Because of the Friday gathering the day before, some of us had a hard time getting up this day, but in the end we all made it to the university on time. It was the first biology day, and the focus of the lectures was the challenges that come with living in an arctic environment, especially at sub zero temperatures. The lectures were awesome, so we had no problems staying awake through a long day (maybe not everyone will share our (biological) opinion on the lectures).
After lunch we headed out in the hills close to Sukkertoppen to look at some representatives of the beautiful flora of Svalbard. Some of us got really wet from the melting snow (leading to some -barefooted students), but it was obviously worth it - the flowers were great.
We finished this exceptionally long school day with a conference call with a Portuguese biologist living and working with seals, albatrosses and penguins in Antarctica. We were tired, but we were still eager to ask some good questions about life as a researcher in such a remote and dark place. He definitely has a cool life.
After school most of the guys went to Huset for the Saturday steak (which was great!), while Vegard and I (Lars) headed out to do some local community work at the midsummer party in Longyearbyen. We showed the kids how to throw a tennis ball at old tin cans. It was a whole lot of fun, and we even got free food and drinks for doing it. Most of the locals gathered for good food, music and a huge fire in the midnight sun.
While the locals ate and talked, we had our own little skateboarding contest at the stage/dance floor in the middle of the area. No one won, but we all had a great time falling and hurting ourselves and laughing at each other.
One of the fine traditions of this celebration is to take a dip in the sea (which in this area also receives fresh and cold melt water from the nearby mountains). Most of us partook in this fine ritual, both the willing and the unwilling, and went in the ice-cold water, followed by reheating by the bonfire. The party went on all through the night, with dancing under the midnight sun. This led to an even harder Sunday morning (which we had to spend at school, gladly, of course). But there’s no stopping us! (well, most of us ).
Lars and Lisa
Etter fredagens fest ble dagen en ganske hard dag for mange av oss, men vi klarte likevel at komme oss til UNIS (universitetssenteret) til forste forelesning. Dette skulle vere den forste av flere biologidager, hvor hovedfokus ligger p
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Saturday, 20 June 2009 12:37
IPY Polar Field School- June 20thWritten by lizthomas
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