So now that my computer has passed the requirements for using the internet here, I finally have time to blog! The public use computers are fun, too, but they have a 20 minute limit when people are waiting. As I am going to try not to repeat anything that Kelsey already said, I will start from Christmas events.
Christmas is primarily celebrated on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Eve is celebrated on Christmas Eve Eve, so on the 23rd there was a holiday party that Kelsey and I attended. It was kind of fun, but we felt really left out because we don’t know many people on base yet and it was the kind of party where people stand around and chat. So after some refreshments, some cookies, and a visit with Santa we bailed. I’ve been told, however, that the party really picked up around 10:30pm when the dancing started.
The next day was Christmas Eve and therefore we had Christmas dinner…makes perfect sense. Even better, there are 3 scheduled times for dinner (because there isn’t room for all ~900 people at McMurdo plus guests from nearby Scott Base to eat together) and we were signed up for the 3 o’clock dinner…after eating breakfast at noon. Despite a recent meal, I quite amazed myself at the amount of food I was able to eat! This was mainly because the food was so good. Dinner featured beef wellington, seared duckbreast, and stuffed lobster tail with lots of side dishes and dessert options. And of course there was Frosty Boy! Frosty Boy is the soft serve machine who everyone loves dearly and who was celebrating by serving green ice cream.
After dinner Kelsey and I returned to our room to slip into a food coma for a few hours before waking up and attending a second dinner at 7pm with some of our friends. The second dinner was just as delicious as the first! So after dinner we went to check out the MAAG (McMurdo Alternative Art Gallery) in the carpentry shop. We got to pose for fantasy McMurdo where the polar bears might get you!
There was some fun (dangerous) entertainment outside (a wooden hamster wheel, a seesaw, and a pogo stick) and lots of unique pieces inside created by people in McMurdo. It’s amazing what a few months of darkness can inspire people to create. There was a piece made entirely out of cookies and a full size twister board painted on the floor. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the talent show portion because we left the building without realizing there was a line to get back inside…and so ended our Christmas (Eve) celebrations.
Christmas was pretty laid back. There weren’t any planned events around town and we mostly caught up on sleep and relaxed. Once the holidays ended and things started getting back to normal, Kelsey and I have finally started to get some work done in the lab and lay plans for the field which I’ll talk about in a science-focused blog soon to come!