Juliane enjoying her precious treasure, an apple, on top of Observation Hill.

The seating area of the galley at 11pm. Food is available 24 hours per day due to the 24 hour shifts.

After 2 months now without “freshies” (freshies is everything fresh and raw: vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, fruit like apples, bananas, oranges, etc.) we are starting to fantasies about them a lot. Every lunch and dinner is met with the hope that maybe today there will be some kind of fresh vegetable or a piece off fresh fruit. And every lunch and dinner our little hope and dreams get crushed and we are greeted by frozen (and now overcooked) green beans, peas, carrots that are now soggy, and canned fruit.

Now you can imagine my surprise when I saw another woman in the galley the other day at dinner time who had an apple, a real apple, and two real clementines sitting on her tablet. I immediately stepped into her path to ask where she got those from, my hope rising through the roof that I just somehow had walked by the bowls with freshies and that I too will soon have an apple and some clementines to eat. She looked at me pretty distressed and confessed that she had brought the fruit with her from New Zealand when she arrived in McMurdo just a few weeks ago. She had forgotten about the fruit (WHAT???!!!) until this day when she decided to eat them with dinner. She told me I was the 500th or so person to ask her about it. She felt really bad and apologized for bringing them to the galley. My hopes plummeted down towards the ground but I felt bad for her for about 1/8th of a second until I realized she was not going to share her freshies with me (and why would she!). At that moment my brain switched gears and within one split of a second it ran 100 and 1 different scenarios in my head how to best tackle and over throw her so I could get my hands on that apple and those oranges. Looking around and seeing the expressions on the faces of our fellow McMurdo residences, I could tell that all of them were running the exact same 100 and 1 scenarios in their head as well. But don’t worry, no one touched her and she uncomfortably sat with her friends while we all stared at her freshies with jealous eyes. I don’t even remember the face or the name of this unfortunate soul but I do remember, in all its glorious detail, what the apple and the two clementines looked like. A bit old and wrinkly but like the bestest fruit that I have ever seen.

So for now we will continue to hope and dream and are content with green beans, peas, and soggy carrots, because we know that sometime in February, once we are back in New Zealand, we too will get freshies again……

…….and then January 27 (today) happened. All our little hopes and dreams came suddenly true this morning when we walked into the galley and found a bowl of small but very fresh apples and a bowl of small -and not quite as fresh anymore- clementines sitting at the entrance. OMG, I have never ever been so excited about fresh fruit in my life. We grabbed one piece of each and decided to hike up Ob-Hill to eat our precious treasures in peace and quite. It was the most delicious apple in my entire life! Maybe we will even get fresh eggs tonight for dinner or some fresh lettuce? Who knows, the possibilities are endless. But whatever we will or won’t get tonight doesn’t really matter because today has already been more than wonderful!

Juliane, in McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Jan. 27th at 5pm.