2 January, 1999

Saturday, January 2rd, 1999, Christchurch, NZ

Happy New Year everybody and greetings from the South!

I have made it so far to the South: Chrischurch, New Zealand.

I arrived just before christmas after non-stop flights from New York city to L.A., L.A. to Auckland, NZ, and Auckland to Christchurch : alltogether 21 hours in the air. I was greeted by the Antarctic Support Association (ASA) Representative Marlene McLennan who gave me all the necessary paper work and the dates for my departure to the Antarctic. I was supposed to get all my clothing to the Anarctic on the January 4th and leave January 5th. I had time to rest, be with friends, attend a wedding, contact schools, and take a little vacation to be ready for the big trip. So , at least, was my plan.

I met up with freinds from UNIS, my school and we spend christmas with the Youngman's at their charming farm, South of Christchurch.

My thanks to the Youngmans, who provided for all of us and we had a wonderful christmas with all of the family. Unfortunately, I fell

ill with the an ear infection and went to the doctor before the holidays. After the holydays I changed all my plans and I went straight back to Chrischurch to cure myself. Things got worst before they got better and I did not even make it to the wedding. However, I had enough time to take care of my flu and the infection.

I stayed at the Windsor hotel, a charming old Bead and Breakfast, were a lot of the NSF (National Science Foundation) people stayed on their way to the Antarctic. The hotel is a wonderful place to recover and wait and the owner Donald Windsor and his employees are used to people coming and going from the Antarctica. Mr. windsor plays a

major role in the communication with NSF representatives to inform his guest about any changes on flights. His sense of humor and friendlyness helped me a great deal: my thanks to the Windsor. If you are ever in the area, please stop by and have tea, as he tells everybody.

So, I slowly recovered and I met a lot of scientist trying to go to the Antarctic or returning from it. One woman from Australia was

there to help to preserve the clothing in the historical huts.Another was doing penguin research. A different team studied the West Anarctic ice sheet and I learned over breakfast that one of them was in the NOVA video "Warning From The Ice" the video everybody should see. (NOVA has a sale on it until June '99!!). So, you never knew

who you met at breafast.

I organized more of my gear and had a new Extream Weather Clothing issue day, because my new leaving day was supposed to

be to be, January 3rd. As you can see, I did not make it. A large group of university students from all over the world were trying to get to the Anarctic first. This gave me more time to get better, in parcticular the ear infection.

I had my clothing issued just in case. So, off I went to the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) near the airport and the International Antarctic Center. Besides the U.S.A., Italy and New Zealand had

also their centers there for Antarctic research. I was often asked by students why Chrischurch, NZ was choosen to prepare for American Antarctic visits. Does anybody know the answer?

John from the Clothing Distribution Center is showing me where and how the Antarctic gear is organized and stored

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