Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 80: Excitement

On my 80th day, I know I've been here too long. How I know? Two things:


Every week, Rob gets a shipment of food to keep the hungry, crazy researchers full and fat. I think he enjoys watching us eat. He seems to know exactly what everyone eats and how much. I think his goal is to make everyone gain 10 lbs before leaving, he is quite successful in this! The grand opening of the study centre is in five days, on the 24th. This weeks shipment was meant to bring in all the food for the opening. Which it did. The problem was that the fresh fruits froze during shipment. Froze! Beautiful fresh fruit were frozen. 

So this is the problem of transport. There is a big fridge trailer that ships all the food. On one side is the freezing unit. Proper packing is to put the dry goods closest to the freezing unit so if it does get really cold then only the dry food freezes, which doesn't really matter. That keeps the fresh fruits and veggies just cool, not frozen. That's not what happened this week, this critical weekly shipment that has all the food for the grand opening. The frozen fruit won't last till the opening and will get thrown out on Sunday. 

Bad news for the centre... but great news for the researchers! Fresh strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, tomatoes... soooo delicious! I never thought they were so good! After a summer of bland apples, sometimes bananas, and sometimes oranges, this was such a great treat! Northern summers just don't get the southern summer fruits. We have our own berries, but we don't have the strong taste of cultivated southern fruit. That I am writing this post about fruit, fruit!, means that I have certainly been up here too long. It also means that I am gorging on fruit, to the point that the pineapple has burned the skin around my mouth, and my tongue tingles from so many grapes! I still love it!


The setting is again the cafeteria where I am sitting comfortably at the table with the other researchers, finishing off a desert of toast with honey. All the researchers tend to sit at the same table, there are so few of us now that we all fit at one. But the cafeteria is full with almost 80 people, from a university course group, a high school enrichment group, a tourist group, and a construction crew finishing some work on the rocket range before the grand opening. 

One of the university students is standing at the window next to the research table getting coffee or tea or hot chocolate, something around those lines. He shouts to look! Look! And everyone in the cafeteria jumps up, heads whipping to the window, fingers pointing. Everyone is so excited! Everyone except the group of researchers who have been here all summer. No one at our table stood up. One said, oh, I hope it's not a bear. I want to go to town tonight. I casually glanced out the window, still nibbling. It was a silver fox.

This was a bit of a sad thing to admit, not getting excited about something out the window. If it was just the researchers, I would have jumped up and grabbed a camera. I think I didn't because we were with 65 other people who were easily excitable. I find it difficult to be myself with so many people around. It drains energy just to be near so many people in such a small space. 

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