Journalist Report – December 14th

Lipi Roy, Crew 288 Journalist
Sol 04
Four days of EVAs, stargazing, harvesting, and cooking later, I can positively confirm for the entirety of my crew – never again will we ever underestimate the power of a hot shower.
The day began with the tunes of ‘Star Man’ and Riley’s (XO) wonderful pancakes. Filled to the brim with Nutella, syrup, and peanut butter, and energized with Hunter’s (Crew Geologist) crash course of Stretching 101, we were ready for today’s geology EVA.
With an aim to collect volcanic rock samples, Hunter, Cesare (commander), Jesus (crew engineer), and I headed off to the exquisite Barainca Butte; a place whose geological richness would be enough to pique the interest of any geologist. Now, our Hunter isn’t just any geologist, so you can imagine what would have happened! Just kidding, he led the EVA well, often sharing his geology wisdom with us.
“Spot, mark, take ‘before’ photo, take sample, take ‘after’ photo, and repeat” – sounded so simple when Hunter explained it, but add an EVA suit, gloves, and time constraint – and this becomes nothing less than a challenge. Four-and-a-half hours of that later, we came back to a wonderful lunch Riley had decided to surprise us with. Thanks Riley!
It was also supposed to be a delicious carrot-cake afternoon, right Ryan? His ‘switching off the oven lights’ to surprise us, didn’t quite go in his favor because when he unraveled the finished product, it seemed to be less of a cake and more of an overflowing burnt-sugar carrot sauce . A few more minutes of that, and I could have collected another volcanic rock sample from that lava. Cesare and Jilian (HSO) decided to see the silver lining and attempted to eat the sauce. Well, it was a masterpiece in its own unique, slightly burnt, way.
Don’t worry Ryan. These things happen. And as Cesare said – ‘if never make any mistakes, you’ve never tried anything new’! Anyhow, we appreciate the thought behind it; and you did manage to redeem yourself at dinner with a yummy Pad-Thai and with an actual carrot cake.
The biggest highlight still was the hot shower the whole crew was allowed to get today. I understand the importance of water conservation in a mission like this, but I swear, I will never again look at a shower in the same way again.

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