|That's Justin with the hose.|
The fire training included, of course, using the hoses, entering a burning structure, extinguishing and the use of breathing apparatus. One of the exercises saw the guys sitting in a burning container with breathing apparatus on for five minutes!
They were also introduced to the 'Hagg' which has been used for transport on the ice for a number of years. The Hagg usually has an empty rear unit with seats - not the red pump unit, as pictured.
One of the final days of ERT training went from 9am-10pm... a very long day which meant that the training occurred in the dark and while everyone was tired. Frightening stuff.
Hairdressing training was up next. Held at the TAFE, the guys were taught basic hairdressing skills including straight cutting, layering, working with clippers and trimming beards. During the summer months when the Davis station population swells to almost 100, their skills may be called upon by both male and female expeditioners and scientists as they can be there anything from 6 weeks - 4 months or a full year, like Justin. Usually the 'winterers' like Justin will either keep their hair shaved or grow it long to keep things simple. There is equipment at the base and that consists of all the basics for non-complex hairdressing. So no perms kids!!
As for me, things keep trucking along but I now have Christoph staying, who is a delightful 20 yr old - quite different to any other 20 year old I know in that he is very independent, sociable and caring. He is good company - I just feel bad that I can't spend more time with him and that my moods are a bit up and down at the moment. He has also been most understanding and full of good humour.
There are exciting things going on... I have flowers and wee courgettes on my plant!! Check out these beauties...
My seedlings are looking fantastic and with any luck, Brian (my big brother) will come up this weekend (I am trying to lure him with a Swiss fondue!!) and help me complete my wee garden bed and get everything planted.
My other exciting news is that I am going to Riyahd for Christmas! Justin's parents live there at the moment and have managed to convince me that I should go. Now I am very much looking forward to it. You can't enter Riyahd as a tourist and must have sponsorship in the country so Brian (Justin's dad) and Bronwyn have submitted my passport details at their end for approval but then I would also need to send my passport away here for receipt of the visa if that all goes okay. Travelling on my own, I must be met at the airport by a male sponsor. Women cannot travel unaccompanied throughout Riyahd. There is a lot more information on this website. In Saudi Arabia no alcohol, pork products or religious books not related to Islam are permitted. I think this will be the most extreme cultural experience to date!