[click on this to get the full picture. it's far away. very far away.]
If anyone ever tells you that they're going to apply to work in Antarctica, just for fun, just to see if they get hired... laugh at them.
No really, laugh at them. Because they will have no idea what they're getting themselves into.
I started applying for jobs six months ago, and that was after several months of schmoozing.
Today - after two hour long phone interviews, an infinite (literally, infinite... I still haven't seen the end) stack of paperwork, endless poking and prodding by doctors (and sometimes re-poking when tests are lost in the mail), phone call after phone call, etc, etc - I am finally PQ'd, which means physically qualified, which was the last key to this labyrinth puzzle of being officially hired to work in the most inhospitable place on the planet. Yippee!
The past few days were especially difficult because I had a couple of medical tests come back that needed further testing. My job suddenly became uncertain, and my future was an unthinkable haze. I employed some good old fashioned escapism - floating down the river, delicious and elaborate snacks, and I may or may not have watched the entire first season of Friday Night Lights... Tim Riggins, please let me have my heart back. But everything of course was fine, and now I'm back in the game! Let the packing begin!
I officially leave August 11th... the whole hang up pushed me back almost a week, which is fine by me. I will arrive on the ice on August 17th. It takes that long to get down there because I do a day of orientation in Denver, I have a day or two in New Zealand getting equipped with my ECW (extreme cold weather gear), and I also lose a day from the time change (crossing the international date line). I'm headed to the future, bitches. Oh yeah, and there's also the 25 or so hours of flying.
Tomorrow I'm heading to the gorgeous Flathead Lake to tutor the children of undocumented migrant workers. Easily one of the most fun, challenging, heartbreaking, and absurdly rewarding jobs, ever. I will post about that while I'm there. For now I'll leave you with a Flathead sunset picture.
P.S. The official Antarctic countdown is on! (19 days...)