6 Months in Antarctica
I walked outside after tonight’s SAR training feeling overwhelmed by the need to organize so much training for the winter SAR team in the next few weeks. I stopped in my tracks because something was different. Yes, it was dark out, but it’s been getting dark at night for a few weeks now. The wind wasn’t blowing a hard as usual so I was able to take off my hood and stand still for a moment without immediately freezing. There were a few dozen stars in the moonlit sky and a slight orange glow highlighted the mountains to the West. This scene calmed my overwhelming thoughts and the rest of my walk home was full of excitement about a few months of darkness.
I landed in Antarctica 6 months and 10 hours ago. This has been the longest I’ve stayed in one place since high school. My college semesters didn’t even last this long. Part of me feels trapped here, but the other part is relieved to know where I am sleeping every night and know that I have a paycheck every two weeks and do not have to worry about catching the next plane to somewhere in the world.
I don’t know how much has changed about me since I got here. But I have adapted to be content with where on earth I am and what my life is right now. I have watched everything change around me. The sunlight and sea ice have gone from being ever-present in my life to disappearing and reappearing on a daily basis—all trending toward disappearing all together. This cycle will reverse itself before I know it. The faces of the people around me have changed and now the few faces that I see will get paler and paler, except for the bright red moments when one enters a building from the biting wind and cold.
I’m pretty excited about what the next six months in Antarctica have to bring.
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