I’m a cat person. Love ’em. Miss ’em. Identify. They’re magical : a solitary, multidimensional and independent creature existing in a state of unpredictable duality. Peace/Violence, Contentment/Fury. Mostly warm, cuddly and purrrrrry, but never more than a millisecond from becoming a chaotic death dealing whirlwind of tendons, teeth and talons.
Personally, I’m mostly like that cat in the poster but with less fur and no claws.
These kind of situations bring out the best in me it would seem.
I do have nine lives though. I’ve lived at least 4 of them so far and apparently heading into my 5th in a few months.
That’s about as far as I should stretch this cat analogy.
You might recall that I have been super vague lately…well here’s the thing.
I’m going to live/work in Antarctica for a year or so.
Expeditioner 2017/2018 at Davis Station and technical officer over summer/winter.
I’ll be looking after all the site IT, dabble as unofficial photographer plus helping out with the scientific research programs as needed. Then I get to be part of the 18 person skeleton crew keeping the home fires burning and the systems ticking over through a dark Antarctic winter. Its going to be a fascinating experience!
Almost – there’s always a small chance I’ll fail the medicals so its not in the bag yet.
How did this happen?
Earlier this year I was lost : hated my job, hated being here, unhappy and unsatisfied with life. So I did what I usually do – shotgun out applications for work.
A Facebook advert popped up one day. It looks interesting but unobtainable, but regardless I applied for a Technical Officer position with the Australian Antarctic Division. I submitted the application and then quietly forgot about it, thinking “not a chance but Hell – worth a try”.
Then just before Bali this year, in March, I got a call: “Shortlisted?…wow thanks!”
After 2 days of selective testing in Hobart, Tasmania and a technical interview, they called a few weeks later and offered me the job. Out of 3500 people applying globally for 3 positions, they had picked me as first choice for Davis Station. This tickled my withered ego immensely so of course I accepted immediately.
It is dependent on me passing extensive psychological and adapability testing, and ridiculously thorough medicals. I’m waiting on the results of both as I peel the plaster from my elbow from the blood tests (i really really really hate needles).
But I’m mildly confident, hence this post.
So my plans have morphed once again. Rest assured I have a revised Plan B, C and D just in case (some things never change).
I’m currently waiting on the medical result, which will result in a contract being drawn up, which I sign and then thats it. I’ll be in Hobart for 4 weeks pre-departure training early October, and then on an icebreaker heading South for 2 weeks. After that? Antartica.
Once my contract is signed (fingers crossed in a week or so) I’m taking all my leave, resigning and FINALLY kissing this town/job/life goodbye. Heading to San Francisco and then exploring the US for 2 months solo before becoming an icicle. Or Romania. Or Bali for 3 weeks refresher teacher training – I haven’t decided yet.
If it DOESN’T happen and I somehow come up medically unfit, then I’ll be somewhat disappointed but Hell – I still have my plane ticket. Onwards in any case!
On to life number 5, and whatever surprises that may hold.
Needless to say I’ll be blogging my arse off regardless.
5 thoughts on “…9 lives.”
Gobsmackingly good news. If you are in town Sept 15-17 you might like to catch up with author Sean Williams who spent two weeks in the Antarctica on an Arts fellowship.
That sounds fantastic Jamie. And yes I do want the come. Well done. I can’t wait to hear about all these adventures and see the stunning photos I am sure you will be sharing with us.
So, you passed the evaluations?
How cool is that! No pun intended. Very excited for you. What an adventure.