Hooray for Days Off!

I think I’m really going to enjoy having Fridays off! Let’s see, when I left off, I was at the Coffee House…where I ended up staying until midnight chatting with Scott and Andre who were set to leave the next day if the weather cleared up. This made getting up Thursday morning rather painful, so I didn’t show up to work quite as early as I had intended and I was a little bleary-eyed when I got there but oh well. Sarah and I busted through prep and when I saw Scott at lunchtime – surprisingly, NOT with Andre *gasp* – and he was in his uniform, I knew it meant his flight was on again….which meant we’d be getting Freshies that afternoon! This meant a LOT of work ahead of us and I was going to be off the next day which was the day before our Thanksgiving. I offered to come in for a few hours the next day but Sarah wouldn’t hear of it and neither would Russell, our Exec Chef. Fortunately, there’s a new Dining Attendant (DA) who had originally been hired to be a prep cook at the South Pole but when their staff was cut, he had been told he could either come here as a DA or not come at all. He’s been dying to get into the kitchen though and had actually started getting a little annoying about it so when he started whinging to me once again, I suggested he come in after his DA shift or on his day off to help prep just to show Russell how serious he was about wanting to switch jobs. He looked at me like I’d just invented sliced bread. He turned to Sarah and made plans to come in and help the next day. Perfect.

That night Sarah and I caught the shuttle to Scott Base for drinks with some of the other galley crew. I’ve noticed I’m at bars a LOT more now that I’m on the day shift. Not that it’s a bad thing but it’s definitely a time suck here. Anyway, as I said, I’m really glad I was given the chance to get to know Sarah while I’ve been here and I couldn’t ask for a better partner in the kitchen.

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We work together really well, bouncing ideas off each other. She’s got three times my experience in the kitchen but I’ve got book learning from culinary school for problem-solving and idea generation and we both have immense respect for what we each do and how hard we both work. For awhile there was a rumor that Sarah was going to be moved to another role in the kitchen and we both appealed to Russell not to break us up and after the last two weeks seeing how well we work together, he’s decided not to do it. So Sarah and I had fun at Scott Base, where we discovered a fake cat that was curled up under the dart board. While it made Sarah homesick for her cat back home, it brought out the sense of humor my brothers instilled in me.

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It also made me a little sad that Scott and Andre’s absence at the bar was so tangible – they were regulars at Scott Base on Thursday nights thanks to their friendship with the Kiwi women. Still, it meant there was slightly more room on the shuttle on the way back.

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Today, I’m enjoying my day off by catching up on blogging and haranguing the new firefighter sitting next to me about how if he wants to get some REAL volunteer work in around station, he should come help prep in the kitchen. You see, the firefighters get volunteer hours towards trips and excursions based on the hours they spend volunteering. A lot of the time they come in and help the DAs wash dishes and pots and pans or do the laundry for the galley (our aprons and towels). In the last few days as we’ve geared up for Thanksgiving, a couple community members have come in to help prep vegetables but there’s just so much more that needs to be done than we have hands to do! So my campaign is to get some more people in there on a regular basis to help wash and peel and chop and such. There’s no place for people to prepare their own food here, so I think they’d be eager to come in and help because they miss it…at least those that like to cook. So we’ll see how that works out…

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