We finally made it back to the home country, well somebody’s home country, via the magical land of Heathrow airport. There are mixed feelings playing out among us. While it feels great to have completed the bulk of the journey, people were clearly missing the southern hemisphere. I believe I caught a few tears welling up throughout the final hours of the trip.
On the positive side, returning to the UK left some people feeling less anxious about the pile of work to come. Most people have several assignments due in the coming weeks, so it feels nice to be in a place of focused work instead of trying to fit in bits of work where possible during the trip.
Our connection from Heathrow to Edinburgh was short and sweet as one might expect. It took about an hour which was just enough time for several people to sneak in a nap, including me. There was no food this time, unfortunately, but we all managed to survive. The look of happy anticipation on Lars’ and Sonja’s faces at the thought of a little free time away from of us students was evident, not that anyone could blame them. We were all loud and a few of us smelly, so I think it was justified. There was a whirl of hugs as the EMMS crowd headed back to Oban, leaving just the Senior’s honors and MMS students.
I can’t speak for the other taxi to St. Andrews, but ours was quiet. A few people tried to sleep, while others sang along to Rick Astley’s “Together Forever”. The other bus was likely very similar; there were some heavy eyelids entering that bus when we split. While we will all miss Antarctica, and especially the seals, I think we can all agree to being pretty excited about spending some time apart to reflect on all we saw and experienced together.
As the last blogger for this trip I believe it is my duty to express our collective gratitude towards Dr. Sonja Heinrich and Dr. Lars Boehme for making this trip not just possible, but smooth and incredibly gratifying. They had to tolerate a lot of challenges from us and the weather, but that did not seem to phase them. They were exceptional role models. I also have two personal thank you’s. The first one is to Sam Walmsley for reminding Sonja that we needed a blog entry for today and that I hadn’t done one yet. What a sweet guy…. Also, to my taxi driver who kindly dropped me off closer to my home after dropping off everyone else.
written by Rowan Prown