This morning it was 'shramdaan'. We, all Maitrians, were divided into various teams for cleaning operations. Basically, it was dismantling of some disused structures, garbage segregation for burning, incinerating, and some for shipping back to India for final disposal. It was mind-boggling to see how much waste and garbage we produce. And how much garbage is collected over time to maintain us and this station. So many things could be very well reused, like wooden boxes of quality wood, but were all sent into burning container or incinerator. Transporting them back to India for reuse would be very very expensive. In the name of science and exploration, how much exploitation of Antarctic continent Man is causing is perhaps unbelievable.
Fortunately, there are only 27 nations and maximum of 800-900 people at given time staying in Antarctica, so damage right now is limited. But with increasing commercial and scientific interest in Antarctica, more facilities and equipments to survive here being available easily, and increasing tourism, there is likely to be increasing human presence here. Though, as a lay person I think that the environment and ecology of Antarctica is perhaps not fragile.
This afternoon we had visitors from Russia. These 8 of them are on a 3-day sponsored visit. They are on a very interesting visit: going around the earth traveling thru the equator, and then going around 0 degree meridian. It means that they will go from pole to pole during night time only and then again so that the entire journey is during day time. They are coming from North Pole and will end their journey there. They are studying the impact of all this on the human mind and body, and make some astronomical studies. So I asked the lady who was astronomist if she will prove the ancient Indian philosophy that stars and planets influence human destiny. She had visited many places in India and Tibet. She mentioned Roerich, and then we talked about Roerich, Manali, Devika Rani and Bangalore. None could fathom what we were talking about.
Weather report: Max 2.6 C, Min -7 C, Minimum wind chill temp -26 C. Today is Purnima, it is 9 pm and the Sun is just getting down behind the ice shelf. But the full moon won't shine as it would in Delhi. It will be there in the sky but with no chandani at all. The bright full moon from the confines of the home makes all the troubles of living in Delhi worthwhile.