Mailman between the penguins

Erik Uncategorized

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“Hey Erik, isn’t being a mailman something for you?” This message I received as well as a link to a vacancy. My first job was delivering advertising brochures and in a later job I dragged mail around on my bike with panniers. It gave me money for travel, but this was the only positive thing about it. So, me as a mailman? No, rather not. Or?

Curiosity got the better of me and I opened the link. Without having read more than just the introduction the vacancy got about 1000 times more interesting. This was not the national mail delivery service looking for employees, but the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT). Mailman on the Antarctic, how many are there with that on their resume. The traveller in me awakens and I can see myself on my bike with pannier struggling across the antarctic ice.

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The vacancy is for the tiny Goudier Island, just off the coast of the antarctic peninsula. The tiny island island is about 200 meters long and 100 meters wide and has a human population of zero. There is however a Gentoo penguin colony of about 2000 individuals. You might know them: those awfully cute penguins who build their nests from small pebbles they find nearby… or steal from their neigbours nests. (If you don’t know them, watch the movie on the right)

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But penguins usually don’t receive mail, do they? No, they don’t, but the 18,000 visitors do like to send a postcard. This is why they are looking for staff to man the post office/shop/museum on the island. So there is no need to get your bike across the icefields. It is however not going to get a comfortable job. No matter how cute they are, these penguins have quite a disadvantage. They produce quite a stench, and on a tiny island like Goudier, it’s hard to get away from that. Furthermore you share the island with 3 colleagues. This can be quite sociable, but though the living quarters being comfortable (according to the vacancy), there is only limited water, electricity, and heating and no means of showering, internet or phone signal

Already excited to spend 5 months on this beautiful location? Think you can handle the stench of the penguins and your colleagues? You can apply for the vacancy until 27 February 2015. Although it sounds appealing I’m going to give it another thought.

(image by Christopher Mitchel)