Our field season falls near the height of the austral summer. As we are far below the Antarctic Circle, we get 24 hours of sunlight per day. Not only do the ~900 summer residents of McMurdo have to adjust to the remoteness of the location, they must also reconcile with the strangeness of passing time under perpetual sunlight. Those who are crazy enough to plant themselves in such a place take pride in their weirdness and go above and beyond to make this ecosystem thrive.
It’s immediately evident that McMurdoans have a quirky sense of humor, and they’re not afraid to show it. Hidden among announcements of upcoming helo schedules and base-wide maintenance events are little gems of humor that never fail to bring a smile to my face.
A serendipitous conversation with Dave, a military Chaplain deployed here for the season, revealed how truly wonderful this community is. Because it is so difficult to obtain employment here, people who do get to work here radiate extraordinary passion and vibrancy. Not only do they express their colors without fear, they strive to create a warm place that encourages everyone here to do the same. Just a couple days here, and I’m already in love with this place!