Where is my team?

19 Oct

I reached McMurdo today.  The team were expecting me to arrive a day later, so when I reached McMurdo, there was no one there to meet me. I was surprised, but figured they had some urgent stuff to take care of. Then I went through a series of orientations and picked up my dorm room key. I  was pleasantly surprised to see my dorm room this time. It is a different dorm than last year and houses only 2 people, unlike last year when we were 5 people in a room. I kept my stuff in the room and came back to find a guy roommate, to the astonishment of us both. Fortunately the matter got sorted out fast, and now I have the room to myself.

Coming to McMurdo seemed like coming home. It did not feel like I had been away for 10 months, rather it felt like a gap of only a few days.

In the evening, I went to the galley hoping that I would see someone there. I wandered around for an hour and still saw no one from my team. Finally, I decided to eat dinner alone. Halfway through my dinner, Kristof and Chris happened to spot me and I had the rest of my dinner with the team. They updated me on the status of various things they were working on.

Finally, I called it a day and went to bed at around 9:00p.m and slept well.

Here is the story in pictures.

The passenger terminal for the flight to McMurdo

The passenger terminal for the flight to McMurdo

Baggage being checked in.

Baggage being checked in.

Bags being loaded.

Bags being loaded.

Inside the C-17.

Inside the C-17.

Transatlantic mountains seen from C-17.

Transantarctic mountains seen from C-17.

Dorm room.

Dorm room.

18 Oct

I arrived in Christchurch and took the shuttle to my hotel. It was cold and raining. I barely had the time to sit down for a bit when I had to leave for the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) center for extreme cold weather (ECW) gear issue.

Then I went for a walk in the Botanical gardens, which are an absolute delight.

Finally, I had dinner with some other people headed to McMurdo and the South Pole.

The clothing distribution center. Much of the gear shown is issued to us.

The clothing distribution center. Much of the gear shown is issued to us.

Spring in the botanical gardens in Christchurch.

Spring in the botanical gardens in Christchurch.

The variety and number of flowers is amazing.

The variety and number of flowers is amazing.

A grove of interesting pine trees.

A grove of interesting pine trees.

I found a quiet corner to lie in the grass.

I found a quiet corner to lie in the grass.

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