Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting Qualified

There is lot of paperwork that goes into being qualified to travel to Antarctica.  First you have to fill out an application (maybe 4 pages), then they send in your New Hire Forms (another 4-5 pages). Then they throw in a few pages (lets say 3) for blood samples and urine tests just for fun. From there you have to sign your contract for the position they are offering you (2 pages). Once you are officially hired, they bust out the big guns and start asking you to sign your life over to them.

First comes the Travel Packet (32 pages.) This includes everything from Passport info, to accommodation requests for the dorm rooms and for your stay in New Zeland, to the sizes you will need for all of your Ice gear, (as in the big red parka we see in all of the pictures.)

Then comes my least favorite part, the Medical Packet (26 pages.) This includes everything from a lengthy medical history on your entire family, to getting Dental qualifications, physical qualifications, and Obgyn qualifications. This year I will be needing to get my veneers on my front teeth  replaced before they will qualify me on the Dental side. I will start that process in about a week.

After you are completely qualified and all of your paperwork is turned in, there are a few more things they send you. One of them is information about bringing your laptop. They check it in the States and in New Zeland to make sure that it has the right software and security on it. They also send you list and advice on what to bring and what to pack, info on shipping items that wont fit in your suitcase and airline restrictions.

And then what? Well, from here I dont know what happens  next. I have only ever been this far and never moved into the "you are actually going" group. I am guessing there are a few more forms and then they send you your airplane tickets.

Overall, I think I am 75% qualified to go. Once I get the dental stuff out of the way I will feel much better and be about 90% qualified. AND I will have amazingly beautiful new front teeth (pictures to follow soon.)

Signing Off,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My First Blog!

Yeah! My First Blog Post!
First things first, thank you for taking time to read my blog. I am really excited to share my stories and keep everyone up to date on my trip to Antarctica.

So I know a lot of you have looked at me like a crazy person when I said that I was trying to go to Antarctica. Some of you even thought I was pulling your leg. But alas, I really am going. This is my third year trying to nail down a contract and it finally happened.

How did this crazy mission begin? I will have to give a shout out to some new friends of mine, Dan and Dawn. I met them on a camping trip back in 2009 and they started telling me about the company they work for, NANA Services.  They went on to explain that they lived in Antarctica 6 months out of the year for work. The travel side of me was instantly fascinated and I began asking tons of questions about what it was like living down there. Oh, for those who are geographically challenged, Antarctica is South.
Anyway, after I ran out of  questions I started showing interest in applying for a job and Dan offered to send me some more information. And so the mound of paperwork began.
The first 2 years that I applied to go I was signed on a an Alternate. This meant that I had to be ready to leave at the drop of a hat and replace someone who needed to leave the Ice for one reason or another. Of course that never happened and I never went.

After 2 years of paperwork and still not going, Dan started to feel really bad for roping me into this and was able to find a permanent position that he could offer me. YEAH!!!!!
I will be traveling to Antarctica this year as an Assistant Rooms Coordinator for the 2011-2012 Summer Season.

Let the Journey Begin,
Autumn :)