Seat 27A that was where I was supposed to be on September 27th. Beginning my 21-hour journey from Boston, MA to Christchurch, New Zealand. However, I was not able to board that flight, nor my team members able to board their flights.
I received the call with only 13 days left until we were scheduled to depart. It was Dr. Liwanag explaining to me that we are not leaving this research season. Honestly, I could not understand the reasoning during that first call, all I could hear was we weren’t going and I was crushed. How could this be with less than two weeks to go? I had passed all my physicals, my sub plans were written, and I had begun packing my bags; all the months of preparation and our trip was cancelled. My heart sunk deep into my chest I was going through a little self-pity, but it was the thought of telling my students that was the hardest to handle. Their excitement for my trip had been building as well and the thought of their disappointment was devastating.
Though I had blanked out for most of the conversation with Dr. Liwanag about the reasoning, I did hear her some of her last words, she stressed that the trip is not canceled just postponed. Later that weekend I talked to Dr. Liwanag again and she explained the extensive permitting process for researchers working down in Antarctica. A recent article came out from The Tribune News explaining it.
My family, friends, colleagues, and students’ support has been amazing; I have received kind words, hugs, small gifts, and baked goods. My students are still excited and they are looking forward to following my journey next year. I am keeping in touch with Dr. Liwanag and our team. Our support extends to them; they are the individuals that need it the most. Their entire lives have been impacted, from the professors’ teaching schedules to students counting on this research project to graduate.
So, I end this journal entry on October 1, 2018, the day that our team was supposed to leave Christchurch and fly to McMurdo Station, by stating PLEASE STAYED TUNED! I will be posting journals throughout this year and will be making a very special post this week in 2019 from Antarctica!