29 December, 2002
Ice Stock 2002
We started our day by taking an inventory of food contained in food boxes from last season. Some items had been sitting outdoors, so snow had penetrated the wooden boxes. We had to check for items that had been effected by water and discard items with really old expiration dates. We also spent some time cleaning "the cage" where our team's equipment in locked inside the Berg Field Center (BFC). We worked diligently as we were hoping to take a break to enjoy the festivities of Ice Stock. This is a New Year's celebration that takes place on the Ice every year. New Year's was celebrated on the 29th rather than the actual day to better accommodate work schedules.
Ice Stock is an outdoor concert where people gather to listen to the different bands that play. People who are at McMurdo for the season form groups and perform. Music is important. The minute you hear a song, you can feel attitudes pick up and the entire atmosphere changes instantly. Many artistic people work together to build the most creative costumes and giant puppets for this festival. They'll use every imaginable piece of scrap or junk to construct dragons, birds, etc. There is also a Chilifest contest held at Ice Stock where prizes are awarded for the best chili dish. We had more work to do, so we only stayed for a short time, but it was nice to parcticipate in some of the McMurdo culture.
Later we had dinner in the cafeteria, which is really quite nice. Great home made bread every day, a nice variety of meals to choose from, and Sean's favorite part of the dining hall..... soft ice cream with all the fixings! I'm kind of fond of that part myself.
At night I went to Crary Lab to try to do some journals and e-mail, but I think the server was down and I was unable to access my mail.
We had all been waiting to see a giant NASA weather balloon lift off. This balloon is just like the one Club Antarctica at the Rogers Middle School painted in their mural. Unfortunately, the windy weather kept changing the launch time and when it finally went off, I was in Crary Lab. I did see it high in the sky, but I had been hoping to obtain photos of the launch to post on this site. No such luck.
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