By Niamh Shaw
Crew Artist & Journalist Crew 173
Is it really Saturday already? It’s hard to imagine that only a week ago we arrived at MDRS, and that we are essentially halfway through our time here. It’s all going too fast and yet in other ways, it feels like we have always been here. Our lives back on Earth seem a lifetime away now. Roy went looking for something in his room last night and came across some US currency and brought it out to show us.
Money. So strange now, when you look at it on Mars. Only seven days ago back on Earth, we couldn’t do any-thing without money. Breakfast $10.00. Batteries $4.00. Coffee to go $3.00. Now we can do nothing with it. Except perhaps to rub some mud off your boots as you re-enter the airlock post-EVA.
That’s the interesting thing about being here on Mars. When you strip your daily routine back to simply surviving the elements and completing the daily tasks, life gets a whole lot easier. And you can’t help but reflect on life back on Earth. And all the stuff. The hoards of books, that I probably haven’t opened in years, the wardrobe of clothes, shoes, and odds and sods, bed linen, bed, carpets, cushions, throws, scented candles, bicycles, houses, meetings, cafes, office blocks, buses, trains. All useless here.
High-value products on Mars: thermals, boots, camera, internet, ATVs, heat, the solar generator, water, a functioning toilet, food. Chocolate. And coffee. Lots of coffee. Tinfoil, to cover our plates at mealtimes, and cut down on washing up. Movie night. Sunrise. Sunsets. The spice drawer. Laughter. Sharing stories. The crew. That’s our currency now.
Irish culture night went alright. The Shepherds pie got eaten, which is a good sign I think. We had a guessing game about pronouncing some Irish names, which is always difficult for non-native ‘gaelgoirs’ (people who speak Irish). And ‘Pass the Pigs’ continues to entertain, or frustrate, in equal measure!
I hope our next 7 days ahead are just as challenging and rewarding as the week we just put down. And then it will be time to return to Earth. Back to money. And bedlinen, and carpets, and buses and office blocks. And also to family.
by Niamh Shaw
Crew Artist & Journalist