My life on the ice has been cleaning, cleaning, dishes, sweeping, mopping, exercising, reading, cleaning. While the work is not awesome, the people are! Not just the people I work with, but the new friends I’ve made in other departments.

The reality of McMurdo is that they keep you working long, hard hours so that you’re good and tired by the time your off-hours roll around. Tired employees are less likely to do stupid things and hurt themselves. I get that. But, I — and most others — still find the energy to do whatever makes us happy. For me, it’s exercise and exploring. For others, it’s socializing at the MANY parties on station or gathering in smaller groups for movies or discussions.

I have been invited to a couple of events that people of similar interests have put together, like Space Club where you talk about space, or coloring book sessions; both of which sound great to me!

Last night, Richard and I went to one of the science lectures. It was on atmospheric waves at the south pole. The researcher, Xian Lu, looks at atmospheric waves that form 30 to 130 km above the earth. Apparently, there are special types of waves at those altitudes that don’t form anywhere but the poles. The power and instability of the polar vortex allows for the wave generation.

I am looking forward to the penguin lecture on Sunday!

I had my first janitorial shift on Monday, which was great despite the vomit we had to clean up. The day is structured very differently from galley — or dining hall — shifts. You get your cleaning assignments at the beginning of the day, complete as you can while taking your breaks and listen to your podcast or music of choice as you go! Every galley worker gets at least one “jano” shift a week. I will continually look forward to mine.

It’s nice to feel like I’m really settling in. Although I’ve only been here just over a week, it feels like longer (but not in a bad way).

Despite the constant daylight, sleep has come easily to me most nights. Part of that is the windowless room — most of the dorm buildings have windows — and part of it is the complete exhaustion of 10-hours-a-day work. Although, I am slowly adjusting to the load.

Tomorrow is Christmas! The chefs have been working like mad to make everything delicious and special. I am excited to see how things will run differently on station for the holiday.

Happy Christmas, World!

Here are the coveralls we wear for jano day.
Here are the coveralls we wear for jano day.

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