Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The "World Traveller"

The "World Traveller" (as she calls herself) arrived at the airport on Sunday at 4 pm. Her father was monitoring the flight map and made the (not-so-smart) announcement to this worried mom that the plane disappeared from the map. I was hyperventilating when she called and said her plane landed 1/2 hour early. She arrived safe and sound.



Her friend went along with us to meet up with her and as you can see, he's lugging the heavy suitcase. There are two weeks worth of clothing in that bag plus the souvenirs and rocks. Yes, I said rocks. She had little bags of rocks from her trip.










Since she is back, I can now say where she's been. See those beautiful palm trees and the blue sky? The trees are not native to the area she visited but they were planted there. I haven't quite figured that one out but they are beautiful.
The temps hovered between 99F - 107F.

In case you didn't read previous posts, she was chosen for an all expense paid 2 week trip on an Earthwatch exhibition.







This is one of the places she visited on her exhibition, The Grand Canyon. She spent 3 days at the Arizona University studying Mars and the geological correlation between Earth and Mars. Then they spent 6 days "in the field" camping.
She said she was standing on a rock to get this picture. Not something her mother needed to know.











This seemed to be a highlight of her 8 person team, Route 66. Didn't take much to please these kids.












The hiker and the Painted desert. She climbed a volcano, a crater, studied petroglyphs, stayed at the Native American Reservation, toured the Petrified Forest, built a lab robot, gave an hour long presentation to scientists and had an all around good learning time.

Another thrill for her was a picture of Mars. They met with the THEMIS Camera inventor. The group was permitted to use the THEMIS camera to attempt capturing a picture of Mars. After 4 days of the camera rotating to the designated spot, it captured the shot at a 20 degree angle. Because the camera has never captured a 20 degree shot of this particular gully on Mars, their picture is at NASA to be studied. It will be preserved in their data and will be seen all over the world via internet etc. She and her "colleagues" are named as the discoverers of this particular camera shot. NASA presented each of them with a picture/poster of their discovery with their names etc. This was quite an honor for them.

She made 7 new friends from all over the United States. She tried many different foods and found she actually liked some of them. She loves hiking. She used 4 digital camera chips for pictures (and I certainly won't make you sit through all of those.........lol)

She has chattered non-stop and I now know more than I need to know about the geology of the Earth and Mars. I must admit I have looked at the pictures in awe. Given we will probably never get anywhere in our lifetime (medical, economy, loss of retirement etc) I will live through my kids' pictures:).

She insists she is going to the Moon and until I sign the parental permission form, it won't be happening........LOL

5 comments:

Channon said...

But I WANT to see those photos!!!

Grace said...

so glad she is back safe and sound and had a positive experience that will last her a life time. I owe you a letter its coming soon!! Hugs G

ChristyH said...

That was a very nice trip! Great pictures.

Bubblesknits said...

How. Freakin'. COOL! What an experience that must have been! The hubby will be proud that she brought back some rocks from her trip (I think I've told you he's a rock hound).

Did she bring back a picture of the Mars shot? I'd kinda like to see that! :-)

Laura Neal said...

Glad to hear she had so much fun. I love the Grand Canyon, it is the most amazing place on earth. There are no words for the beauty of it, the stillness of it. If you ever have a chance to go, do it! Take a warm jacket as well.
Pictures do not do it justice!