Two weeks is not very long, although there is a lot of other stuff to think about at the moment, like earthquakes, aftershocks and wild weather. I’ve also been thinking about the whole process of getting this far, which has gone something like this:
December 2015: See Antarctica NZ notice about community engagement programme for 2016/17
Think: Antarctica! That would be amazing!
Think: I could apply! I wouldn’t get it! But it would be so amazing! I could try!
Lots of helpful emails from Antarctica NZ
Think: I need a writing proposal
(Lot of thinking here)
January 2016: Submit proposal
February 2016: Email from Antarctica NZ to say they are working through all the proposals
March 2016: Email from Antarctica NZ to say that my proposal has made it through to the next round, and - just in case - enrol in Victoria Uni Antarctica Online course (the equivalent of a Stage 3 paper, and the only science paper I’ve ever taken at uni)
March/April/May: readings, videos and online discussion about history, geology, other science projects, governance (ie who's in charge) and Antarctic inspired art and literature - so glad I enrolled in this course, even if I don't get chosen to go!
April 2016: Email from Antarctica NZ to say they can’t promise anything, but it isn’t yet a definite no, and it could even be a possible yes
May 2016: NZARI Winter School on Great Barrier Island – a weekend of hanging out with scientists and a range of other people – journalists, TV reporters, artists, teachers – all fascinated by Antarctica
June 2016: Email from Antarctica NZ to say YES
First thoughts: WOW AMAZING! I am going to Antarctica!
Second thoughts: Antarctica? Really? Ice, cold, remote, far away, windy, freezing…
Thinks: I am going to Antarctica? This is SCARY.
Is it too late to pull out?
(Lots of supportive and encouraging emails from Antarctica NZ)
June – November: pulling project together, starting this blog, putting together a Schools Pack of resources, gathering questions from school children about what it's like down there, emailing teachers and librarians, sending out copies of the Schools Pack, trying to work out what gear I will need, feeling totally inadequate when looking at Jason O'Hara's pile of gear, feeling relieved when he says that his pocket-sized point-and-click camera turned out to be his hero.
Four weeks to go
Feeling delighted, apprehensive, still a bit unbelieving, excited, still slightly nervous...
Three weeks to go
Two weeks to go…