Antartica Diaries

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Susan Kim, WG’17

Favorite Memory: After collecting water, another member from my team and I began walking back to camp. She wanted to get back quickly and unfortunately didn’t see a territorial sea lion with her pup standing right in front of her. I was wondering what she was doing and I realized too late that she just didn’t see the well-camouflaged pair. That night was the fastest I have seen my rope team member run in Antarctica. Thought it was scary at a the time, we can’t help but look back and laugh at the night she turned into a track and field star.

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Unexpected Moment: Most people who have considered going on a venture, especially to Antarctica, have heard of the notorious poop tube – a tube where you collect/store your rope team’s bags of poop. I didn’t realize that even after a discussion in Chile on how to dispose of your waste properly that there would still be some level of confusion. Halfway through our venture, one of our professional guides spent over 10 minutes giving three dozen Wharton students a demonstration on how to properly go to the bathroom. It was quite memorable.

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Ruhi Dang, WG’18

Favorite Memory: My favorite memory from Antarctica is the first snowfall of my life. As I stepped out of my tent on a fine new year morning with my eyes half shut and my body aching from the previous day’s hike, I experienced a sudden calm. The silent misty weather had turned into a soft diffusion of pretty snowflakes covering the tents, our barrels of food and the rocky shore in a white blanket. As I stood in a corner brushing my teeth, I couldn’t help but admire the view blurred by these fluffy flakes as it got permanently etched into my memory.

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Unexpected Moment: I did not expect to find leadership and personal development while searching for stillness and harmony at the end of the planet. I was awed at the accomplishments of the guide team that included expeditioners like Rodrigo Jordan – a professor, social entrepreneur, communicator, and mountaineer – the first South American to climb Mt. Everest along with countless other accolades. Learning leadership from the best in the world in not just an experiential environment but a truly intense and spectacular setting far exceeded my expectations of the venture.

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Valky Wang, WG’18

Favorite Memory: Building a large igloo to set our tent in on top of a snow-covered summit was one of my favorite pieces of memory. After glacier trekking for a day carrying all of our belongings, our team was pretty exhausted and we had no clue how to build an igloo. Shovel by shovel, everyone carried out the task with such positive energy that made leaving our beautiful igloo almost (emotionally) difficult days later.

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Unexpected Moment: Listening to viral karaoke songs and singing national anthem at Uruguayan Camp after days of disconnection from civilization felt pretty overwhelming. It’s amazing to see how despite the difference in nationality and culture, people are so connected with each other across various scientific research camps from different countries.

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