So, yes, I’m starting to use the “cool kid” terms like The Ice. It’s certainly rolls off the tongue easier than Antarctica. I’m also using words like deploy, phrases like “when I get to New Zealand…” and thinking thoughts like “How much toothpaste does one go through in 3 1/2 months?” I’m learning many new things in this process, some from my employer’s Participation Guide. In 108 pages, it explains things like the United States’ Role in Antarctica, Travel Requirements, and How and What to Pack. It has a lot of good information. If you’re interested, here’s the link: http://www.usap.gov/USAPgov/travelAndDeployment/documents/ParticipantGuide_2010_2012.pdf
I know I’m going on this rugged adventure and all, but I’m still a woman and fretting about what to pack. I’m not worried about looking stylish, just whether I’ll have what I need for all types of situations. For example: My job is indoors, so I will need my regular work clothes. But how hot/cold will the clinic be? Layers is always the best option. I will be fitted with Extreme Weather Clothing so I don’t have to buy any of the big serious stuff. I do want to have some of my own things for cold weather too. I won’t always need to wear their Imperial Storm Trooper Boots. It will be summer there and temps will eventually be, I think, very similar to winter/spring in Maine. It will get above freezing and snow will be melting. I’m planning for mud. I’m bringing gym clothes. I believe that I will use them. Really. Then, believe it or not, it is suggested to bring a dress or semi-formal attire for the holiday parties. Are you kidding, me? This Maine girl hasn’t worn a semi-formal dress in ages. Now I’m going to take one to Antarctica???? It feels a little odd to pack my heavy winter boots, thermal underwear, and my little black dress. I’m struggling with this one. Then there are the non-clothing needs and wants — toiletries, alarm clock, computer, camera, IPod. I even bought a little shower caddy for taking my toiletries to/from the showers. There is a store on the station with basic supplies — soaps, razors, toothpaste, tampons, etc. So how long DOES it take to go through a tube of toothpaste? I never think about something like that since, in the world of easy access to stores, I just go get more when I’m getting low.
Now getting everything into 2 suitcases will be fun.