Life at the South Pole is going splendid so far. I really enjoy working with both of my coworkers. We have a very cozy office and work extremely well together. I am having a very positive experience with the rest of the crew here as well and I am finding plenty of hobbies I like. I have been reading a bunch, still spending a lot of time working in the greenhouse, and I have great workout buddies. But…. It is hard not to day dream about the things I miss in the real world.
Here is a list of the things I miss most and why:
- Being involved in the lives of family and friends. I have email and phone access when the satellite is up, but with the time difference it is usually very late in the states. It is much harder to actively keep in contact with people.
- FRUIT- Especially since the first farmers market happened in my home town last week. My mouth waters thinking about melon, cherries, apples, plums and any other kind of juicy fruit. I inherited one bag of dried apricots from a guy who was leaving at the end of summer. It only lasted a few weeks, but made me realize it would be a great winter snack.
- Animals- I miss all animals. But, mostly I miss this cute dog that Max’s family owns. He is an energetic Siberian Husky, who makes an amazing adventure buddy.
- Hobbies- Max and I both spend a lot of time outdoors in Oregon. Max’s hobbies include, dirt biking, camping, motorcycling, skiing, sailing, etc. Mine include skiing, bicycling, hiking, sailing, backpacking, etc.. Neither of us have ever been consistent about going to the gym because we are always active outside adventuring. Here, when it is -80f and dark it is rare that people spend more than 30 minutes outside. So our only way of exercising is by going to the gym. I miss being able to exercise without having to be on a machine.
- FOOD- It is so hard for a few of us here who are mostly vegetarian. There is one full vegetarian and one vegan. I eat a little meat, but mostly stay away from it when there are other options. I miss being able to decide what I want to eat and when I will eat it. I eat a lot more heavy foods here than I ever ate at home. For example, I used to only eat a bowl of granola for breakfast at home, but here we are served eggs(originally frozen) , bacon or sausage, biscuits and gravy or pancakes and much more. We do have (powdered) milk and sugary cereals, but I have a hard time drinking the “milk”.
However, missing this handful of items is a small price to pay for such an amazing experience. Max took this photo two days ago during our lunch break. That is the moon, which just came up that morning. To the left of the moon are the three telescopes. And we are getting a sky full of stars.
Our station manager took the other two photos the same day. So far, most of the auroras are fairly colorless since the sky is not completely dark yet. The auroras will continue to get brighter and more colorful as the sun gets further away from the southern hemisphere.
The next photo was taken four or five days ago by the guy who works for the BICEP telescope. The building on the bottom of the photo is Ice Cube lab.
Don’t worry- Many more aurora photos to come!