Celeste DelBrey (New York, New York, USA)

January 14, 2011

For starters the trip was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! I've met great students and staff from around the world. Our international group included people from Palestine, Israel, India, Japan, Canada, US and a few others. Hearing everyone accents and learning about their culture made us even closer on our journey to Antarctica. We became one big family and look forward to a reunion.

My journey began December 27. Due to the blizzard our plane was delayed three hours. Those three hours was filled with introducing ourselves, making friends, games of UNO and exploring JFK airport. Amongst those three hours we bonded and I knew right away the trip was going to be great. Before we knew it, we were on the plane to Santiago, Chile. After about 8 hours the plane made a stop in Lima, Peru to get fueled and leave/pick up passengers. Two hours later we arrived to Chile. We all had lunch in Chile airport and we were off to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We stood in Buenos Aires for about three days and met up with other students and staff traveling from other places. Our time in Buenos Aires was filled with prep ups for the trip to Antarctica, activities to get to know each other and a tour of Buenos Aires. On the tour we got a taste of Argentinean culture and people. We saw important buildings and statues that are great tourist attraction. OH, and the best of all, its summer there this time of year. I guess you can say we spoiled ourselves with the hot weather before hitting the Antarctic.

After three days in Buenos Aires, we were on a plane to Ushuaia, Argentina. There we went on the ship and sailed the seas to Antarctica. We spent two days on the Drake Passage and some people enjoyed those days being sea sick. I wasn't badly sick going through it so I was HAPPY about that. On New Years we finally hit the perimeters of Antarctica. We celebrated New Year's on the ship with songs and skits from students and staff. We had a blast!

After New Year's we reached land and began exploring for a week. We had Zodiac cruises seeing glaciers and penguins up close and personal. We hiked up mountains, glaciers and ice caps. I never hiked in my life and what great way to start in Antarctica! Our hikes ranged to about two hours and there were times when I thought I wasn't going to make it. My feet were sliding back and I saw penguins on the side of me climbing like nothing. They were cute and funny to see. If a penguin could do it so can I! I got to the top and my breath was taken away. It was not because of steep hike and me ready to pass out, it was because of the view. The pictures that I saw for screen savers were right in front of me. It was surreal. We took time for ourselves to soak it all in. I was completely at ease and had no tension. I let go of all the negativity that happened in the past and I felt like a new person. At that moment I realized this wasn't only journey to learn about Antarctica, it is a self journey as well. On this journey I connected with nature and reconnected with myself. Back at home everyone is caught up with work, school, kids, etc. and sometimes lose yourself in the process. Being in Antarctica gave me time to learn more about myself and the world. This was truly a memorable experience.

In Antarctica we visited a series of islands where we learned about glaciers and wildlife. We saw Gentoo penguins, Chinstrap penguins, elephant seals, leopard seals and many types of sea birds. We hiked many glaciers and enjoyed sliding down them, especially the steep ones. We visited Science Stations and saw how they lived and did work for long periods of time. Oh and yes there is a store/gift shop in Antarctica. In Port Lockroy, people on expeditions send post cards, buy gifts, and rest a bit. It was nice to see other people and talk about their experiences living there. We also joined the Antarctic swim team. In Deception Island there is an active volcano and when you dig deep enough you'll get got water. So the staff dug us an hot tub and after dunking our bodies in the ocean we ran in it. It was an exhilarating experience. When we were not exploring what was around us, we attended workshops on the ship about climate change, glaciology, sea birds, explorers and Antarctica. The workshops were a great way to learn and become an active group of students advocating for a change. Then before we knew it it was time to sail back to Ushuaia and end our journey. Our last day in Antarctica we celebrated Polar Night. We discussed our individual feelings about our expedition, told stories, skits, made songs about Antarctica, and said our goodbyes to the extraordinary continent.

Again I had an AMAZING time. I am so grateful to take part in the expedition. I met extraordinary people and made friendships for life. I thank Students on Ice for an experience of a life time and I thank UPROSE for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to telling my stories and making a change.

Protect the Poles. Protect the Planet.

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Shelley Scheibel (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)

January 13, 2011

I can’t stop thinking about Antarctica. The excitement, curiosity, and interest from family and friends has helped to keep me focused on the vast, beautiful, powerful land I have seen. I have been amazed at the number of people who have followed the blogs, who have called, emailed, and written to me on Facebook, inquiring about the expedition, wanting to know more.

At the beginning of the expedition, I wondered how I would do Antarctica justice when I described it to others. How do you describe seeing a wandering albatross effortlessly soaring on the wind currents? Or how absolutely adorable a crabeater seal can be when those big eyes look straight into yours? Or how it feels to be stalking a leopard seal in a zodiac through the cold, grey waters near Port Lockroy? There are no words to describe the thrill of being 30 feet away as three humpback whales surround a Zodiac, yet being unable to begin to imagine the terror or excitement that your friends are feeling. No words will do justice to the shapes, colours, and magic of the sculpted icebergs, each an individual gift that I, and few others, have seen. How do I explain that reality was more than I could have ever imagined? I don’t know how to explain how humbling it is to feel like I didn’t contribute, that I only received, that I took and took without giving anything in return. How do I put into words the overwhelming sense of emotion and feelings of insignificance, knowing that I am such a teeny, tiny part in a huge, remarkable planet? There is so much more than me.

Upon much reflection, I now know that I don’t have do it justice, I just have to do. I have to share my experiences the best I can, share my love, my memories, my passion. And trust that others will do the same. And together with my Antarctic family, we may inspire others to visit this incredibly inspiring place so they may also understand.

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SOI Antarctic Youth Expedition 2010: Youth Impressions

The following impressions were contributed by students while crossing the Drake Passage en route back to South America...

General Impressions:

Looking forward to being the best human I can be and using what I have learned to grow and better the planet

Painting the world a different colour

ACJ love you guys! Three blind mice!

Coming back home and sharing my experience with friends and family and hopefully inspire them as much as SOI inspired me!

Live life... do things because you want to

Coming back to Antarctica and high school

Take in every moment

Don’t waste your life or your influence

The bread was amazing

Be careful of what you put in the ocean, because the ocean has no drain

Let’s not treat the planet like we have an extra in the trunk.

I want to stay here

So many penguins, so little time

I’ll miss all of you

Belong

What will surprise you next?

Enlightenment

Go Generation G!

Change the world

Symbiosis

Happiness

Bright future, more education, more respect

The future is in good hands

Our generation has awesome potential!

Knowing my decisions can change and affect a world in need

Coming back here and seeing the differences we made on the poles and the planet

Even one person can make a difference, even if not seen right away

The ability to turn our potential into kinetic motion and actions

Good Morning Students on Ice, Good Morning World!

Seeing my life grow each year and make a change

Coming back to Antarctica and doing/seeing different things

Getting to share this experience with others and hopefully leave footsteps in their life forever

Coming back to this place one day knowing that I’ve helped it in some way

That everyone awakes and realizes the great challenge humanity is facing

SOI – An organization beyond any words

Good Karma!

Thanks friends!

Climbing Danco

I am able to be me, whoever I want to be

Words cannot describe

Thank you Antarctica – you are the best teacher I ever had

Penguin Highways... pink and yellow ones

Where will they take us? Everywhere and nowhere, somewhere that smells like penguins

Life changing and encouraging us to do something to preserve our home called planet Earth... We don’t own it, we just live on it

We are all fellow citizens and planet Eearth is our home... Let’s learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools

We are all on a spaceship that we are only renting! – Nicole

Land!!!

What does normal mean?

Numinous

Silent

Future employers... we're ready for hire!

I feel like I belong

I finally fit in!

Extremely happy

Forever touched, forever changed...time to transform the world

We search for adventure, its right in front of us

One people, one world, one love

So excited

Best feeling ever, feel wonderful

Best time ever and I will be back

Immense

Part of the world

It is one thing to learn about a place, but to actually experience all the wonders it has to offer, well, that is extraordinary!

It’s ineffable to describe in words

Privileged one

Sounds of nature

Climate change

Protect the poles, protect the planet!

I’m reflecting on new and old horizons – the world is changing, I’m ready to make a difference

For peace and love, live on the land and love your neighbour

I’m afraid that the world will end and humanity will be erased if we don’t act now

People who decide to ignore our message of life will miss amazing chances to transform this amazing living planet

Life is hard but full of rewards

Happy

Shocked

A different me

A new perspective on life

Taking action! Making a difference!

MORE TO FOLLOW!

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Relive the Students on Ice Antarctic Youth Expedition 2010
through the Daily Journey Updates section of this website



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