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Feb 12th
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Survival Training, Happy Camper School

blog_dirticyLess than 24 hours after landing on “the Ice”, we had to “really, experience” the ice. Our rooms were still not quite situated, our personal stuff was barely unpacked, and we were missing one crate of stuff, including our “pee bottles”, sunscreen, and lotion – things that we would really miss on our upcoming Ice adventure. Some of us were still jetlagged from two intense days of traveling, others had side-effects from the previous day’s flu shot, and we were all excited, anxious, and curious about being in Antarctica.
Bob, Stacy, and DJ all got out of this “Happy Camper School” as they’d taken it within the last five years or had found a way that their experience could grant their pardon. John made it for the first indoor lecture, but then his side-effects got the better of him and he had to retreat to the warmth and comfort of his bed, a place the rest of us would only dream of that upcoming night. That left Jennifer, Julie, David, Kevin, Paul, and me with a group of 14 others including 2 wilderness teachers to go out and survive one night on the harshest continent. It started fairly calm, indoors, with a lecture about the danger of being on the ice and ways to mitigate or survive them. Then we saw the pictures of the effects of frostbite. Wow, we woke up! This was real and those pictures of black thumbs and toes could really be what ours would look like that very day or night.
With that we were off to see how we would survive. With a hectic last run to our dorms to pick up even more clothes, I now had something like 7 layers of pants, 5 layers of tops, 5 different hats, and 8 pairs of gloves stashed with my ECW gear to keep away that frostbite. Would it suffice?
After a mysterious half hour drive in the back of a Delta truck, we were out on the ice shelf, away from the warmth and luxuries of McMurdo.
Our instructors, mountain rescue guides Bryan and Mattie, started our schooling in a gentle manner. Still in a hut with a roof and four walls protecting us from the cold, we reviewed setting up stoves. 
See full blog with photos.
A followup to: Bringing Antarctica to You.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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