26 January 2015 Arrival in Puerto Rico and return to the classroom

Today at 4:00 am I safely arrived home in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

I made the decision to immediately go back to full time work, and at 9:00 am I arrived at the Seminary where I teach astronomy and mathematics, and by 3:30 pm I reached Pedro Rivera Molina middle school where I found my full cohort of 90 EcoSTEAM students anxiously waiting for me. Unbeknownst to me, the school had been planning a party for my arrival, complete with pizza, soda end even a cake! The kids had assembled at the school's stadium and I spoke to them for about 30 minutes on my South Pole expedition.

Back at the school, signing an autograph.  Credit: Gretchen B. Guzmán.Back at the school, signing an autograph. Credit: Gretchen B. Guzmán.

Teachers and students had assembled at the school's stadium.  Credit: Miguel Piñero.Teachers and students had assembled at the school's stadium. Credit: Miguel Piñero.

After a short introduction I answered questions on every possible topic concerning polar exploration, including coping with temperature, elevation and dryness. I also answered a number of questions on neutrinos, cosmic rays and the IceCube experiment. Afterwards, I devoured my three meat-lovers pizza slices—had not yet had lunch!—and then went on to chat with a group of fellow teachers.

Chatting with fellow teachers.  Left to right: Me, Miguel, Gretchen and Lymari.  Credit: Carlos Muñoz.Chatting with fellow teachers. Left to right: Me, Miguel, Gretchen and Lymari. Credit: Carlos Muñoz

I even got a cake!  Credit: Carlos MuñozI even got a cake! Credit: Carlos Muñoz

Now that I was home again and could look back at my actual expedition schedule, I sat down and did a comparison with the preliminary schedule that I had posted on January 2, 2015. As my mentor Jim Madsen had anticipated, the realities of Antarctic travel demand the utmost flexibility and willingness to accept a change of plans. That was my mindset from the beginning, and I saw every change in my schedule as an opportunity and not a hindrance.

My final schedule turned out as follows:

Friday, January 2, 2015: Departure from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Monday, January 5, 2015: Arrival in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015: Arrival at McMurdo station in the coast of Antarctica.
Sunday, January 11, 2015: Arrival at Amundsen-Scott station on the South Pole.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015: Departure from Amundsen-Scott station on the South Pole.
Saturday, January 24, 2015: Departure from McMurdo station on the coast of Antarctica.
Sunday, January 25, 2015: Departure from Christchurch, New Zealand.
Monday, January 26, 2015: Arrival in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

So, the total duration of my expedition was 24 days, of which 18 days correspond to my actual stay in Antarctica.

I plan to write an additional, final post with closing remarks and acknowledgments. Stay tuned!

El texto estará disponible dentro de varias horas.

De regreso a la escuela, firmando un autógrafo.  Crédito: Gretchen B. Guzmán.De regreso a la escuela, firmando un autógrafo. Crédito: Gretchen B. Guzmán.

Tanto maestros como estudiantes se congregaron en la cancha escolar.  Crédito: Miguel Piñero.Tanto maestros como estudiantes se congregaron en la cancha escolar. Crédito: Miguel Piñero.

Conversando con los maestros.  De izquierda a derecha: Yo, Miguel, Gretchen y Lymari.  Crédito: Carlos Muñoz.Conversando con los maestros. De izquierda a derecha: Yo, Miguel, Gretchen y Lymari.Crédito: Carlos Muñoz.

¡Hasta me tenían un bizcocho!  Crédito: Carlos Muñoz.¡Hasta me tenían un bizcocho! Crédito: Carlos Muñoz.

Comments

Ruben Miranda
Guest's picture
Welcome Back

Welcome back Armando. Good to know you're appreciated by others as much as we do at the Puerto Rico Astronomical Society. I know you will be missed at the IceCube. See you tomorrow at Greg's birthday. All the best.

Re: Welcome Back

Yes, to have a party like that was a nice surprise. I was terribly tired after flying for like 48 hours, but anyway decided to report to the school that same day as I could not let my kids down. And I now miss IceCube, and I know that they miss me. Thanks for your note, and will definitely see you tomorrow!

Welcome home!

Armando, What an experience. We are so glad that PolarTREC could support this experience for you, and for your community. Yay!

Re: Welcome home!

Indeed, it has been the experience of my life. I owe it all to you, Janet and Jim Madsen., and my heartfelt gratitude goes to each of you. And, as you say, this experience will greatly benefit my community. I am already seeing the fruits as I watch my own students picking up an interest in high-energy astronomy and polar exploration. I sincerely hope a number of them will eventually go on and do even better things than what I did. So, it was absolutely worth it.

Aliris Sánchez ...
Guest's picture
Welcome and Question

Congratulation!!
I'm a third grade teacher in San Juan and I would love to have you in my classroom. My school is a "Escuela verde" and it would be awesome if you can share your experience with us. Please contact me: aliriss@hotmail.com

Re: Welcome and Question

Thanks, Aliris! I would be delighted to share my South Pole experience with you and your students, at no cost, at the venue and date of your choice. Due to the volume of requests my preferred point of contact for events within the island is the Puerto Rico Astronomy Society (PRAS). Please direct your request by e-mail at astronomiapr@gmail.com. You may also call at (787) 531-7277 but e-mail is preferred. PRAS enjoys my full confidence, so rest assured that your request will be promptly and courteously dealt with.

Reinaldo Acevedo
Guest's picture
Felicitaciones

Saludos Profesor! Quiero felicitarle por su travesía hasta el Polo Sur, y compartir su conocimiento con nuestros niños, jóvenes y adultos. Realmente creo que debe ser impresionante visitar y estar en un lugar tan especial.

Re: Felicitaciones

Garcias, Reinaldo. Sí, el viaje ha sido una experiencia fabulosa, y más aún lo es ahora que estamos compartiendo la experiencia con todos. Gracias por el apoyo y los buenos deseos, y quedamos siempre a la disposición.

Marilya Rodrígu...
Guest's picture
charlas de Caussade

Donde van a dar charlas en Puerto Rico. Me interesa oirlas
Gracias

Re: charlas de Caussade

¡Gracias, Marilya! Para charlas públicas en Puerto Rico debe consultar la prensa. También estoy disponible para ofrecer charlas particulares, libre de costo, en cualquier lugar de la isla. Para solicitar una charla particular (y debido al considerable número de peticiones que se están recibiendo) hemos designado a la Sociedad de Astronomía de Puerto Rico (SAPR) como punto de contacto primario. Dirija su solicitud por correo electrónico a la dirección siguiente: astronomiapr@gmail.com. Puede también comunicarse por teléfono al (787) 531-7277, aunque es preferible que remita su solicitud por correo electrónico. Puede tener la seguridad que su solicitud se atenderá rápida y cortésmente, pues la SAPR goza de mi entera confianza.

Team Member

Armando Caussade's picture

Journal Details

Weather Summary: Warm and moderately humid with a light breeze. Not uncomfortable.
Temperature: 28 °C (82 °F)
Wind Chill: n/a
Wind Speed: Light breeze.

Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory 2014 Journals

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