Well, it was always going to be a challenge to get "PQ'd" (Physically Qualified) to go, starting as I did in late August, and trying to work in the middle between my new health care provider, and the group which oversees all the PQ polar travel stuff. Many, many. many appointments were made scheduled, and kept, many emails and faxes and phone calls were accomplished, and in the end, it all came to naught, 2 days before I was scheduled to fly out. Not for any actual health reason that I can discern.
It's disappointing, and I don't expect I'll ever understand it.
I am relieved that at least now I know (I've existed on thin air for months), and can get on with my many other projects.
I arranged, on my own, speaking engagements that reached about 1,000 people since August. It's just kind of embarrassing: "Remember when I said I was going to the South Pole? That was just hot air."
I suppose I'll have to send out emails to everyone, including the teachers of all those classes I presented to, but, honestly, I feel more like hiding under a rock.
Not to mention the time and money I've squandered on this windmill.
As part of this whole enterprise, I started a non-profit 501c3 called Astronomy Education with Puerto Rico (AEwPR). Please check out our website at here. We're also on Facebook.
I just got back from Puerto Rico, where I had excellent meetings with folks from the Puerto Rico Astronomy Society, the Planetarium at Luis A. Ferré Science Park, and Ana G. Méndez University.
As part of the high visibility created by this whole PolarTREC / IceCube Neutrino Observatory / South Pole trip, I thought there was a superb opportunity for me to publicize and raise money for some education restoration projects there in Puerto Rico.
AEwPR certainly has become a different kind of challenge, now that I've lost that high-visibility platform.
I remain committed to it, because I said I was working on this, and I told a lot of teachers, students, and Puerto Ricans that I was doing this.
So, good luck to you.
Signing off from PolarTREC,