The Story

We are All Antarctica is a story about my father George W. Gibbs, Jr’s adventures as the first person of African descent to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. He sailed on the famous ship the USS Bear in 1939 to 1941 on Admiral Byrd’s III expedition to the South Pole. It was the first joint venture with the US military and private exploration. Gibbs went on to serve humanity in countless ways, paving the way for not only people of color in the community of Rochester, MN but for all people to become more human, serve their community and appreciate differences.

Through compassion, tenacity, faith and countless hours in the trenches, Gibbs’ life is a model for community service, equality and fun. As the lowest rank on the ship, he was honored for his contribution at a time when people with dark skin were considered less than human.

This story integrates my experiences with natural healing, the arts, the science of the ice, the metaphysics of the South Pole and the history of the expedition and its mystery.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Travel is Educational

One of my donors said he wished he knew I was only going to Antarctica for a short time.  I  thought a short time was plenty, but I see now it's not.   Patagonia is amazing and I keep thinking about Antarctica!  John Behrendt of INSTARR, who is one of my Polar scientists mentors, went 12 times.  My father applied to go again before he retired from the Navy.  It's clear to me there is an energy present that's precious.  I don't know anything else like it on earth.  Scientists are studying rocks fallen from Mars, group dynamics are exaggerated after long periods of time, and again, people return.

Firsts are also important.  Some of us have a first kiss to remember.  My father wrote about the first time he was in airplane, the first time driving a dog sled, the first time seeing a sleeping bag, all at 22 years old.  This is my first time on a small aircraft.  The plane had no toilet and in the end, it didn't bother me to wait.  Excitement took over. I was in an altered state for two days.

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