The guest post seems to have fallen through, so I’ll write a bit about Christmas here. It’s a big deal here - a 2-day weekend (the normal RPSC (Raytheon Polar Services Corp.) workweek is 6 days – 54 hours). It started on Dec. 24th, with a big party in the VMF (Vehicle Maintenance Facility), with food and drinks, a slideshow of contributed family photos, some dancing and lots of talking. Plus a chance to visit with Santa, on his sleigh (below; it's very rare to see a Santas sleigh that is actually designed for the North Pole). All in a cavernous building usually used to repair heavy machinery. Or course, there was plenty of snow outside.
On Christmas Day, the main event was dinner, served in 3 shifts (3 pm, 5 pm and 7 pm). The dining crew pulled out all the stops – roast duck, prime rib with horseradish sauce, and lobster tails in herbed butter. Thorsten and I were invited to eat in the BFC (“Berg Field Camp,” also known by residents as “Building Full of Chicks”, for the gender of the people who work there). It was nice to eat with a smaller crowd (~ 25 people, again from helicopter pilots to mountaineers, even if it did mean require carrying our plates of food through the sub-freezing outdoors.
After dinner, we all walked over to MAAG (McMurdo Alternative Art Gallery), which I discussed in the last post. It was a nice evening, even for someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas.