Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 134: Greenland, we need to talk

It's time for me to move on. I'm leaving you for Norway.


Yes, it's true. In a few days I'll be leaving this icy land for a...more icy land. But not before a little holiday vacation. I leave Greenland on Thursday (weather permitting, which it sure better), flying to Iceland (spending a night with my cousin) then flying to Boston to FINALLY bounce to Halifax, Canada. Halifax holds a lovely friend from the Amundsen, spending time over there will be unspeakably excellent. And then a bit of a stop in ye ol' Edinburgh before heading to my most northern destination: LONGYEARBYEN, homed at that frigid latitude of 78 degrees north.

These last few days have been different. I must say I am glad to be leaving, but there are things here that I care for (namely my host family) and it is strange to be going. It also marks the end of another leg of my trip, which is getting dangerously close to the half-way mark, which gives me pause to consider what I'm doing, what in the world my project is actually about, and a growing fear of Life After the Arctic. Which, admittedly, could turn into Life In the Arctic Once Again. But I don't know.

So that every-other day thing, yah, I realize I missed my cue yesterday. Those promising events didn't pan out the way I expected them to. On Friday evening we had a teacher's Christmas dinner party at the school, which my sister Aviaja came with me to. It was predictably awkward, but pleasant enough, and in our secret santa exchange I recieved a pair of socks and some soap. Way to say "I have no clue what to get the foriegn girl". Which was actually perfect, because it was probably the only thing they could have got me that I'll actually use, instead of like, candles, or something. At the end of the dinner, I also managed to walk off with someone's tie (JUST SO YOU KNOW, it had been a secret santa gift, I didn't take someone's tie off) so hey...that's pretty awesome too.

Yesterday I was supposed to go out to Kap Tobin (yes, destination of that infamous hike) with another teacher to see the hot springs, but there was too much snow for his ATV. So I got to have a chance to drive the ATV around town, which was insanely fun.

Too much snow, pushing the ATV home:

Ehh...this one didn't make it through the storm/past the town dog-shooter:


So I've been buying up some Christmas gifts...trying to ignore how stressful it will be to haul my luggage accross continents again...sliding down hills on a garbage bag full of snow...

...and plotting entry into Russia. Now, I don't want to get into it too much yet, because things are only in the beginning negotiations, but I have a potential position in north-east Siberia, in an extraordinary location, and with some extremely interesting research. If this pans out, it will be a huge stress off my mind, and a really great opportunity. Here's a little taste: I'd be doing something related to global warming in a research station located near one of Stalin's most infamous gulags in what is now a reindeer herding community. Uh...yeah. Wow.

Is that it? I think that's it...and it may be it for awhile. If you don't see anything here for a few days, think of me grinding my teeth in an airport, about to hit anyone who comes within ten feet of me with a terrifying black padlocked breifcase that weighes about two tons. That would be my camera gear/stranger-discourager. And then greeting my Canadian friend all dirty and wild-eyed, then probably starting to cry when I see fruit.

No comments: