker is out of the question now. Other great exercise opportunities are hikes.

Below is Ob Hill (Observation Hill) that looms over McMurdo. It's about 750 feet up. If you look closely, you can see a little cross at the top of the hill. The cross commemorates Robert F. Scott and his expedition party members who died on their way back from the South Pole. The search party who found the bodies climbed up and put up the memorial in 1912, I believe. And last week, I climbed up too, and took some cheesy tourist shots. I'm sure Scott would have appreciated that too. Some people climb every day. I am lazy, and I've climbed it only once.

What else do I do down here? On Thursdays, the Kiwis open their base up to we Americans, so I play tourist there from time to time also. Last week was the first week it was light enough at night for me to see their base. It's a kiwi green color. I think the official paint shade is called Kiwi Green. Those crazy Kiwis.

There are some great signs too, and I had to take the obligatory tourist photos. Look! Only 12000 km to Tokyo. I can make that.
I'm a janitor here, so my science is the science of cleaning up crap. But some people actually get to do legitimate science here, and some of them are nice enough to share the wealth. I showed you my fishing friends a few blogs entries ago, for whom it would be very very illegal if they would ever happen to take me on a fishing trip. If they ever did, which they would never do, we might head out to the fishing huts in a pisten bully like the one you see below. Crazy little piece of transportation, that. I hear it's a very very bumpy ride.

Ever heard about that ozone hole? That big one? Over Antarctica? Well, down here, we get to rub shoulders with the people who tell us how big the hole is. They get their information from regular launches of weather balloons. We got to take a break from work one day to watch them launch a balloon. The picture of the glowing orb is actually the sun seen through the balloon, and that's my friend Matt holding it! Pretty cool!

So do I ever work here? Yes, I do. Here's me busy buffing floors and channeling my inner Ghostbuster with a vacuum back pack. I never knew doing janitor work could be so much fun! Really! This job is a blast!

Here's a picture of some crazy weather moving in over the mountains.

Here's some crazy McMurdo public art. There's lots of it around here, and I will actually post more of it at some point. There are a lot of artsy fartsy people among us.

Finally, there's another little hike I've done after work from time to time. It's short, and easy, but very worth it. A 5-10 minute walk out of town gets you to Hut Point, where there's another little memorial to someone whose name escapes me. We still have sunsets, for a few more days, anyway, and the day I took these pictures, it was beautiful. You'll see me by the cross, and a couple of pix of the view I got to see looking out from that picture. This place is absolutely fan-freaking-tastically awesome. Get your resumes ready, folks. You definitely want to do whatever you can to arrange your life so you can get here.


Anonymous said...

Looks pretty awesome Keri. Glad to hear you're really enjoying the job and kicking ass at dodgeball. :) I thought you got to drive those vehicles around town?

Anonymous said...

So how big is the hole in the ozone? I learned something new from your blog!! Thanks Keri. PS. your looking very thin, are you eating? Your friends at AMC!!