The teachers are finally out on the ice

Published on 13.05.2009 - TAE57-58 Fuchs Foundation

It had been a long time coming, but finally on 8th May, the four teachers from the Fuchs Foundation were dropped off by helicopters on the Greenland icecap.

Since they arrived in Greenland, the foursome had been tucked away in the little village of Tasilaq. Meanwhile, the various aircraft in the area had been busy ferrying the other expeditions around, the weather was bad and so time hung a little heavy...

But while they were waiting to leave, the expedition members made good use of the fact they were in a remote village and spent their time very constructively. They met with the local fishermen and hunters, talking with them about climate warming and the changes witnessed by people in Greenland in recent years. They also visited school classes, met with the teachers and chatted with the pupils. They went on excursions away from the village and the various team members conducted interviews with the BBC and answered the questions put to them by the classes at their schools, who will be tracking their progress throughout their crossing of the island.

Although their respective teams of dogs were already waiting for them out on the ice, they also familiarised themselves with driving dog sleds and got to know their mushers (sled drivers) – an art that is passed down from generation to generation. Nicola Rowland and Helena Nunan even found time to play hopscotch with the children in the village.

And then, finally, on 8th May, the big day dawned. A short twenty-minute flight by helicopter took them to the locals camping out on the ice, waiting for the explorers to join them. The first few days went well, apart from the fact it snowed and the temperatures were abnormally high for the time of year (+15.8°C during the day and -6°C at night!). This made travelling over the ice more difficult and slowed the group down.

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