July 15, 2008 Passing the time in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
First, I'm happy to send some good news: all 3 of our pieces of missing baggage arrived safely! They even got here earlier than we expected via another airlines that was flying on Sunday!That means that we won't have to try to scramble to find suitable replacement gear for the things that were in those bags!
But it also means that we have that much less work that we have to do.....No big deal, though. People have seemed quite content to continue to read, eat, nap, and work on computing stuff. (see photo)
The free time has also allowed us to go explore the bazaar downtown. Although it is not nearly as large as the market in Seoul, the bazaar in Y-S has a bewildering array of products: lingerie, tools, chai (tea), sausages, squid salad - all sorts of things, sometimes all sold in the same stall!
The bazaar is a combination of open-air stands (where most of the fruit and produce are sold) and quasi-permanently placed indoor vendor stalls (where the household products and other groceries are sold). Three of the four UW students (Molly Odell, Erik Gjesfeld, and Douglas Querl) went on an adventure yesterday and somehow convinced the vendor to let Molly scoop out her own dried apricots. (see photo)
Even though she had only asked for 50 grams of apricots, the vendor convinced her to buy a whole kilo. Molly says that since he was nice enough to let her do the scooping, she decided not to protest!
We are getting closer and closer to finalizing our itinerary for the field season. It may still get tweaked a little bit depending on weather conditions, but in general it looks like this:
16 July: Move onto the ship in Korsakov and depart that night or the next morning 16-20 July steam across to Chirinkotan (northern portion of the central Kurils).
20-31 July: Concurrently run archaeology field camp, geology field camp, and archaeology survey team.
1 - 13 Aug: Move to Rasshua (similar groups as above), with stops at Matua and Ketoi to evaluate damage (and recovery) from the Nov 2006 tsunami event.
14-22 Aug: Move to N Urup (similar groups as above), with stops at Chirpoi Island.
24 Aug: Arrive back at port in Korsakov.
As of yesterday, all of the remaining team members arrived safely. We were waiting on one more graduate student from UW (Natasha Slobodina), as well as our Japanese archaeology colleague (Kaoru Tezuka) and the Japanese vulcanologists (Mitsuhiro Nakagawa, Yoshi Ishizuka, and two students).
We still have a couple of things to buy at the store. Personally, I find that about ½-way through the field season I really start to crave salty crunchy chips. True, we will have plenty of salt in our diet during the summer. But none of it is crunchy! So I would still like to go buy some chips to stash until my cravings really kick in. Maybe deep into the field season I'll conduct a poll amongst our team members to find out what their particular food cravings are?
I'll end with a parting shot of a Soviet-era apartment building essentially identical to the one we are staying in:
Coming soon: a journal entry written from the perspective of an American middle school student who is on the trip with us!