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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica


Chores and language – Jeg ikke har lært å snakke språk.

by Lou Albershardt — sist endret 22.02.2009 - 23:05

I have aldri tried to lære or snakke another language – just bits and pieces when I travel because I think it is important to make the effort to at least say hello, yes please, no and takk. To learn another language to me would mean to be able to “tenke” in another språk.

Location: Hellehallet, 71º 46’ S, 5º 20’ E, 300 metres a.s.l.
Weather: Clear, -15 C, wind 18 kts

Siste sesongen I thought I would lære some basic Norsk – but jeg gjorde det ikke.  I did watch the entire Norwegian crew bedre their English 10 fold!  This past summer I decided to try. I found a bad book that had no audio.  I got nowhere, ingensteder.  While emailing back and forth planning the food,  Einar would often write a line or two in Norsk for me.  But I had no way to translate.  I am trying more this trip to listen and understand.  So – I write part of this daily diary-blog entry in Norsk.  Please forgive my enkle skills and vocabulary.

Duty List – Chore list – Oppgaveliste

Everyone on this trip has a very presis job – and then litt mer.  To maintain the camp there is a list of daily oppgaver to be done and we all pitch in.  As a group we decided early on that 2 people each day could handle it; the primary tasks being: cooking the 3 måltider and dishes, making water, cleaning the common areas, and often some restocking of supplies.  Science stops and driving days tend to be different on how and when – what needs to be done.

A typical day for two – en typisk dag for to

Ole and I are one of the 6 two person teams.  I lucked out cuz he likes to cook and han er god!  The night before we pull the dinner we will be making from the many choices in our inventory and let it thaw over night.  Last night was fish night – (twice a week) – we pulled 17 fillets, grabbed some Annies Mac-n-Cheese (Zoe’s favorite) and for the veggies I quite like peas (we added a few carrots for Ole’s kids cuz they like a colorful plate!)

Breakfast – frokost

I like to get up early so I lay out the breakfast things – cold cereal, make the juice and milk, grind nok beans for 3 pots of kaffe, brød, fresh yogurt and frozen berries, sometimes there is smoked salmon and or eggs to scramble.  Seems many have come up with some specialties: Kirsty makes great rice pudding, Anna makes fresh bread, Stein makes really good porridge, when time allows I make waffles.  Some folks specialty is doing the dishes.

The bathroom and the water – badet og vannet

After breakfast is cleaned up badet in the sleeping module gets a scrub down. Ole even takes to hoover over and støvsuge the hall sometimes!  The water consumption for 12 is kjempestor!! and melting is an ongoing process all day, every day.  The stainless steel melters are constantly working. Large blocks of snow are kept piled on the decks and stand ready . Timing is important because the snøsmelter provides the hot water.  So they must be filled directly after dishes to have time to melt and get hot før the next round of dishes (or shower).  We also have some 25 liter drink water jugs that we use for the cold water.  Believe it or not, the cold water is difficult. Vanskelig!  Much of the water from the snow melters is too warm or even hot – so the water jugs sit outside for a while to cool.  We also have melters on two of the vehicles (heated by the engine coolant), so while driving we are making water and then tar vannet ut when we stop for camp.

And then some more – og så litt til

The day finishes with the rubbish, recycling what we can; dishes, water, and restocking butter, cheese, juice etc for the next day.


Clothes get dirty in Antarctica too!  Photo: Stein Tronstad.

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