Saturday, August 14, 2010

Goodbye, Hello

Well it has been an experience to pack up everything I own from my house to my classroom in a month to prepare for my journey to the Antarctic. Thankfully I had a little help. I have to give a shout out to my friend Sarah, my brother Russ, and my sister and bro-in-law Lizzie and Kevin. Without them, I would still be rummaging through all the “stuff” I have accumulated over the years. I am somewhat amazed that most of my stuff has fit into a 6 x 10 storage unit. Afterward, my brother treated Sarah and I to massages at a spa! It was beyond the call of brotherly duty but we thoroughly enjoyed the pampering!!!

I also felt like I needed to close out the part of my life I thought was going to be in a marriage. On my “non” wedding day, the day that I was going to be married, the girls and I went out on the town and had a little party of our own. We had a great night! Thanks Pam and Katie!

It is also kind of humorous that last year I went to a bridal show and won the grand prize in a raffle which included a one night stay at the “Rustic Romance” cabin at the same location where I was going to get married. So… to close out that portion of my life, I decided to go up to the cabin with my friend Katie and have goodbye, and celebrate the opportunity to have a good life!
Katie and I had a great time hanging out at Lake Gregory (and the waterslide there). We went hiking and enjoyed watching movies and champagne while watching numerous shooting stars fly across the mountain sky. It was great closure.

The last bit of packing up included cleaning out my classroom of 7 years worth of papers and curriculum that I have accumulated throughout my time at SDCCS. Much of it went to the new 5th grade teachers and some of it in storage for my return to teaching. It was refreshing but a serious time consuming event. Thank you Sarah for donating your time to come help me. I couldn’t have done it without you!!!

My voyage to Antarctica started off with a trip to Denver for an orientation of the program. I got to meet some of the other people that I will be working with in Antarctica as well as a few extras from the hotel (Gerard and Joshua A……..). The people that are coming down to the Ice are very interesting and have had many exciting voyages of their own (One girl has ridden coast to coast on a unicycle!) It has been really fun getting to know all of them!

On the flight from Denver to LAX, I sat next to a woman who was a kindred soul and we chatted for the whole flight. Jane (or Jan, we were not as concerned with names as conversation) was an extraordinary woman to talk to! She was a mother to 16 children that ranged from 51 to 29. It was amazing to hear about many of the great stories she had to tell. When we got into LAX, we were enjoying our conversation so much that we had dinner with each other too. It is amazing the incredible people that come across your path in life. I really hope there will be a book of your life that comes out, Jane.

I am now in New Zealand. The flight from LAX to Auckland was long but went well. I watched a movie, ate a snack and slept for most of the flight. We are now on the 4th flight out of 5, and on our way to Christchurch. There we will pick up our Extreme Weather Gear and have 2 nights of relaxation and travel time around Christchurch until we fly out on a C-17 military flight on Sunday. Cheers for now.