Barely over the roar of the massive engines through the loud intercom speaker came an announcement. The voice echoed through the belly of the hollow plane. It was a U.S Air Force C17 Globemaster III.
It had no fancy wall covers. Everything that made this hunk of metal soar through the air was exposed. There were levers, buttons and straps everywhere. These planes were designed to transport cargo and that is what I felt like. Sitting in seats strapped in like cargo ready to off loaded we listened intently. Some had the look of “been there done that”, some had the look of dogs in cars as they realize they were close to home, squeezing their noses through the crack of the window. Some like myself looked with excitement like a puppy seeing snow the first time. After 5.5 hours on this flight I felt like a spring cow. Have you ever seen cows jump when released from the barns after a long winter? Yeah like that too! Hahaha
I had left home to go work in the coldest, highest, driest, most remote place on earth. I did not know one person although the first season pioneers grouped ourselves together. It was just like college. Creating life long friendships with people who share your freshman year. Some of us would go on to different departments and some would climb the ladder to Executive Chef <<< that is yours truly!
We were told over the speaker to hurry along to our transport vehicle. A giant bus called “Ivan the Terrabus” named after Terra Nova, Ivan even has it’s own Facebook page.
There are only six of these gigantic machines on earth, two here and four at the North Pole. They said not to stop and take pictures there would be plenty of time for that later. Hurrying us along for full day of orientation to our new icy home.
As the door was opened the cold air burst in the cabin. There was no trace of heat anymore just bone chilling cold air. I had my gear on already as I watched the seasoned veterans start to put theirs on at the announcement we had landed I followed suit. As I got closer and closer to the door I could catch glimpses of the flat white. I saw vehicles that looked like something from a sci-fi movie. Finally I got to the door and squeezed out with my big orange bag and huge red parka. I looked to my right and there was the the largest volcano I had ever seen. Heck! It was the only volcano I had seen! It has a little plume of smoke coming from the top which made it look like a home to some Yoda like creature. It stood over the town mightily and almost proud. I was motioned along by the people waiting on the ice runway and the person behind me. As it stepped on the ice I was amazed! It was real ice hahaha. I was born in Dallas and grew up in North Carolina. I had never walked on ice in my life. I took a deep breath and the hairs in my nose froze instantly. It was such a strange feeling for a guy who had just lived 10 year at the beach in North Carolina.
I was out of my element. I was new and had no directional bearing of where this would go. I was in for the ride of my life. Over the next 7 years I would grow as a man and grow in faith. I would find that I was being taught skills that would transition to my next calling. That is how life is for me. I get called from one place to the next. I was giving a great opportunity which I talk about in my entry, Sounding the Shofar in Antarctica. Here at the bottom of the earth I would find truth and learn I had ears to hear and eyes to see. Isaiah 41. “But you, Yisra’ĕl, are My servant, Ya‛aqoḇ, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Aḇraham My friend, 9 whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest parts, and said to You, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not rejected you.