28 March, 1999

March 28, 1999

Hello from Connersville, Indiana! It was a very good trip home, although it took nearly 27 hours from the time I left Punta Arenas until the time I arrived in Indianapolis (and I live about an hour and a half from Indy). Not all of that time was spent in the air, however -- I had layovers at the airports in Santiago, Miami, and Chicago. The most beautiful scenery of the entire trip home was on the flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago. I was so glad that I had a window seat . . . we could see the mountains of the Andes, and they were absolutely magnificent! The glaciers coming out of the mountains were really neat, and it was so clear outside that we could even see crevasses in the ice. I also really enjoyed seeing the color of the lakes and streams fed by glacial meltwater -- they were a beautiful shade of blue as a result of the glacial flour suspended in the water. It reminded me of the glacial streams that we saw in New Zealand at the beginning of our trip.

These last seven weeks have been absolutely amazing. I have seen, felt, and experienced things that I never dreamed imaginable. I have made new friends, visited new places, and learned new things . . . and am filled with excitement as I relive those memories. I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to return to Antarctica with Dr. Anderson. Many people have asked if it was still as exciting during my second trip as it was last year during my first trip. The answer is YES! Last year, there was excitement concerning the unknown. It was neat to see penguins, seals, whales, and icebergs for the first time; and it was great to learn about the science and the scientific instruments that we used throughout the cruise. This year, it was exciting that I had more background knowledge from the very beginning. I already knew about the different pieces of equipment, so I could focus on understanding the information that the data provided. I returned to Antarctica with a better understanding of the geology of the area, therefore my ability to see the Rbig pictureS was greatly improved. As for the penguins, seal, whales, and icebergs . . . I don't think that it matters how many times you see them. They are really awesome every time!

I want to take a few minutes and thank some of the people who made everything possible. Without these people, I would not have been able to study in or teach from Antarctica. To all of them, I am extremely grateful!!

Dr. Ira Geer, Dr. David Smith, and everyone from the Maury Project (which is sponsored by the American Meteorological Society, the United States Naval Academy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, and the Office of Naval Research) -- Thank you for the nomination to fill out an application for the TEA program. It all started with you!

Dr. Wayne Sukow and the National Science Foundation -- Thank you for supporting and funding the TEA program. It is a worthwhile program that benefits both the teachers and also the students. I am honored to be one of the parcticipating teachers.

Mrs. Stephanie Shipp -- Thank you for coordinating the TEA program. Your energy and enthusiasm have resulted in continuous growth in not only the TEA but also in the TEA Associates program . . . and it's contagious! You're awesome!

Dr. Teresa Eineman, Mrs. Arlene Bliven, Dr. Steve Kaiser, Mr. Mike Cerqua, and the other administrators, faculty, and staff of the Fayette County Schools -- Thank you so much for your continual support. You have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. I only hope that my love and dedication to my job show you how much I appreciate your support. Although I've had a wonderful year, I'm really looking forward to returning to Connersville High School in the fall.

Dr. Mike Modesitt and Bob Corell -- Thank you for allowing one of the websites to be on the Fayette County Schools server, and for your assistance in setting up and maintaining a counter on the site. Your computer skills are incredible.

Dr. Suellen Reed, Cathy Danyluk, Kevin Beardmore, Leah Bricker, and all of my colleagues at the Indiana Department of Education -- I am so pleased that it worked out that I could be Indiana's first "Ambassador for Education." Thank you for allowing me to return to Antarctica this year, and thank you for encouraging me to speak with so many students and teachers all over the state. This entire sabbatical has been a wonderful experience . . . and I have learned so many things from all of you that will be a benefit to me for the rest of my professional career.

Don Michaelson and all of the ASA people on our cruise -- Thank you for your work and dedication to conducting scientific research in Antarctica. I continue to be amazed at all of your abilities.

Captain Joe and all of the Edison Chouest Offshore employees aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer -- Thank you for dedication to maintaining the premier scientific research vessel in Antarctica. ItUs obvious that you care about your jobs and that you care about the science that is being conducted aboard your vessel. You run a great ship.

Ashley, Julia, PJ, Broxton, Diane, Hannah, and Tamara -- Thank you for all of the great times that we had. This was such a wonderful experience. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to meet each one of you. I've learned so much from you, and you are a joy to work with!

Dr. John Anderson -- Thank you for formally parcticipating in the TEA program last year, and for allowing me to return to Antarctica with you this year. My life has changed as a result of working with you. I value your wisdom, and I appreciate your ability to teach. Thank you for including me as one of your own!

Karen and Ed Donselman -- Thank you for your support of all my crazy adventures. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful parents. I love you, and I appreciate all that you do!

Marvin Giesting -- Thank you so much for everything. Nothing about this trip would have been possible without you. Your support, your encouragement, and your love mean everything to me. You spent countless hours supporting this trip, and I appreciate every one of them. The web site's additional links were a great resource for everyone following the daily journals, and I know that it took a lot of time to find them every day. You conducted a workshop about Antarctica and the TEA program while I was gone, and you encouraged many different classrooms to visit the web site. In addition, you maintained our home (and raised our puppy, Malcolm) while I was gone. You are very much appreciated! I love you!

All of you who followed along on our expedition -- You have been my motivation every night. Sometimes, it's tough to sit down and write the daily journal after a long day of work (especially in rough seas). I am so appreciative of the fact that you parcticipated -- by reading the journals, looking at the photographs, and sending me email. You made it easy to research, write, and rewrite every journal; and you made it a joy to take digital photographs of every situation. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to become a part of mine. I really appreciate it!

Well, I can't believe that it's really over. These past seven weeks have sure gone by quickly. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to write. My email address is kgiestin@fayette.k12.in.us. This has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Thank you for sharing it with me!

Kim Giesting

Latitude: 39 degrees 35 minutes North

Longitude: 85 degrees 10 minutes West

This was my view out the airplane window as I flew from Punta Arenas to Santiago, Chile.

The view was awesome!

I'm sitting in O'Hare International Airport, in Chicago, Illinois. Only one more flight before I'm home!

I'm amazed that we have flowers blooming at home -- the daffodils and hyacinths are beautiful! I'm enjoying them with my husband, Marvin, and our dog, Malcolm.

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