Sunday, December 21, 2008

WAIS - Dec 21, 2008 - Natalie

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Leftovers

Hi. This is Natalie Kehrwald again adding to our WAIS adventures. Sunday is our day off at camp, which was welcome after our first few days of drilling and getting used to working in shifts. People who are adjusting to the night shift are given a bit of extra time to get ready for working from 11 pm until 7 am. Our camp is using New Zealand time to keep on the same schedule as McMurdo, but since we are in a different part of the continent, this means that “night” here actually includes the warmest part of the day. The fact that the sun will not set until late February also helps with working different drilling and core processing shifts.
Sunday is definitely the preferred day for laundry and showers. I walked into the recreation tent expecting to see many people waiting their turn to transform from scruffy to clean, but instead there was a group singing and playing instruments including guitars, a mandolin, and a Celtic drum. People waiting were drawn to the music and just hanging out or reading and it made for a really relaxing morning.

I went for a ski after lunch with friends, and on the way back we ran into a very bundled person flying a 6 meter long kite. Because we could only see the person’s nose sticking out of all of their layers, Bess and I yelled over to see who it was. It turned out to be Kiwi (so nicknamed because he is the only New Zealander currently in camp) who is a mountaineer and mechanic. We have a few gigantic mining bulldozers in camp that are used to dig out the drilling arch after winter, and to clear buildings after summer storms. In addition, we have snowmobiles and forklifts that we need to move cargo or conduct work in farther away locations. The mechanics in camp are responsible for keeping all of these machines running, and may have to repair snowmobiles outside during blizzards. But, since today was a day of play, we were able to spend a part of the afternoon flying kites. The 6 meter kite can be used with skis to take advantage of the wide wide open spaces around here, and we also flew a 2 meter kite that is mainly used for tricks.
When I came back to camp, I stopped by the galley where Bess was giving swing and jitterbug dance lessons. Our eating tables were folded out of the way, and people were laughing and doing flips in the air. Some of my flip attempts ended up in me falling or sliding around, but it was generally great to be surrounded by so many happy people. The walls of the galley tent are canvas and so we had to be careful to stay away from the edges so that we did not accidentally do damage to one of the most important structures in camp. We decided to keep up the Sunday dancing in the future, and I am off to dinner and a movie in the non-damaged galley. Life is good.

4 comments:

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Daniela said...

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