Monday, 6 June 2011

Status Report

After three days it's been agreed that we all reek of sweat and dirt and nobody is to acknowledge the fact. When the only source of fresh water is more than a mile past the point of (as Elliott puts it) 'give a damn' for anything but water and the beach is too shallow to cover up most of your body, well, the only thing we bathe in anymore is bug spray.

And even that somehow fails to keep the things away.

This leaves us three days into a fifty-seven day trip with 50 stanky university students and one stanky professor rolling in dirt by day and fending off bugs by night but hey, it's for SCIENCE, right?

I don't think I've introduced myself.

I'm the one they call Alex. I'll be handling the status updates, if that much wasn't already obvious.

I digress.

Everything's going splendidly so far. Currently all fifty of us have some form of smart phone in need of charging plus a Dell netbook that promises us 467 hours of streaming video but no internet access - more than enough to keep us drafting up reports and inputing data into spreadsheets. We've packed three extra batteries and daisy-chained five solar-powered chargers (all courtesy of Rich Parents R Us) for the phones, plus an adapter for the laptop. The charger will give each phone a good 57 hours with a two hour charge in direct sunlight. When it comes time to charge the laptop, however, we all have to go without our phones for a while because it takes a full day and then some to charge just one of the batteries.

It's a good thing smartphones come with text editors.

Most if not all of our phones have internet access through our carriers, and those who don't have found someone who does. It's amazing what a few days away from twitter and facebook will do to some of these people.

Looking at you, Erin.

(She's going to kill me for that later.)

The only problem?

Our GPSs are acting up.

Some won't start. Others only display certain coordinates. A few just lead us in circles. Fewer still emit this weird sort of hiss every once and a while when you're in the forest and one caught fire in Hayden's hand. He's been in his tent ever since wearing a tinfoil hat and muttering about god knows what.

I wish I was joking about that.

We're a strange bunch, Class 123.

Not that the GPS thing is really a problem - more an inconvenience than anything. Everybody here is excellent at orienteering and we have more than enough maps and compasses to go around. It's not like we really have to travel too far to get a wide range of samples, but I'll save the science for Bryan.

That's all I've really got to report. I'm sure Zach and Bryan will add anything important I've forgotten later anyways. I can already see Zach tapping furiously away on his phone - he must be writing up a post already. Bryan is off on the laptop in the center of camp, sticking close to the fire in hopes of keeping the bugs away. I can see nothing but pure white light on his face so I assume he's got something open on excel or word he'll be posting later tonight. He and Laura are the only ones who seem to be really dedicated to keeping this whole 'science' thing going - the rest of us are too busy taking in the novelty of it all, and even the prof seems to be caught up in it.

Alex out.

1 comment:

  1. "Rich parents"? Dude. I spent good time in the army to be able to pay for this kind of stuff. D: