|(Sarah and I take a moment after the flag changing ceremony to pose for a picture at the ceremonial South Pole)|
|(Our station manager says a few words before we took down the flags that had flown the long winter night)|
|(Working together to change out Sarah's flag)|
|(Sugar Bear rocking out the sushi rolls - they really were delicious!)|
One other memorable event was paired up with Sunrise Dinner. Traditionally each year the flags that are taken down are then raffled off to members who are wintering over at the South Pole. This includes the twelve flags already mentioned above, and then also two more American flags (flown in other locations on station) and the NSF (National Science Foundation) flag. It can be a big deal as you win a flag that has flown at the South Pole, and some people find that to be exciting. We certainly were thrilled about the idea of having one of the flags. Certain flags tend to be more desired than others, though it depends on the individual for obvious reasons. The American flags, Norwegian flag, and the English flag are usually the top choices. The Americans generally all like the idea of taking home one of American flags. There is historical significance for the Norwegian and English flag as the explorers, Amundsen and Scott, were Norwegian and English.
Unfortunately, even though we technically had twice the chance to win over a single person, we did not win a flag. It was disappointing but it was also fun to watch the enthusiasm of those who did win a flag. The Norwegian flag, pictured below, was claimed by our station manager. He is planning a trip to Norway when he leaves the ice and part of his journey will take him to see the boat the Fram, which was the boat Amundsen and his crew used to reach Antarctica on their way to the South Pole (it was also used in many other voyages in the Arctic). He asked if we would all sign the flag so he can present it to someone while he is in Norway. What a fun way to celebrate a little bit of the history about the South Pole as we prepared to eat some tasty food.
|(The Norwegian flag ready to be signed by the station crew. Pictures of the Fram are hanging on the wall above the flag)|
|(The Materials Team poses for a picture. Steve was quite proud of his dress. Kim actually made it for him. He was the only one at Sunrise Dinner in a sundress. Go figure)|
|(Photo by Daniel Michalik - badminton in the dark)|
|(Photo by Daniel Michalik - ending our Sunrise Dinner night with a game)|