“Anything more wonderful than the polar night does not exist.
It is a dream-like sight. It is a light poem of all the finest and most delicate tones of the soul.”

Fridjof Nansen


Advent and a time of waiting

When we were children, this time before Christmas was usually full of excitement and anticipation. The days in December could not go fast enough! It seemed like everything was a large build up to and about Christmas eve. Hilde has fond Christmas memories about stockings hanging on the fireplace, smells of baked goods in the oven, adults and children making Christmas cakes, and the family going out into the woods to get their own Christmas three. Sunniva remembers Christmas celebrations from many different places, as her family moved a fair bit. Her favorite Christmas memories are from Telemark in Norway with sleigh rides through snowy landscapes, singing around the tree, drinking warm “gløgg” (mulled wine) from a cast iron pot after skiing – all in anticipation of what is to come. She warmly remembers Christmas Caroling in California – music abounding! Love and Family!


Surgery and complications

The day before our planned return to Bamsebu, Ettra became acutely ill. The vet measured her fever to 40.3’C and her pulse to 180. We were told that we could lose her – and were crushed beyond words. Our priceless 3-year-old Ettra, who has been with us 24/7 for an entire year through thick and thin, who always is happy and ready for downward dogs, and who loves hugs and long walks. Our beautiful Ettra, who warned us of polar bears and is our safety net both around the cabin and on walks. We waited for three unplanned weeks in Longyearbyen for her to heal, but she was just not strong enough to come with us. And longer delays for us in Longyearbyen meant worse weather and complications getting to Bamsebu. It was a terrible dilemma!


A vital part of our expedition

We made the tough call to leave Ettra behind, taking solace in the fact that she was in the very capable hands of Steinar. We had to trust that she would get better and that we could get her down here – somehow. It was awful to leave her. When we said goodbye, Ettra pressed herself into our knees and salty crocodile tears flowed from us both! It’s difficult to explain Ettra’s role here at Bamsebu, but perhaps you can all imagine? She is a vital part of our Expedition Team. Full of love, patience and more love. Our biggest fan, a great source of inspiration and always up for all of our adventures and science trips. Ettra’s dog paradise is here at Bamsebu!


It is Advent. We are waiting. Waiting for Ettra!

And now the wait is nearly over! Next week we get a helicopter visit from the priest in Longyearbyen. It is a long-standing tradition here for the church to visit those in remote outposts to spread cheer, music and build community. And hopefully, around New Year, Ettra is coming and finally the team will be back together again!


The most important

We are all living in a time where our individual and collective worlds have changed. This year, the Christmas season brings both expectation and uncertainty. We must remember what is important – how we can care for each other and how we can show our love. We do that with intention and by holding space in our thoughts. We hold you all in our thoughts during this time of Advent. Beneath the powerful canopy of the Northern Lights we send you all our love at this special time of Advent!


Hugs from the Bamsebu Girls xxx

A big thanks to

The sponsor of the month, Canada Goose, our Legacy Partner BRP and Marlink Satellite Communication, our provider for all video hosted calls. And thanks to our science partners, UNIS, Polar Bears International and Norwegian Polar Institue


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