20 November, 2002
I never fail to be amazed by the generosity of others. That really describes my sendoff.
In late October, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) meteorite research team turned out at a local Mexican restaurant to throw me a goodbye party. They came up with some of the most clever meteorite finding tools I've seen including an ice tray sample collector and a hook attached to a head strap that keeps me looking toward the ground.
The secretaries at school then pitched in by throwing an Antarctic theme party complete with meteorite meatballs, celestial gelatin (spheres of fruit in blue jello), and, of course, Klondike Bars (wrong pole).
But my students are the ultimate. On my final days they showed up with cakes, rolls, popcorn and lots of stuffed penguins. Yasemin Acar explained that hers is named Pablo and is NOT from Antarctica, but, rather South America. Jaime Nulph presented me with one with a stone it would donate to a female penguin building a nest. Jen Roberts gave me one with a sign with the message, "Eat Me." I think it was being littoral. But the funniest gifts came from Calder Curtis and Cody Krinz who created a Mr. Caldwell Action Figure out of one from Return of the Jedi. They even altered the figure so that it contains the same bald spot.
Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. In the weeks preceeding my this trip, I was so frantic in preparation that I lost sight of the magnitude of such a trip. Knowing that so many people are following this journey makes me feel very fortunate.
There have been too many acts of generosity to mention here, but this trip is really a team effort made possible by those back home.
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