It is difficult to comprehend that I will be leaving in 5 days. I have three missions to complete and I have to finish up other stuff around here. Folks are starting to say goodbye. We are exchanging personal email addresses and talking more about plans off the ice. A lot of folks travel in the off season. I know people who are going the following places for extended periods of time: New Guinea, Indonesia, Africa, China, Mongolia, Tibet, Cook Islands, South America and others. It all appears to come to an end quite abruptly. I am a little apprehensive about being off the ice with all the traffic, advertisements, chaos and everything. I have not seen or heard a radio or television commercial in 4 months. I have not seen the night sky or the sun or plant life in the same time. It is hard to decide what I need to do before I am suddenly in New Zealand.

I have a feeling that my taxi driver in Christchurch will be an individual named Derrick. It was weird; when I was there 4 months ago it always turned out that he was my driver as I had to shuttle between my hotel and the USAP facility 4 or 5 times. He is a native looking kind of middle aged man with large sideburns, glasses and New Zealand cottny way of speaking. I am concerned about the traffic. I have heard stories of folks getting hit by cars just as they get off the ice, because of disorientation, excitement and cars on the weird side of the road.

I really missed the 24 hour internet access at pole. You get so accustomed to things. Although the connections are slow I can get quick answers to questions.

This picture was at pole. I like it because it is a good ol' Rochester Thermometer.


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