Monday, February 11, 2013

Midnight Sun

In grade 6 I was in Ms Sasaki’s class and we worked on a project studying the Inuit and Northern Canada. I remember making a poster board project with all kinds of little pop-out community buildings. It was a fun project and obviously it really stuck. For some reason a photo in our text book has remained with me all of these years. It was a group of kids in a northern town skipping rope in the bright sunlight... at midnight. I thought this was so cool and so difficult to grasp. The vice versa as well - 24 hours of dark?! It’s so intriguing! 

This morning, as I started to research plans and ideas for the first stop on our trip, I discovered that in Iceland the sun doesn’t fully set in June when we’ll be there. That grade 6 text book photo immediately came to mind as Google images of people skiing, fishing and hiking in the Midnight Sun were popping up off the screen of numerous travel sites. When I told the kids their reactions were “that’s sick!” “so cool!” and Mattea says “So we never have to go to bed???” (ever the one to want more time!) Other comments were “is there school there?” and “do people LIVE there?” Love it - this is why we travel - to chip away at ignorance and assumptions. 

Aside from my excitement at this crazy learning experience, I can’t help but wonder what this will do to our jetlag? We’ll be arriving feeling 3.5 hours behind and coming off of a short night flight. 

Another interesting point on the topic of sunsets and sunrises is that our final destination could not be more different. In Nairboi, Kenya which is basically bang on the equator, the sun rise and sun set changes little more than a couple of minutes throughout the year. Like ‘clockwork’ 6:30pm the sun goes down and 6:30am the sun comes on up! Very dependable!! 

In June, Dubai will be just slightly different. Sunrise at 5:30, sun set at 7. Even that will feel short since we’ll be a leaving a 9pm sunset here at home. Unfortunately, we’ll be coming back home just in time for the days to shorten!!

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