Flag Designed by Flemish School - Copyright: Johan Berte / IPF - © International Polar Foundation

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Live from Antarctica: Sunday - no wake-up call

Last Sunday we were not disturbed from our slumber by the daily wake-up call and were treated a late breakfast. This is always a welcome situation on a Sunday, not only because it means that we've been keeping up with the work schedule but also because it allows us to catch up on sleep. Our exhaustion has become quite noticeable and our muscles are getting sore.

Even so, if you were there, you would be surprised by the energy with which they continue to work under this radiant sun.

We've been using the Iridium phones to wake up family back home, and the portable computers have been brought out in order to answer a few pending emails, organize them or send some pictures. Some of us even settle down and watch a Sunday movie.

Others set out to try various "water sports," such as shaving (with a small bucket), laundry (with a basin) or a complete washing up (bucket and basin). Others still are occupied with machinery maintenance, such as Olivier and Bernard who are "operating" on our precious coffee machine before the eyes of our worried caffeine addicts.

You can also join those going on a skidoo trip with Alain, put on some studs and follow one of Benoît's teams to the surrounding glaciers, or slip into a photo shoot that the army officers are organizing.

If you go up on the ridge, don't be surprised if you come across some workaholics still out on the building site. They will tell you they are only "finishing off a few ongoing jobs," "looking at what needs to be done tomorrow" or "tiding up a few things".

At base camp, an energetic team builds an ice fortress around Alain's tent (it even has a drawbridge!). This huge ice creation is worthy of the elaborate constructions found in Cuzco. It seems like the mischievous members of the expedition have turned to lending a hand in these amusing activities.

While we're at it, don't forget to admire the flapping flag on top of the station. It won first prize in a competition organized within the Hoogstraten Gemeenteschool, a Flemish primary school located near Antwerp.

Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's wake-up call.

Author: IPF

Picture: Flag Designed by Flemish School - Copyright: Johan Berte / IPF - © International Polar Foundation

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