Many firsts


Blogging? Posting on a blog site? This is a first for me. I’m old school. Finally, I had time this busy week to read the blogs that students have been posting on the Polaris website. I feel like I know this group and yet I have never met any in person. How strange the world has become? Over the last 4 – 5 months the students and I have coordinated travel for this trip together: Russian visas- check, medical forms- check, Arctic field course- check, along with the countless other travel requests. Tasks assigned were completed independently and punctually….and being the mother of three 20-something year-old sons, I was impressed.

After I finished reading the blogs I leaned back and looked at the map of Russia on the wall behind my desk. Greg Fiske created the map for me in February. I explained to Greg that I knew where Russia was, after all I was watching the Olympics in Sochi at the time, but I had no idea where anything was in Russia. My expertise is coordinating projects in Brazil. I asked Greg to label Moscow, Yakutsk, Cherskiy and Sochi on the map. That map has been my lifeline while coordinating this trip. It is marked with post-its of flight dates and departure and arrival times of each leg of travel, along with the time differences; Moscow +8, Yakutsk +14 and Cherskiy +16. I think there are going to be many firsts on this trip.

I snap a picture of the map for the blog and notice the figurines on the shelf above it. These have been given to me by traveling co-workers; Corcovado, Kwan Yin, Buddha and a Matryoshka doll all gaze protectively at the Russian travel route. The excitement has become contagious as Sunday fast approaches. Watching from the sidelines I wish Polaris 2014 safe travels and many discoveries, both personally and scientifically, as they experience Siberia.

Logistics map

Logistics map


2 Responses to “Many firsts”

  1. June 29, 2014 at 10:20 am, Max Holmes said:

    Kudos to Wendy for doing a fantastic job with the enormous task of coordinating logistics for the Polaris Project – it truly is a monumental undertaking! The Polaris Project really is traveling to one of the most challenging destinations in the world – for both physical/geographic reasons but also for bureaucratic reasons – and Wendy has done a fantastic job of staying on top of all of the details.

    I’d also like to commend our partners Complete Travel and Visa (http://www.travelvisas.net/), who have worked very closely with Wendy to make this all possible.

    The trip starts today – good luck everyone. Have a fantastic adventure and pry some secrets from the Arctic!

  2. June 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm, Don Prior said:

    Well done Wendy! I am sure you will enjoy the Russian Arctic and cultural experiences. It will be valuable to see things from young peoples enthusiastic perspective.

    Leslie and I count our cruise through the Canadian Arctic as one of our most treasured holidays.

    Don