lørdag 23. januar 2010
Starting my studies
This week have been so strange! We were having + degrees, so Svalbard was melting! Flowing water everywhere... and all the nice snow that arrived became water... So luckily my to days without school was the worst ones, I didn´t really have to go outside in those terrible conditions! But when weather improved, I finally went skiing here =D Just a small trip a long the light path with one of my friends =) We came across 3 wild reindeers! Hehe, they are not afraid of humans, so it was so cool to be standing 10 m from these cool creatures!
When we finally got some - degrees again, and some precipitation, it of course came with a lot of wind! First time ever I had to dress up for an expedition just to go to school! But now it is nice to have started my studies =) I´m hoping that we will have some great field-trips! In one of my classes ( Arctic Environmental Management) we are going to visit Svalsat, the satellite park here. And hopefully Store Norske will pay our plane-ticket to Svea, the mining community here, so we can visit the coal mines! First thing we learned in the Management course was that most of what looks like garbage at Svalbard are actually protected! Leftovers from the mining industry, whale-fishing, hunting cabins and old cabins, and the "garbage" the fishermen form the 1600 century left here are protected. If we find something when we´re on trips, it would be braking the law to bring it with us!
Something I just realized from this week with lectures are actually how remote we are living. Most of the week there have been cancelled lecturers, because the weather prevented the guest-lecturers to arrive with the plane! Hehe, so we always have to check for messages, in case our lecture get cancelled =P
I haven´t started my other course, Arctic Ecology and Population Biology, yet, but I am pretty sure this will be the most interesting subject this semester! One of our field-trips will be a cruise, on a boat for 10-12 days! Hopefully we won´t get caught by ice when we go, then the trip might last for weeks! But that might be a cool experience too =P And we are also going on a couple of day-trips to collect samples, then we are travelling by snowcooter/snowmobile! =D I can´t wait!
I think this will be a really great semester, not only study-wise! There are so much cool stuff to do for us here! At the gym-hall we have been climbing, playing kayack-polo, underwater rugby, and of course all other kinds of activities =) And when the weather gets better, we have glaciers and mountains to go skiing! Or going on snoscooter-trips =) And all of us are hanging out, everyone can join when we´re having trips, no matter what your skiing skills are =) We have to remember to bring rifles, avalanche beacons, probes and shovels with us though. And when we always have to think about our safety and the safety of the group, we are very good at taking care of each others =)
There´s not only all this active stuff that bring us together, but every Friday we have a Friday Gathering in the cantina at unis. It´s a great opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, have a drink, share skiing stories or experience, and just have a lot of fun! Hanging out around a open fire just automatically makes a nice atmosphere =) And then we have our ropes! Haha, every Friday someone put up a rope for us to walk on! Walking on a line! I tried for the first time this Friday, and by the end of the night I managed to walk to the middle of the rope all by my self! Hehe, I spent about 5 hours just on the rope!
Yesterday I got a packet from home! Thanks Mum! =D
Last night was amazing here! We were sitting outside by a bonfire, and the whole valley was lighted by the moon and the stars =) Beautiful! Hehe, we were acttually BBQ-ing here, out in the snow!
Btw: It`s funny how much you appreciate just the tiniest glimpse of light when it´s so dark up here! every day now, at about 12 o`clock, we get this dawn-like light in the south. Far more light than I expected it to be here by now! And everyone is so happy when it arrives! I guess it´s even more amazing for those who have been here since the darkness started, to finally get a glimpse of light again!